Recently I penned an article on the transformation stages of leadership across the African continent. I stressed that the challenges of today’s leadership need selfless, as opposed to the conventional hardware approach in governance, to deliver results with speed and finality.
The ‘software approach’ is what the NRM government, and particularly President Yoweri Museveni, has mastered, in providing practical pragmatic solutions to Uganda’s unique challenges. The fact remains that the changing world order has caught the opposition politicians in Africa, and especially in Uganda, on the wrong path.
Governance today demands time-tested leaders who can hold the centre together to galvanise the populations into a shared vision and national ultimate goal. People will always rally around a pragmatic leader; a leader who inspires his countrymen and women to press forward, even if painfully, to a cherished vision that will deliver the nation to the desired level of transformation.
The question, however, is: how does a leader inspire people to move along a common development trajectory and shared vision? How does s/he mobilise the masses to love their country and work for the prosperity of their motherland?
The answer lies in serving people’s interests. I can state with deep conviction that President Museveni is one leader who is passionate about the prosperity of his people. The biggest challenge is that the president has not received much help and support from some individuals who are meant to implement government programmes and policies.
Of course the intention of such individuals – most of them government officials – is well-known. It is in their grand scheme, in cohoots with the opposition and some other reactionary forces, to deliberately fail the implementation of government programmes and policies, so as to portray a bad image of the NRM government among the people.
The opposition has expended a great deal of time and resources mudslinging and criticising the NRM leadership, specifically the NRM chairman, President Museveni, without articulating to the people any alternative programme or action plan for development.
The good news is that people have become wiser; they say you can fool all people some of the time, but you cannot fool all the people all of the time. Ugandans have since learnt to discern and distinguish cheap politicking, which involves hateful and polarizing speech, from progressive ideas of development.
What the people want is how they can be mobilised and galvanised to create wealth for themselves and take advantage of the various government programmes and policies. They want to know how they can be part of the transformation and democratic process that has come to define Uganda under the visionary NRM leadership.
Ugandans have supported the NRM for the last 30 years because of the relevance of the NRM leadership to the people. President Museveni is a gifted leader; he knows how to accommodate the interests of each individual or force. This explains why so many people who had declared war on the new government of the NRA/M had to abandon rebellion and join the president on the road to rebuilding Uganda.
In this modern time, politics of violence, such as exhibited by some members of the opposition, has no place. This is the very reason why bitter political leaders, such as Kizza Besigye and others, who had called for the overthrow of the NRM government, through the so-called popular walk-to-work protests, were defeated.
Today, nothing much is heard about such leaders. Other deviants who had thought of declaring war from the outside against the established NRM government have only ended at empty threats. Ugandans are above cheap war propaganda and propaganda that is not in sync with their aspirations and common vision.
One needs to be a leader who listens and understands the demands and aspirations of the population. We are here to serve the people; they are our masters. We must give them accountability of the stewardship they have entrusted in us leaders, as opposed to cheap political talk.