By Kamunyu Muhwezi
To my President Y. K. Museveni
Today, a friend of mine and I were sharing our frustrations that we all believe are caused by a bad economy. We are all experiencing the wrath of increasing prices of basic household goods, school fees etc. This is also happening amidst static earnings and the ever increasing burden of soaring unemployed relatives and the cost of managing our health. We had mixed feelings especially about the causes of this situation your Excellency as we seem to partly blame ourselves for what ever is happening. However, we all seem to agree on blaming all that we are experiencing today on an invisible hand of bad governance that is characterized by a sudden disappearance of transformative leadership at all levels in Uganda’s governance structures.
We also realized that it is increasingly becoming clear that you were right to picture that there is no other leader in the power structure who holds a vision for this country. We laughed while recollecting the meaning of your statement then in line with tenants of shepherd leadership where it is a rule of thumb that its proponents should continuously find a shared vision with the people they lead. We reminisced that such leaders would be willing to take the full the weight of responsibility of whatever happens to the sheep but in a systems framework. People seem to have no one else to blame now.
Reminiscing on your proclaimed lone vision in line with all that is happening in Uganda today your Excellency and especially with our economy, everyone seems to blame your leadership for all there is, that is bad, including whatever we do wrong at all levels including the problems in our marriages. We have abandoned the virtue of doing all that we can do and in our means together to redirect our crumbling institutions and institute discipline among those in the service of our nation including the Family. Everyone is blaming their bad acts on you and your system of Leadership and this hurts because it’s us to live the reality and results of all this.
It hurts because as a child, save for a few years of my adulthood, I admired your dreams which we often argued about, your ideals and all embeds of your ideological orientation for this country. You seemed to believe in empowering all the people of Uganda through a shared vision and you envisioned equal opportunity for all. Many of us agree to the changes that have taken place but the premises of these changes have been eaten away by public service fueled corruption.
I believe your Excellency that if the corruption that we are witnessing is not intended to do something else that we do not understand, then, many of us still believe in your revolutionary power to stamp out the evil that is slowly and regrettably becoming part of our culture. The reversal of a building corrupt society will only be possible if we revert to shared vision as opposed to lone vision that you proclaimed. We have to work together as a people yellow, blue, green, red etc.
Then we started to pick on evidences and we agree that the country being built for our children’s future can be easily mirrored in the quality of our young people and their readiness to take up the challenges of their time. Today, majority of our young people see possibilities in corruption only and many good ones cannot put up with the anxiety it is causing and are easily falling in. They are ready to master deception as opposed to honesty deceived that the later has no value in Uganda. We reminisced a situation where you will be finally forced to put up with serving officers in uniform willing to forge intelligence reports for a better bargain your Excellency. This will be bad.
We are investing less in our young people your Excellency especially at their formation stages (no transformative education) and yet, each day, we seem to be leaving behind a heavy burden of a poorly founded economy and social system. We have not equipped our young people with the skills and knowledge to idealize, act and realize themselves in this highly turbulent world. Each day, we seem to be eating away their potential to shape Uganda and protect Uganda’s resources through handwork and sacrifice. At least this investment is not reflected in budget allotments targeting their formative stages.
Young people are more informed today than ever before and their assertiveness is on the increase and yet they lack the know-how to survive. For example, will you be surprised if the youth funds you have campaigned for are channeled into buying smart phones and order shisha pots at western owned shops and restaurants in town?
I now believe it is the responsibility of every vision bearer/shepherd regardless of how hard it may be, to lead, to protect, to sacrifice and take full responsibility over the sheep along their grazing path.
The foundations of our economy just like any other growing economy are being undermined by absence of transformative leadership at all levels through to the top. By the end of our discussion i realized that your wish of a lone vision as opposed to a shared vision is slowly becoming a reality and will hit a dead end if it is not expeditiously reversed.
We also realized that today, all the would-be useful people (technical, academic, entrepreneurs etc) in Uganda have to some extent decided to leave it up to you as a lone vision bearer.
This is dangerous because you know very well that a robust national system of political economy that withstands a test of time and where capitalism is the main pointer, is built by a system of carefully identified, disciplined and decisive leaders in the governance structure of a country in case. All our leaders today gather to secure their bread for today, tomorrow and in the future oblivious of who will make it and this hurts more.
Do something about the growing indecisiveness of leadership at all levels your Excellency and restore a system where all of us are empowered to decide and are accountable to the people that we have the privilege to shepherd.
May God bless you.