Happy New Year, keep hope alive

In a matter of four days the New Year 2015 will arrive with pomp and pageantry in all parts of Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi, as well as across the world. There will be celebrations, jubilation, fireworks, music, dancing and merry-making all night long.

Happy New Year to all, do not overindulge because too much of anything is dangerous for your health, but above all keep hope alive. I predict that 2015 will bring Ugandans good tidings of great joy.

As I begin my fourth year as a Sunday Monitor columnist, I would like to thank our esteemed readers, especially those who have taken time to send me feedback on my weekly opinions. I wish all of you a happy and prosperous New Year. I also thank the management, editors and staff of MPL for their unfailing support which has enabled me to discharge my responsibilities efficiently and effectively.

I look back with humility and satisfaction at what has been accomplished while looking forward with awe at the challenges which lie ahead of us to my surprise I discovered that I have already written about 200 opinions for the Daily Monitor and Sunday Monitor since 2009.

It has been a pleasure for me to be associated with Uganda’s premier daily newspaper which publishes the truth every day to the chagrin of those in our society who routinely and shamelessly tell blatant lies and sow seeds of hate and division along political, religious and ethnic lines.

2014 was a disappointing and lacklustre year for Uganda, East Africa and Africa as a whole. Except for the popular revolution which took place in Burkina Faso on October 31 and Tunisia’s general elections which were held peacefully and the results accepted by all parties, Africa was once again stuck with bad news from east to west and from north to south.

This is a good opportunity to take stock as well as reflect on the outgoing year and attempt to predict what may happen in 2015 in Uganda, Africa and the world.
The outbreak and spread of Ebola in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone has had a devastating impact on the whole of the West African region and led to the change of venue of the Africa Cup of Nations from Casablanca, Morocco to Malabo, Equatorial Guinea.

Morocco was not prepared to take chances with a disease which is so far incurable and spreads like wild fire. The crisis is not yet over and it could even get worse before coming to an end. The AU, UN and the international community must come to the rescue of the three beleaguered countries which are overwhelmed by this tragedy.

Nigeria, which likes to pride itself as Africa’s superpower, will go to the polls on February 14, 2015 one wonders why they chose Valentine’s Day for such an important national activity, but be that as it may Nigerian voters have a rather difficult and unpleasant choice to make.

The incumbent, president Goodluck Jonathan, is the candidate of the ruling PDP while a former military leader, Gen Muhammudu Buhari from northern Nigeria, is the candidate of the opposition. If I were a Nigerian voter, I would take a long holiday in February to avoid the temptation of participating in the elections.

It is a tragedy of major proportions for Nigeria and Africa that a country which has produced world class intellectuals and leaders such as Prof Wole Soyinka, Chinua Achebe (RIP) and Chief Emeka Anyaoku whom I knew and worked with when he was secretary general of the Commonwealth, is unable to produce political leaders befitting her status as the giant of Africa.

To make matters worse, Boko Haram has brought Nigeria to its knees and made Nigeria virtually ungovernable. As I have painfully argued before, Nigeria should in 2015 consider the possibility of borrowing a leaf from the Sudan and partition the huge country into three or four sovereign states.

With the benefit of hindsight, one wonders whether the intractable problems which face Nigeria today could have been avoided if Gen Ojukwu’s attempt to establish a state of Biafra in 1967 had succeeded. It is clear Nigeria as a political idea originated by the British in 1914 has more or less failed and should perhaps be consigned to the dustbin of history.

Corruption which has become endemic and systemic in Uganda will continue to bedevil Uganda in 2015 and with the 2016 elections around the corner, corruption by the NRM regime will take a giant leap forward as happened in 2010 and 2011. Stealing public funds and resources with impunity is not only criminal, but more seriously a cardinal sin against God our Father in heaven.

Make no mistake the Lord is disgusted and grieved by most African leaders who rob the people of the gifts of God to all citizens. One day the Lord will severely punish Africa’s notorious dictators who behave as if they are demigods, especially those who have overstayed their welcome like comrade Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe.

I was dismayed to learn on December 5 that the prosecutor of the ICC decided to surrender to the champions of impunity and enemies of Africa. Shame on the ICC for applying double standards which confirms my worst fears that some in the West quietly believe that African countries should not be held accountable by universally accepted norms and standards of human rights, democracy and the rule of law. It is unacceptable for African victims of crimes against humanity to be abandoned by the ICC to the whims of lawless, callous and ruthless African tyrants. To be continued next Sunday.
On a personal note, yesterday December 27 was my daughter Ms Brenda Adoch Acemah’s birthday. Happy Birthday Brenda! May the Lord bless, keep and guide you always.

Mr Acemah is a political scientist, consultant and a retired career diplomat. hacemah@gmail.com

SOURCE: Daily Monitor

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