President’s Message On 2016 Was Deliberate Wise Counsel [opinion]

President Yoweri Museveni was recently in Busoga on another working sojourn under his grassroots-based approach.

The goal of this approach is to follow up on implementation of government programmes and hear issues raised by common citizens who form the bulk of the president’s transformational burden. He is fearlessly and relentlessly plunging himself into the deep for the good of the common man.

To mobilize residents to get involved in income-generating projects for improved household incomes, President Museveni traversed the districts of Luuka, Bugiri, Namayingo and Jinja. Busoga is a beneficiary of a number of transformation programmes including pilot projects which are tested in the sub-region before being extended elsewhere.

One of the most recently piloted is RUSA which is transforming lives of women through a revolving fund that has reported remarkable success in terms of repayment discipline. This means that the monies disbursed are being used well and teaching financial discipline which plays a great role in wealth-creation.

Satisfied with the outreach within the available time, the president took time off to talk politics, on local radio and TV. He vowed to vanquish the opposition in 2016 whether they front a joint candidate or not. One of the major dailies, in its story drawn from the President’s captivating appearance on the talk show, suggested that his statement that day was “so far the gest indicator that he intends to contest for the 2016 elections”.

Museveni had reasoned that the opposition had proven to be too unprepared for the job of leading the country in spite of much hankering after state power (believing it to be a fun experience).

The president’s observation had been validated by earlier defections into NRM at various places where he addressed public rallies. There is also a well-known track record of losses the opposition has suffered against President Museveni at previous general elections. Where they have been able to score (scattered) wins only goes to prove NRM’s democratic principles.

For us who believe in and serve under President Museveni’s stewardship, we believe that he doesn’t have to declare his candidature for 2016 first in order to say what he feels about opposition. For all we know, they are still unsure about whom to front but just believe Museveni will go – minus cause. Even if Museveni chose not to contest in 2016, despite overwhelming public demand, he would still command tremendous say on Uganda’s electoral trends. He could still defeat opposition from behind-the-scenes.

As president, Museveni is the chief counsellor of the nation. His fans and foes ought to take his messages seriously, for everyone has something to pick. At this time, what NRM opponents would be doing is not to fire back but to find out why, for instance, they suffer the most defections why, in spite of the hardships that sometimes arm them with something to talk about, all their attempts to draw the wider public to their side has miserably failed.

All campaigns such as Walk-to-Work and other 4GC machinations have failed to pick steam. Why? Because not everybody who criticizes shortcomings in governance is a member of the opposition. Many of them are NRM members who have taken over the opposition’s job after seeing a vacuum of relevance. They raise issues so that their leaders can act on them to assure them of mass appeal for later contests.

Others are honest people who know that a president can only go so far and that it’s the duty of every other person to do what they can, from wherever they are, to improve the state of things. Leaders and members of the opposition have a lot of influence. Some hold government positions. Others are supported by civil society and foreign governments.

They have everything needed to play a part in serving the people if they feel NRM isn’t doing well. But that’s not their interest. Their heartfelt desire is to take power from Museveni, not knowing that Museveni happens to be the most visible and popular captain of the NRM ship.

There are also others inside NRM learning from him (Museveni), who, if they stood, would also fail the opposition’s bid for power. I think many times President Museveni is so liberal with free aice for his opponents. But because they are accustomed to opposing everything and anything, they forget to pick his counsel, hence perpetually remaining in opposition – 2016 is not far!

The author is a presidential aide for media management.

Source : The Observer

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