New Vision (Kampala)

13 November 2012

Uganda: Politicians Must Not Repeat Mistakes of the Past Uganda

opinion

ONE of the questions making rounds concerns how Uganda will be in the next 50 years. Obviously, Ugandans wish to have a prosperous country where individual welfare is at its best.

Such aspirations can be achieved by proper planning and guidance. But before we ponder the future, we must focus the debate as to where as a country we went wrong mainly in the first 24 years of our independence. The mistakes must not be repeated.

I am upset that some prominent persons who have been around since independence and were key players in the politics of this country, are adamant to admit that they made mistakes which contributed to near collapse of Uganda.

Strangely, in that unrepentant egotism, a number of them have gone an extra mile not only to distort facts but rewrite the country's history.

Some of their misleading participation is infamous when it comes to discussing the real causes of the 1966 Buganda crisis among other infamous past events.

Such failure to admit that mistakes were made will not lead us anywhere. The most prudent way is for all of us to concede that mistakes were made and come up with solutions.

Fortunately, all hope is not lost. Institutions like the Uganda Peoples Defence Forces (UPDF) which learnt from the mistakes of the past armies has turned out to be a success story.

It is on that backdrop that the UPDF has remained steadfast in improving its image. UPDF leadership is swift to either apologise or reprimand the offender.

In May, President Yoweri Museveni paraded soldiers of his protection group and told them to apologise before an elderly woman Teddy Acham at State House, Nakasero.

This woman from Soroti district had complained of mistreatment by these soldiers during the centenary celebrations of Soroti Catholic diocese.

Such humility on the side of both the President and the soldiers had never been seen or heard of with past armies.

That revolutionary attitude explains why the army is efficient and effective with its tasks. Take the case of Jubilee celebrations, the army and the Police made our country proud when they guaranteed the security of more than 15 presidents and other important dignitaries.

It takes discipline, sacrifice and vigilance to achieve all this.

The Writer is Jinja West MP

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