KAMPALA, JOEL TOMUSANGE — In a deliberate bid to disinterest Ugandans in politics, government has systematically and successfully made majority of citizens unbothered by matters pertaining governance.
Politics has more or less been relegated for discussion exclusively among the elite folks.
It should be noted that politics is the driver of government and government practically influences every aspect of our lives. Government controls key institutions ranging from health, education, agriculture, trade, finance… everything! It literally decides where you live, what you eat, how much you earn from your efforts, the taxes you pay, where and how to study. We as Ugandans give government all responsibility to think and care for us. To make policies that improve our wellbeing.
Every other time Ugandans have risen up to question the operations of government or even demand accountability, they have been met with brutal force and torture. Many individuals now see “discussing politics” as a hot cake to swallow or a jump into a raging razing fire. One thatcould potentially make you and your family/friend a target of oppression. It is now left to the elite folks to discern since it’s riskier for government gagging this section of the public.
Additionally, the economy has been severy crippled such that majority of Ugandans live in a continuous struggle to make ends meet. Such constraints and frustrations barely allows people have time or even pay attention to the dire political situation. You can not demand for human rights on an empty stomach. So a handful middle class elite with some bit of dough to munch are the ones well positioned to cry out on the injustices.
Problem is, they only get to cry out on their specific concerns and not necessarily that of the rest of their pitiful countrymen and women.
However, Ugandans need to understand that the people in command of government are because we allowed them to. We choose and vote for them to lead us, we pay them to guide us. We put them in such positions not because they’re different from us or superior over us but because we trust that they’ll look out for our interests. They’re not doing us a favour by being in command, they’re in our debt and service.
Politics is a matter that affects all Ugandans irrespective of your status or lineage.
Leaving it to the learned fellows exposes majority of Ugandans to the risk of leaving their interests un-catered for. The voice demanding accountability and action needs to be a concerted one involving all Ugandans. That is the only way we all stand a chance at realizing a free and better society.
The author, Joel Tomusange is a lawyer
EDITORIAL NOTE: The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect our editorial stance.