This week, Democratic Party President Nobert Mao joined a long list of opposition leaders that joined NRM government in what many view as being motivated by greed and personal gain.
Mao’s justification that he wants to champion constitutional reforms is either wishful thinking or far-fetched, Mao on his own has no capacity to cause change in our constitution even by one word, neither can his efforts restore the decayed spirit of constitutionalism in our country.
Mao’s quest for a reconcilation among the different fragmented sections of Ugandans as a way of managing a transition is a fallacy. For Museveni, reconciliation only works if it serves his immediate goals. Museveni’s mental programming seems not to think about transition a reason he removed all limits in the constitution. In any case important political decisions in this country are taken in Rwakitura & not in cabinet!
Mao can not be a messanger of a national reconciliation when he failed to champion one in his own party DP where he had no control except the secretariat and party funds. Even at the time of his departure, Mao did not influence a significant number of the opposition support base because to many he seemed a double edged sword! In this case his actions and moves can not lead Uganda’s opposition into any meaningful dialogue with Gen Museveni!
But that said, did Mao do wrong? Yes & No!
He did wrong because he betrayed his conscience & illegally handed DP to NRM!
He did right because he acted as many typical Ugandans of our times!
If I may borrow Jesus’s analogy, I would dare a Ugandan who has never acted like Mao to cast the first stone. It appears, in Uganda something is only wrong only when it is done by another person not yourself!
I know many people’s hearts are bleeding because Mao who inspired them has virtually eaten his words and sold his soul but how many other Ugandans have done the same but are busy condemning Mao?
I have met many people in the public service who don’t believe in NRM government, but because they want to survive they are working clearly against their own conscience, do they have a moral authority to blame Mao?
I have seen many people in the civil society or private sector who don’t agree with the NRM government but can not dare challenge it publicly like Mao did, when you ask them they claim they are looking for fees for their children, as if those who take the risk don’t have children, do such hiporcrites have the moral authority to blame Mao?
When Dr Besigye is on street demonstrating you enjoy watching him being beaten but can’t join him. When you see Gen Muntu speaking, you heap praises at him stating how he is an exceptional leader that Uganda needs, but you neither join his party nor contribute even a litre of fuel for him. When Bobi Wine told you to protect the votes, his polling agents were chased from polling stations when you were seeing & you kept mute, but somehow you want him to fight for you!
I have met many NRM MPs, councillors, LCVs, RDCs, who don’t believe in what NRM does, but they join because they want to eat!
Ugandan population is so disappointing and for the elites, it is worse. You are minding your own business but you want someone else to mind your business, isn’t that madness? You want someone else to fight for you but you don’t want to fight for yourself, isn’t that being bogus? You want a good country but you don’t want to take a risk, you think someone else is licenced to take a risk for you, what a delusion!
You even find the opposition MPs who recently took a 40 millon bribe bashing Mao for accepting Museveni’s job! You find people who never turn up to vote for opposition also blaming Mao! You find elites who have never even contributed 10,000 to an opposition political party also condemning Mao!
What about journalists who are bribed not to publish corruption scandals? What about religious leaders who have never used their platform to speak for the voiceless? What about the teachers who silently went to class to teach when others were on strike? What about the scientists who were jubilating when their arts counterparts were being discriminated? What about the voters who exchanged their vote by a piece of soap?
In such a deceptive country, who should cast the first stone against Mao? Before you condemn Mao for betraying the struggle, ask yourself what you have done for the struggle!
Are you an active participant? Are a spectator? Are you a supporter? Are you a leader? Are you a funder? Are you an informer? What is your role in the struggle for a new Uganda? Will the new Uganda find you in your comfort zone or you need to get in and participate?
If we keep in this deception & hipocricy, it’s precisely what we shall reap! Unless we appreciate that we all have a civic duty and equal stake in our country, we shall see many more betrayals! If the betrayals don’t come now the Mao type, they will come when opposition takes over power & you will find people having a sense of entitlement paying themselves off claiming that they sacrificed for you.
Will you enjoy seeing people in the next government steal public funds and asking you where you were when they were being tear gassed or arrested?
Better step in and make a contribution, when you own the struggle you also own the success!
The author is a member of the Alliance for National Transformation!