By Stephen Twinoburyo
This was my pondering during one of the online debates I was engaged in:
After reading the recent posts, I have been thinking, really thinking.
There has been so much pressure on Mat from the debaters here because he agrees that some things have gone wrong but maintains that he would want to remain within the NRM and criticise it from within. After looking at the above correspondence and reading Mat’s submission, some questions have come to my mind: what political systems do we want in Uganda, what do we want to happen to our parties especially the NRM that is in power now, what do we want Mat to do and is there a possibility that he can play a positive role within the NRM? These are genuine questions I have pondered upon.
I don’t belong to the NRM and don’t expect to join it but why I ask this question is, do we want the NRM to disband or the NRM to reform? If we want the NRM to disband, is it the culture we want for our parties or do we want it to begin with NRM? I note that UPC which was extremely loathed was able to reform and come back as a born-again party, is it then not possible that NRM in or out of power can be reformed? I think the biggest problem with the NRM now are the players – like Museveni and some of his people. If the bad apples came out of the NRM, couldn’t the NRM possibly reform? Parties like the ANC have gone through great changes, including throwing out leaders that were deemed to pull the party down, and Mandela came to prominence within the party as a youth because he led a move that cleaned out disfunctional and retrogressive garbage. For instance if I am not happy with the way Obama is running the US, would I want the democratic party dissolved or a change of leadership? Or should the Republican party have been disbanded after Bush’s blunders? There were surely many within the republican party that were unhappy with Bush’s handling of office.
This then brings me to Mat, and other ‘independent thinkers’ that may be in the NRM. What role can they play within the NRM? Couldn’t they be the drivers of change within the party? I think that’s what people like Mat are saying. So my other question now becomes, is quitting the NRM the only option available to NRM supporters than may think the party leaders are not doing well or can these people be drivers of change from within? But then, if they are to be drivers of change, looking at the ruthlessness and craftiness of those that wield power within the party, can these ‘independent thinkers’ manage to push the change?
I think now my thinking has stopped again. I will take a break and think again later.