My Generation's Mission: Salvaging Uganda

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Fanon believed every generation has destiny to fulfill

[Beyond Museveni: Letter from Gulu]

Time comes in the life of a nation when a people must either rise to the challenge and change the course of politics and history, and continue the good deeds of foregoing leaders or betray the cause of their generation by sitting idly and watching their country collapse.

In Uganda's case, the former is self evident. We must rise to and meet the challenge.

Therefore, if you are a Ugandan born in the late 1970s, the 1980s and 1990s, the time has come for us to rise and salvage our beloved, beautiful, resource-rich-nation from sinking deeper in the abyss of: unemployment; untold suffering and misery; poverty and indignity; kleptocracy; mismanagement; lack of social services; and, so forth.

As young people, we have only one choice on our hands-- to organize and change the course of events in Uganda. History has not given us the luxury of having many options from which to choose in terms of what to do with our lives in relation to shaping the future of our country. We must seize the moment and alter the political trajectory. It is an inescapable responsibility we owe to our beloved motherland.

We can't be daily witnesses to the man-made suffering of our people and choose to do nothing about it. It is criminal and treasonable for our generation not to fix the calamitous unemployment problem, the ailing health system, the education system which has and continues to bury the futures of millions of Ugandan children. It is immoral to say the least, for our generation to choose to do nothing about the humiliating poverty and life of indignity afflicting fellow countrymen.

We can't and must never allow the perpetuation of grotesque corruption scandals orchestrated by the ruling oligarchy under Gen. Yoweri Museveni's 31-years regime, the consequence of which has been a complete break-down in the delivery of social services.

We must never allow the government to be the one to determine when, how and with whom we speak or interact. We can't and should never allow the perpetuation of unfair distribution of opportunities and resources based on sectarian considerations; and let us not seek to victimize those who have benefited from this unfairness, for it is not their mistake. Let us seek to correct the mistake-- for ours and future generations.

We however, need to be clear about what needs to be done and how we should do it to bring about the change that we so desperately need as a country. We must avoid violent methods in their entirety. Our country has in the past bled profusely because of violent methods employed in trying to resolve political questions, only for the same issues to reappear again and again.

The corollary is that violence hasn't and won't sustainably resolve our political problems. We must do three things: organize, organize and organize.

And how do we organize? If you belong to a political party like I do, ensure that you do the following: Mobilize, Organize, Educate/Train and Build (MOEB). In mobilizing, we are basically looking for numbers to do what needs to be done. In organizing, we design appropriate messages, and deploy our human resources according to tasks that need to be accomplished. In educating, we instill the requisite skills needed to get the job done. When we have done those three things, then we shall be sure that we have built a machine that can effect change.

As the great Pan-African and liberation theorist Frantz Fanon put it many years ago, "Each generation must, out of relative obscurity, discover its mission, fulfill it, or betray it".

Different generations of Ugandans have played different roles in the course of our short history as a nation-state. During colonialism, a generation of Ugandans under the leadership of people like I.K Musaazi, Dr. Apollo Milton Obote, Mr. Benedicto Kiwanuka, and others., rose to the occasion and fought for independence. After nearly 20 years of intense struggle, they attained independence for Uganda.

Thereafter, they had to contend with the teething problems of nation building --forging national unity and patriotism, developing human resources to meet the challenges of the time, building health, education and communication infrastructure, and other challenges.

Our independence leaders did their utmost best under the circumstances to resolve the challenges.

In fairness much of the work of building the new nation and consolidating independence should have fallen on the shoulders of the next generation. The earlier icons had fulfilled their mission of ushering in independence.

Gen. Yoweri Museveni's generation should have built on the earlier achievements even with inherited shortcomings. But Museveni's generation short-changed us.

Instead of resolving the outstanding post independence challenges and consolidating the gains, after Gen. Museveni seized political power for the sake of accumulating material wealth and self aggrandizement.

Because of this, going by Fanon's assertion, the generation of the Norbert Maos, the Noble Mayombos, and others, got lost and couldn't fulfill their generational mission which, in my opinion, was supposed to have been taking Uganda to the middle-income economic status.

Now it is our turn. Our generation must therefore, salvage our nation from hedonism, incompetence, the culture of theft, and gross mismanagement of the Museveni generation.

We must overcome the poverty stricken life, indignity, misery and general suffering inflicted by the Museveni regime and , fulfill our mission.

We must never lose sight of our cardinal mission and build enduring institutions of governance-political party institutions, government institutions and state institutions.

These institutions will check the excesses, frailties and failures of mortal souls so that we can never again have a Museveni.

This will in addition, create the necessary environment for the birth of strong socio-economic, cultural and religious institutions that will consolidate institutional governance, a sine quo non for Happy Birthday! transformation of any nation.

We must therefore, as a generation, live for, commit to and pursue this mission with reckless abandon.

This we must.

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