Last week, a well-known columnist penned a philosophy in his magazine about a missing intellectual voice in the governance and decision making structure of Uganda.
Key among the points to note in his thesis of why the state is continually failing to deliver is that, a crop of Ugandans who graduated top of their class, working in wealthy private sector firms are largely disinterested in Ugandan politics and public service that they have abandoned for the career-ly flawed, emotional and objectivity-lacking Ugandans who as dumb describes, end up in our public service, making it impossible for the nation to develop.
I maintain a modicum of respect for this columnist who has scaled a height in the journalism profession though he may not reciprocate it. So when he presents a philosophy as flawed, in my view, as this one, it is only deserving that a response be provided to enable an expansion on his thought process.
To begin with, I respect all views regardless of the personality, influence and position the person fronting them is from. I believe that all views have a strand of vitality to shaping this nation.
For example, native views, as colonialists termed them, were responsible for some of the most effective governance structures that ever existed in this country (Kabalega’s government, Muteesa’s strong Buganda government). To date, the loyalty and human happiness they provided to their following has not yet been experienced in Uganda.
Athenian democracy, for which all countries trade and embrace, was a shaping of native views towards the attainment of human satisfaction.
For someone to appreciate the views fronted by the unschooled or academically weak, as this columnist dubs them, one must understand the idea of governance.
Governments solely exist to afford and/or guarantee satisfaction (human happiness) for every loyal hardworking citizen. The formation of structures seeks to present opportunity for the governed to communicate to the governor who then acts, with the use of their resources, to solve the hurdles in attainment of their happiness.
When we continue to veil democracy or government as a hub for the elite in exclusion of the illiterates, we create social stratification along the lines of education, the same education which the elite have failed to guarantee for the illiterate as they continuously thrive on their hard-earned pennies. We cite for example the annual government scholarship intake to university centered on academic performance. The academic performance of a USE school in Kalangala, under-funded, poorly stocked library, unpaid teachers cannot be the same as Gayaza School for obvious reasons.
How it relates to leadership, when an M.P from Kalangala therefore meets a system drawn and structured by a Gayaza girl, clouded by the politics of policy and framework, the chances that he will shred through the pointers of happiness for his Kalangala people are as slim as the word gets.
This is however is not to say that the elite mass should feel guilty of their clout. As an elite mass, you would think that by now, with all their knowledge, should have figured out how to quicken our development. You would also think that by now, the multi-nationals for which they concentrate their brains rather than Ugandan politics would be the best in the economics world, sadly not.
MTN has been turning court doors battling a tax evasion case which has recently been withdrawn by the DPP, their exorbitant charges and poor service to their customers not to mention, Standard Chartered has been lending money to Ugandans at choking interest rates despite the BOU lowering the CBR to as low as 11%, Uganda breweries has ensured Ugandans drink themselves senseless in their numerous free alcohol campaigns and also sponsoring the clout of musicians that continue to decay the moral fabric, the Vision group of companies has recently introduced Ugandans to worst news in human acceptable history with their ‘Agataliiko nfuufu’ news programme and who are behind this? The missing intellectual voice.
In the time that the missing intellectual voice has been away, they have been fuelling the continued societal breakdown which the major fabric of Uganda journalists, for whom you term as having failed to make a good career professionally have been fired from their jobs whilst fighting.
Whilst equality remains a myth, to be seen to be equal has not yet eluded this country. Let us try to incorporate as many views as we can and gauge how effective they will be in moving this country beyond the bush-war stories and corrupt officials.