By president Yoweri Museveni
Since the general elections of last year, February, we have had seven Parliamentary by-elections. The NRM, its organizational weaknesses notwithstanding, has won five of the seven.
The NRM has won: Kamuli Municipality, Kagoma, Moroto District Woman (unopposed), Toroma and Upper Madi-Okolo. It has lost Aruu North and Kyadondo East to Independents.
I congratulate all those who were elected including the two Independents -Hon. Lucy Aciro of Aruu County North and Robert Kyagulanyi a.k.a. Bobi Wine of Kyadondo East.
The NRM wins most of those electoral contests, ever-since 1993 when we had Constituent Assembly (CA) elections, mainly because of the spontaneous goodwill of the population towards the Movement on account of its contribution to security and the economic recovery of the country. The NRM vision is correct and if only the NRM leaders and the civil servants could vigorously implement its programmes, the gaps that are still there would also be covered.
When the NRM wins the by-elections, the Press, including the New Vision, are not happy. They do not talk about the victories. It is when the NRM loses that the Press is happy. The radios, the newspapers devote alot of space and time.
This is not correct. The Press should be balanced. Otherwise, they will become part of the problem and not part of the solution.
The Press also misleads the people, especially the youth. After the Kyadondo by-election, for instance, the news-papers at least, spent alot of space and time talking about the youth but in a defective and confusing way.
Yes, the youth in Uganda today are 78% of the population, thanks to the Uganda families who are not lazy to have babies and the NRM that has improved some aspects of the health services and created security for those children, including the street children, to grow up, the social-economic problems they face notwithstanding. It is to the credit of the NRM that our slum-dweller children can today even make it to Parliament because those avenues are there.
Nevertheless, our esteemed editors and news persons need to know that when we talk about the management of society, we are not talking about biology only but also about ideology. What is the ideological position of those youth or those elders? Youth or elders are biological categories. They will not help society by themselves.
It is only when they espouse correct and accurate viewpoints vis a vis society, vis a vis the world, that they become part of the solution.
When Kabaka Mwanga slaughtered the new believers in 1885, he was 17 years old. He was a youth. At Independence in 1962, almost all the actors were youth. Mutesa was 38 years old, Obote was 37 years old etc. Some of the Ministers such as Ibingira, Nekyon etc., were 28 years old. Idi Amin at Independence was 37 years old. John Kakonge (who was UPC Secretary General at the time) was 26 years old. Belonging to the biological category of youth did not help them to solve the problems of the country. By 1966, the country was in a crisis.
In our own time, we were, of course, biologically youth. However, we took different ideological positions. Quite early on, by 1965, the youth I belonged to ideologically, took a position that, eventually, evolved the four principles of the NRM: patriotism (anti-sectarianism); Pan-Africanism; social-economic metamorphosis; and democracy. The other youth took the ideological position of sectarianism, parochialism and subservience to foreign interests.
Some of the youth on the other side joined the State Research and the UPC young supporters that were committing crimes against the population were actually called “Yusi” (youth).
Our respective positions were, eventually, tested in the field of battle (two wars ─ 1971-79 and 1981-86). Those who preached patriotism, who preached Pan-Africanism etc., won at a high cost.
Uganda recovered and built institutions following some of those principles. When our principles are followed, we succeed. Where they are not, we under-perform. It is, therefore, a pity to see media houses (including the New Vision) not helping our Youth to find their bearings.
The African people need prosperity and security. The NRM’s conclusion, after many years of study, is that it is the four principles that are and will guarantee these. Uganda already has peace for the first time in the last 500 years. It is because of some of the youth of the 1960s and 1970s that took a correct ideological position. What are these media houses telling the youth of today? The newspapers (including the New Vision) are telling our youth that biology is enough.