Politics

Surly speeches pleasing innocent ears

Lucrative promises are wandering on streets

Misled folks are again being misguided by Flirty tongues

Leaders are leading illiterate masses into 5-year long demise

Development and progress are in pages only

It’s time for them to sow seeds of five years looting plans

Causing among people black pepper in their blood

Politics of sourness

Politics of religion

Politics in leaving no fields untouched

This whole arena of sacred country smells foul with foulness of Unschooled leaders

Upcoming governance is about to put on shoes

Alluring the so called ” credulous pets”

Lies and blames are part of mentality

I don’t find talk of serenity in any anthem of my country’s pride

Hybridity is in each leader’s doing and showing

Millions and millions are gulped and another millions of masses die untreated at the gates

At the eleventh hour of governance farmers are remembered

It’s easy to befool in Uganda where waves of propaganda(media), favors the weightage of time.

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Group Dictatorship or also People’s Choice?

This may not be a very peculiar or so easy thing to say in a country like Uganda but recently I have realized that we live in a dictatorship. It is no longer what it set out to be.

When the people who govern the nation, even though elected, make laws that do not apply to them, raise their own salaries, have their own healthcare and retire with all the benefits they have been living under while in office then it is not a democracy or a democratic republic. It is a dictatorship by a group.

Dictatorship in this instance refers to an autocratic form of absolute rule by leadership unrestricted by laws, constitutions, or other social and political factors within the state. (I found this on the web with no attribution, sounds similar to what is happening in Uganda today)

This is certainly not what the founders envisioned. They thought that representatives of the people would serve for a while and return home to their lives. There was no intention that they would live out their lives in government.

Too bad it didn’t work out that way. The President and Members of Parliament have the reigns (power) in their hands and there is no safeguard in the constitution to revoke the process. It doesn’t seem to be an issue for the Supreme Court, our third safeguard, but maybe it could be in some way.

I am not a government expert but I have asked some who are if there is any way that the people can demand a national amendment by themselves. They have told me no. If this is so then the only recourse is revolution which none of us want.

I don’t see any way to dis-empower those running the show (in this case). And really, would you vote to take all these things away from yourself? The fox is definitely guarding the hen house. And Ugandans seem to comfortably sit back and watch over this.

The nation is so divided at this point (close look at the current infights in the opposition and the NRM) I doubt that any consensus could be found and most people are too complacent to do anything. Somehow no matter party or any affiliation we must make some major changes. This is an issue for us all.

We can no longer see ourselves as a “democratic republic” but an Empowered Group Dictatorship. What do we do now?

Society by habit, privilege, bribery, and propaganda consent to rule under habitual submission, but there are always those who will understand the reality of the situation, and who feel the weight of the yoke and cannot restrain themselves from attempting to shake it off. These are the people who possess clear and farsighted minds, and have further trained them by study and learning.

Such people never quite disappear from the world, Even if liberty had entirely perished from the earth, such men would invent it.” So there is hope, for heroic leaders can arise who will not fail to deliver their country from evil hands when they set about their task with a firm, whole-hearted and sincere intention.

They must form the educational leadership through a process of educating the public to the truth, they will give back to the people the knowledge and value of liberty and reduce the myths and illusions fostered by the State.

The unnatural lives lived by the despots and their hierarchy of servers. For their lives are miserable and fearful and not happy. Tyrants live in constant and perpetual fear of the well-deserved hatred they know is borne them by almost every one of their subjects.

The “Sellouts” or favorites live miserable, crawling, cringing lives every moment of which is bent on fawning upon the ruler on whom they depend. Eventually, as enlightenment spreads among the public, the privileged favorites will begin to realize the true misery of their lot, for all their wealth can be seized from them at any moment should they fall out of step in the race for the favors of the tyrant or the anger of the people.

When they finally “look at themselves as they really are, they realize clearly that the poor Ugandans whom they trample under foot and treat worse than convicts or slaves are nevertheless, in comparison with themselves, better off and fairly free to choose.

The spread of facts and enlightenment among the public will not only generate enthusiasm among the masses, but will also aid immeasurably in bring a portion of the disaffected privileged bureaucracy and military along as they see the advantage of freedom from extreme exploitation.

The writer is a Journalist, Public Relations Practitioner and Activist for Social Justice.

Politics and Conflict of Interest

Away from the Rwanda-Uganda diplomatic ties which I assume the miracle worker (God) will step in and calm the situation, let’s let’s talk about us and our political leaders.

Some may say that a successful politician is the one who manages to convince everyone that they are the right person for the job, even while everything is going wrong.

Who knows, perhaps there is some truth to this. If you are a politician reading this, feel free to comment. Anyway, we are headed for the election season not so long from now. 2021 is just clocking in a twinkle of an eye. There’s lots of talk about all kinds of things. Which is commendable.
This is the time to debate different views.

However, when a candidate drops by uninvited and upsets some of the nicest people in town, I think that is not acceptable.
When people from certain areas of the region are looked down upon simply because of where they live, that is not productive.

When we have some serious issues being raised, such as conflict of interest issues (there’s more than one, look closely they aren’t that hard to find), now is the time to discuss them and to resolve them in some way if possible. Not brush them off. After someone is elected, it is ethical to recuse yourself, however, a person doesn’t have to leave a meeting unless asked to do so, and the only way to enforce this is to go to court though justice through Ugandan courts of law is just a myth. It’s better and cheaper to deal with it now.

There were many wrongs done in the past, however, what’s done is done. If we want a reasonable future, we should start thinking of what could be, how can we make this work? Not about what should’ve been way back when.

If we want social programs to survive, we need to increase the tax base. Do we need to increase population too?? Think about it.

If we really want people to keep moving here, then we should be welcoming people who already are moving here. Not upsetting them. If they are different then us, so what? They’re willing to come here and live with us, to suffer through a Canadian winter with us, to contribute to our community, why wouldn’t we make them welcome?

If we are serious about settling down the hurts and perceived wrongs done in the past, from one area of the voting area to another, if we are serious about attracting new business, we need to have a political process that is fair and unbiased to everyone in the entire region…and it must be seen to be fair and unbiased to all citizens and to the entire region.

Now that I’ve made my own political speech. I’m not asking you to vote for me. I’m suggesting that we as community members hold these people running accountable. When they come to our doors, ask them real questions about the real issues at hand. Ask them how they plan to accomplish what they are promising to do. Don’t just vote for someone because they talk smooth or are your brother-in-law’s long time friend from way back.

On the presidential level I feel like we won’t make a difference if the opposition (heads) carry on with these dog-puppy fights. They wont be productive in any way. However, in the rest of the fields we really can make a difference.
It’s obvious, our community has been in decline, if we really want change, we need to get serious about making it better.

We need to stop making excuses or waiting for some miracle worker to come along and fix it for us.

Let’s study the real issues.
Let’s ask real questions.
Let’s encourage a high standard of integrity among the people who want to represent us.

Thoughts on Journalism, Persuasion and Politics

I often discuss politics but I find it difficult to ignore how the way we perceive politics, politicians, truth, and the media has changed over the past few years. Maybe this has been a shift that’s been happening for awhile and I’m only starting to become aware of it, but regardless I think it’s worth responding to. My concern is not with the politics themselves, but with how we as voters and citizens engage with the democratic process and how we discuss politics with others. Hence this article! I truly hope some of the discussion points here are helpful.

* Think carefully about where you get your news from.

One of the unfortunate side-effects of social media is its ability to become an echo-chamber, and this carries over into your news sources. This is especially true when you primarily get your news from one source or only a few sources, especially if those sources are controlled by one company. If that source is partisan, it can lead you to distrust other news sources. Once one news source controls most of where you get your news and what news you trust, you’re in a dangerous place indeed.

What to do about it: Diversify where you get your news and doing a bit of research as to how partisan your news source is.

* How you engage with people is more important than what you discuss.

If you belittle someone online and make fun of their views, they’re more likely to dig in deeper. If you really believe that what you have to say is worth people knowing, you need to be gentle and wise about how you engage with people. Take conversations offline where possible. When online, remember that text is ambiguous both for you and who you’re talking to.

So don’t be a terrible person online (or in person). If you really believe your ideas are important, you should care about how they are communicated. Awful people are rarely persuasive.

* Don’t get all your political information from social media or comedians.

The modern age has seen a withdrawal from engagement in politics and policies. This gap has been filled by more popularized forms of news coming from a wider range of more partisan sources.

This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It’s helped many people become engaged in politics, and it has encouraged many people to look at policies who otherwise may not have. The problem is that these kinds of sources should not be the only place you get your news. By popularizing, humoring, or polarizing the news, they paint an incomplete picture of the world.

Therefore, don’t get all your political information from social media or comedians. They say reinforcement helps.

* Be humble, but be wise.

Know what you know and be prepared to admit what you don’t. That being said, there’s a line you have to walk between being admitting what you don’t know and being a pushover. Try not to get confused or feel scared when someone seems to know more than you. Sometimes people try to hide poor reasoning behind big words.

So be prepared to admit when you are unsure of something. Just be honest. And if you get the sense someone is trying to hide behind facts and words and muddy the issue, ask clarifying questions until you can get clearer answers from them. This a) helps them understand and communicate their ideas better and b) helps to highlight where they have been unclear.

* Think carefully about being a one-issue voter.

Sometimes a particular policy can become really important to us, especially if the policy strongly represents one of our values. This might tempt us to vote for a politician solely on the basis of that policy, which is understandable when it’s so near and dear to our hearts.

The problem, though, is that a politician and party stand for a diverse set of policies which are all important for deciding the direction of a country, and there is no single policy that establishes that. Rather, the overall stance of the party and the pressures placed on the President may end up being far more significant than the platform a particular politician runs on. And, of course, there’s always the chance a politician will backflip and decide that that policy of yours is no longer a priority.

Therefore, we’ve got to consider the overall stance of the party and take a campaigning politician’s promises with a grain of salt. Make sure you consider all the angles before becoming a one-issue voter.

* Don’t believe stereotypes until you know a ‘type’ personally.

Before you make broad judgements about a people group, it’s helpful to know some people from that group. So before you make big sweeping statements about people, make sure you know a few of them first.

So know people personally before you typecast them.

* The other side of politics from you aren’t vicious or demonic

Quite often I’ve observed people misrepresenting each other and talking down to each other when having political conversations. And when someone has a choice to interpret someone charitably or uncharitably, they seem to choose uncharitably every time. It’s why many have shied away from engaging online. The distance online interaction creates means you’re more likely to get away with awful behavior you’d never do in person.

So comrades when you read something that angers you, take a step back. Do you really believe that person is deliberately pushing your buttons? Is there another way of interpreting what they’ve said?

* Resist the tendency to dig in when you hear plausible objections.

When you have discussions with people often there are others lurking, and this creates pressure to try and appear like you have it all together or that you’re always right. Obviously that environment doesn’t make for a great discussion you’ll be too tempted to dig in and try to defend yourself when someone makes a valid point. This is a pretty well-established psychological fact about human beings when presented with credible information counter to what we believe, that can often make us dig deeper into our own views. This happens even if you secretly think the person you’re chatting with is right. Basically, it results in as cognitive dissonance or motivated reasoning (it’s also known as the backfire effect) you seek out things you want to believe and try to ignore things you don’t.

Therefore, when you encounter arguments that oppose what you believe, before reacting, try to think first about how valid their argument is. If they haven’t phrased it well try to make it into its strongest possible version and think about it fairly. Don’t nitpick on one poor word choice, get a sense of what they mean and respond to that. Resist the urge to fight back because you don’t want to be seen as foolish. I have far greater respect for the person that says ‘I don’t know’ than the person that makes up a response to sound credible.

* Not always being able to change minds is not an excuse for not engaging.

If I try to convince people and they only dig in deeper, why try to engage or persuade or clarify what you won’t believe at all?

Well, think about voting. By that logic, you shouldn’t vote. One vote isn’t going to make a difference in who gets elected or not, so why bother. If everyone used your reasoning, however, then no one would vote.

I think you have a responsibility to yourself to engage with society about what you believe. It’s part of what makes democracy great.

So; Engage. Interact. Persuade. Don’t just disengage because it’s hard sometimes.

* Even politicians occasionally deserve the benefit of the doubt. Soundbites aren’t always helpful.

As much fun as it is to get clips of politicians saying contradictory things, this isn’t very charitable. You might say they’re politicians, they lie all the time, they don’t deserve charity. But this isn’t about what they deserve, it’s about what the country deserves. Help to lift the discussion where possible.

* Listen, understand, then speak.

We have a tendency to start forming our own response to someone while they’re still speaking. Stop that. You’ll be more likely to misrepresent someone if you jump in while they’re still figuring out what they’re trying to say.

Seek first to understand then you will be understood it’s a great aphorism for a reason. Don’t misrepresent people. Listen carefully and really try to understand what someone is saying before you jump in with a response.

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Today’s prayer

Dear Heavenly Father,

I thank you for inspiring me today to be service conscious and to be motivated by the dream of impacting others with the investment of my personality.

I pray that there will be increased progress and development in all sectors of my country.

I ask for the supply of your Grace and the wisdom to know and do what is required for my nation Uganda to experience growth and development according to your good intent.

And I pray that you will grant me increased wisdom and grace to serve you and those for whom Christ died, in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Democracy

Champion of the People or Failed Ideal

In today’s world, we consider democracy to be the best, most ideal system, a system unlike any other built on the foundations of freedom of choice for all, a system that gives a nation’s entire population the ability to determine who they want to lead them and their nation going into the future. From the time we start diving into learning about politics and political systems in school, to studying politics and taking political science courses in college, to when we are old and kicking back to watch updates on politics on the news, the notion that we live in a democracy that gives the citizens freedom of choice and that democracy is the best system that exists and can exist is constantly reinforced in our daily lives. In this essay, we will be exploring what democracy means and really is, the arguments for and against democracy, whether or not we currently live in a democracy in Uganda and finally, my thoughts and conclusions on whether or not democracy truly is the champion that we’re being sold, or a failed ideal.

Democracy : A system of government by the whole population or all the eligible members of a state, typically through elected representatives. A system where citizens may exercise their power by voting to elect their own representatives.

The main forms of democracy that we commonly see and have seen in the past are :

Direct Democracy

Representative Democracy

Social Democracy

Authoritarian Democracy

Arguments For Democracy :

First, let’s look at why democracy is seen as a preferable system.

Those that argue in favour of democracy bring up democracy as their preferred system and the best possible system mainly because democracy advertises itself to be an accountable and transparent form of government. Democracy encourages citizens to engage with their system and vote for those who will best represent them in the future, giving power to the people but also enabling them to speak their minds and disagree with the way things are as they exercise their freedom of speech and expression. Expanding on the topic of freedom of choice, speech and expression, democracy is also argued to be the best when dealing with differences and conflicting views, as disagreements are ideally solved civilly without any violence or other potentially damaging actions. Those for democracy also argue that a democratic system of government is the best way to ensure that all citizens are accounted for as it enhances the dignity of it’s citizens and ensures political equality by giving those from every background, class, colour, creed, religion, etc the chance to decide what is best for them. Those that argue on behalf of democracy see it as ideal as it is also the most pragmatic and suited system for Uganda as they argue it best way of guaranteeing and ensuring the creation and preservation of the general populations’ civil liberties.

Those that argue against democracy like to bring up the argument that you do not need democracy to build and run a “successful” nation. Many point out systems in present day such as China, a country that is successful by many standards; that a government is best run not by the people, but by a collective of individuals that truly serve and represent the interests of the people. Others like to look at history and point out that democracy is a historical fluke boosted and made successful through the industrial revolution and the post-World War Two rebuild. The argument is made that examples such as the Roman Empire, Ancient China, Ancient Egypt, the Islamic Abbasid Caliphate, Nazi Germany and The Soviet Union, despite how short of time these powers were present in the world, all achieved strength, success on many degrees and recognition as a powerhouse without possessing a democratic “for the people by the people” system. Another common argument that is brought up against democracy quite frequently is the populations’ level of knowledge or lack of the political system and how it is dangerous in the long run. Those that aren’t fully knowledgeable of their domestic political system are more likely to cast their vote towards things they find personally/psychologically attractive as opposed to meaningfully voting based on issues that they really care about. Time and time again within democracies results from numerous conducted studies show that people simply do not know nor care enough about the real issues at hand within their countries, democracy practically relies on it’s citizens to make rational and informed decisions, very rarely is this the case and we most often not see citizens being duped or tricked into voting against their own interests. The last argument commonly made (which those that are pro-democracy even acknowledge) is the level of polarization, division and tension that democracy can cause, as citizens are expected to vote while being “respectful to others and informed” while what REALLY happens is increased division within the population and increased hostility towards those that think and choose differently.

Do we really live in a democracy?

Today, especially within Uganda we are told that we are given a choice, that we have the opportunity and even the privilege to participate in a democracy where our votes are accounted for and we have the ability to determine who leads and represents our interests going into the future. Now on a surface level, we do in fact live in a democratic system in Uganda as we are able to vote and make choices based on our best interests as voting extends not only to “presidency” and all positions alike, but other key elected positions and sometimes issues as well. If we are to dig deeper into this question however, we can quickly find that what is being sold to us really isn’t the case whatsoever and the reality being that we have never lived in a democratic environment. Within these self-proclaimed “democratic systems” a common theme that is usually seen is the presence of the “multi-party” political systems where different parties have any shot at winning an election every cycle. Now this wouldn’t actually be that bad if there were actual huge differences and contrasting qualities between each party, but more often, when the people cast their vote, no matter who they elect, the citizens end up getting the same politics, treatment, unkept promises and false hope, all with a few nuances here and there of course. For example, the NRM (National Resistance Movement) and the FDC (Forum for Democratic Change) are often pointed out as political parties that believe in almost entirely the same things, as their platforms are practically the same despite a few nuances. What one party does in one election cycle, the other will progress and adapt to their party dogma the next in order to win votes, resulting in absolutely no change or no opportunity for people to elect anything different. What the general population fail to realize time and time again is that those that are “representing” the political parties that they choose to support, whether these representatives are party leaders, notable officials or even the president themselves, they are all being funded and have money fuelled into them by the same corporate entities, “philanthropists”, special interest groups and lobbyists.

These political donors, while some have their own causes that they try to push through politicians, many of the most notable come from either corporate backgrounds or the ironic category of “philanthropists” that usually pay off political parties and their politicians to propagate their message while encouraging them to keep the system how they personally like it or want it going forwards into the future. Because politics has become so donor and corporate wealth controlled to the point that the wealthiest can essentially puppet every single party and get them to do what they please, is it really accurate to say that we the people have any choice, that the concept of “choice” isn’t just some facade we’re purposely kept under? In some cases this is not always true as we have national and more so local elections as an example.

In theory, democracy is a perfect idea, a government determined by the people is an ideal where the most benefit and ensure that their voice has worth and isn’t suppressed. When capital and wealth take over politics and control those who are supposed to represent the people and what they want however, this is practically anything but democracy. I support the idea of democracy, but it is woefully idealistic as citizens are generally too uneducated about their system and the issues at hand, they do not vote in their best interests and can be easily tricked and to top it off democracy is too easily corruptible as we often see politicians paid off to represent certain values they may not even support themselves.

During this essay on whether democracy is the champion of the people or a failed ideal, the definition of democracy was briefly explored as well as the different types of democracy, we then looked at some of the key arguments for and against democracy before getting into my thoughts and one of the more important questions posed in this essay “Do we really live in a democracy?”. I believe that democracy, while it has the potential to be the champion of the people, it has become a failed ideal in present day. What was supposed to serve as a way for the people to give their voice, has completely dissipated into a corporate and donor money controlled quagmire rife with broken promises, increased hostility and division within the civilian population all the while being absent of any sort of potential for systemic change. Furthermore, it is questionable whether or not democracy is sustainable on a national level with multiple different competing interest groups to begin with, as direct democracy or even representative democracy within small communities can without a doubt work to a degree, but nations full of millions will always result in a large collective of those feeling as if their interests aren’t being represented. As always, there are a lot of opinions both for and against democracy as it is and always has been a popular topic to debate, even though there are great arguments for both sides, the question still remains : Is Democracy the champion of the people or a failed ideal?

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A Better Place

Thoughts on humanity, Utopia and Politics

I am known for talking politics publicly. Though it’s one of the those things some people never talk about socially. But every now and then you have to speak your conscience like I do.

“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil was that good men should do nothing.”- Edmund Burke

I agree. I also think you can easily add ‘to remain silent’. If someone was being beaten and you stood by and neither said nor did anything to stop them, you would be as guilty as the aggressor, wouldn’t you? It’s within the nature of human beings to respond, to react; at least, I still have hope that it is, but I can certainly understand why so many look at the world today and shake their heads with despair. I do.

We are all unique and have different strengths and individual natures. My nature, as many of yours, leans very strongly towards empathy, compassion and being passionate about social justice. When a child cries, I immediately need to know if they are alright and so is with adults. When someone is hungry, I want to give them something to eat. When my fellow journalist or any other Ugandan is mistreated I cry in agony. There are So Many Innocent victims who suffer in silence because they can do nothing else.

But surely we can; I know we are surrounded by violence and hatred and despicable acts I can barely comprehend, but are we not also surrounded by people of a similar nature and spirit as our own? Are there not just as many longing for some good in this world as there are those who are aggressors and violators? Where does it end? If we want Peace, do we not need to become Peaceful? If we long for Love, should we not first Love?

I say all this as a preface because what I really mean to say is that I look at our government and feel such anger. I watch their inaction in monumental proportion and rage against the cold machinery of it all. I listen to each side trying to prop up their greed and dishonesty with even greater deceptions and avarice while I long for just one good person to stop doing Nothing.

What would it take for ‘one representative of the people’ to say “I refuse to let this continue.” Kudos to the dedicated honourable members of Parliament who stood with the poor Ugandans when the rouge regime moved to rape our constitution. But did they stop it anyway? At the least they did something.

What might it mean for one to say, ‘If hundreds of thousands of Ugandans are jobless especially the youths or civil servants not being paid because we cannot find a way to practice democracy and come to a compromise, than neither shall I take pay.”

How much good could it possibly do if we stood together as a community, rallying round each other in support of one another, rather than finding offense in everything someone may or may not say or do; rather than faulting them for perceived wrongs or disagreeing with them simply for the sake of feeling stronger, more powerful, or bigger?

Utopia. The Dream within the Dream.

Or is it a dream? Why must it be only a dream? Why can’t it be more? Why, in this time of chaos and calamity, can’t we stand shoulder to shoulder as people and Demand Change or better?

Perhaps because until chaos and calamity hits our own front door, we are free to look away, shake our heads and say whatever we feel like saying against the absurdity of it all. Perhaps, until one of our very own is affected personally, is tortured, or denied the basic necessities over an argument that, in reality, is merely a show-piece for posturing and pretence, it is too easy to employ apathy.

If we could feel the pain of a stranger as deeply as we feel the need of a loved one, the world would truly begin to be a better place. If we want Peace, we need to become Peaceful. If we long for Love, we must first Love. Therefore, if we want a purified and better Uganda then we must first be dedicated citizens.

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