By Stanley Eroku
Lt.Gen Muhoozi Kainerugaba is without doubt becoming a person of high interest on Uganda’s political scene. There’s a lot of speculation in the corridors of parliament, some whispers are so loud. Some Members of Parliament led by Hon.Betty Nambooze, filled with raw misplaced anger are so scared to see Muhoozi on the ballot. Why is it so? The followers of MK as they call him have demonstrated high level organization capability.
In recent weeks, the debate over who will succeed President Museveni has become a point of political contention. But why debate about succession when H.E Yoweri Museveni still has stamina and a historical Pan-African mission to accomplish? NRA/M ascended to power through a popular people’s revolution that established a protracted development agenda over the years, Uganda’s stability is now guaranteed. Uganda today is headed towards the attainment of complete development in all sectors. Ugandans now for example, move from border to border connected by tarmac. It now takes me less than three hours to reach Soroti from Kampala through the world class Tirinyi-Pallisa-Kumi road, a journey that took me nearly nine hours in the past.
Our friends in the opposition have reportedly gone to court accusing Muhoozi of celebrating his birthday with his followers, why should Muhoozi be indicted for appearing in a party organized by generous wanainchi? What if he runs for president? Why shouldn’t he run? Who must run?
The minimal definition in institutional terms of a constitutional democracy is that it should provide for regularized systems of periodic elections with a free choice of candidates. This is exactly what NRM has guaranteed, that every after a term of office, Ugandans head to gazetted polling stations across the country to elect a candidate of their choice.
The NRM government has enabled competition by all political parties on level ground. The essence of the constitution is that it formalizes a set of fundamental norms governing the political community and determining the relations between the leaders and the people, and the interaction at the center of power. Political parties are instruments of constitutional democracy, they are the agency through which the electorate is involved in both the exercise and transfer of power.
Uganda’s political space today has more than 26 political parties where members of those political organizations determine who leads them. The constitution of Uganda under political objectives establishes democratic principles which empower and encourage active participation of all eligible citizens at all levels in their own governance. And that all citizens of Uganda shall have access to leadership positions at all levels subject to the constitution.
Lt.Gen Muhoozi Kainerugaba is free to run for any position including the highest office if he so wishes. Until recently, Lt.Gen Muhoozi kept a relatively low profile serving the country in the arena of ultimate sacrifice-UPDF. Speculation is mounting with some actors claiming that he’s preparing to run in the next elections. Social media has been awash with images of Muhoozi as he allegedly gathers support with some videos calling for his candidacy.
In the context of the region, former DRC president Laurent Kabila succeeded his father; Uhuru Kenyatta the incumbent president of Kenya is a son of Kenya’s founding president and the current President of DRC Felix Tshisekedi was elected to lead the Union for Democracy and Social Progress (UDSP) after his father, former Prime Minister Etienne Tshisekedi. We can also point out similar situations around the world particularly the USA where children of former presidents took on the same role, the Bush family.
There’s nothing inherently wrong with Lt.Gen Muhoozi eventually becoming president of Uganda. He should not be discredited because he’s the president’s son. Those that are against him should organize and defeat him on the ballot, if he chooses to contest.
The writer works with State House, Uganda.