Before you go all Rambo on me and shoot me down first hear me out. I am against all the evil we are experiencing under this government. These evils are and not limited to Corruption, foolish ideas, poor planning, lack of creativity, lack of innovation, an enormous debt burden, human rights abuse, abuse of office, forgetting the poor and nepotism etc. Despite these evils I am saying it’s not the government’ fault we are where we are. Why?
One bad trait we have as Ugandans is that when something goes wrong we are quick to apportion blame. We are gifted fault finders who spend less time trying to find solutions to our challenges. As we talk now, the biggest challenge every Ugandan alive should overcome to be able to succeed in Uganda legally is to overcome the challenge of BAD LEADERSHIP.
The level of bad leadership that we have as a country is so alarming that the World Health Organization should recognise it as a deadly illness. Blaming the government (bad leaders) for our problems doesn’t turn them into good leaders and worse still it doesn’t change or help our problems.
During my work in the rural underprivileged of the underprivileged communities in Iganga district I learnt something that has changed my perspective on the expectations I have from my government. I met a young boy of about 8 years who was abandoned by the mother and left with a drunkard of a father. The father is passed out all day from the previous night of drinking. The father though visible is absent from his life.
I was amazed that this little boy had learnt how to cook for himself using firewood. ( this is something many millennial kids cannot dare attempt). When he falls sick he takes himself to see a nurse on the village and completes the dose without any supervision. He takes himself to school and does little menial jobs for people in exchange for little money or meals.
Now the parents of this little one are clearly bad parents (bad leaders) but this little one in order to survive he has had to compensate for lack of good leadership and he has transformed himself into the good leader he requires.
Why can’t we as Ugandans become the good leadership we desire. Why can’t you at an individual level become a good leader to yourself and overcome the handicap (government) we all face. Why don’t you pursue your dreams? Why not write that book, start that business, propose to that lady or travel to that place.
Because President Museveni and his government can never stop that genius in you, they cannot frustrate that idea you have and they do not stop you from writing that business plan. If they have turned their backs on us the future investors and concentrated on foreign investors should we sit home and wait till the day they will wake up to realise that it’s us who have to build our country and not outsiders.
“Tusobola okwekolamu omulimu” (amongst ourselves we can do great work) we Ugandans have a bigger voice, more money and more say in this country than our government.
We cannot resign ourselves to the incompetences of our bad leaders and just lie down lamenting but we can rise up and do something positive for ourselves and communities.
As a good leader of myself I have started paying school fees for abandoned children in one of the communities in rural Iganga. Really because by the time government comes to help these poor communities most will have grown into the criminals who are recking havoc across the country. My way of fighting crime is by preventing someone from turning into a criminal in the first place and i achieve this by keeping them in school.
I do not have the political connections to make government fund my initiative and i have no backing from any NGO but with my little money I want to keep these little ones in school. Let me be the good leadership these little ones need. It’s better to buy a book of 700Ugx/$0.2 for these rural kids than to organize a massive protest against government.
I personally have no memory of an old boy or old girl who has turned into a criminal. The more educated a community is the less criminals it has.
Maybe education is not your thing but there is a positive action any Ugandan can take to undermine bad leadership in our communities.
It’s because of this way of thinking that i can comfortably say that Museveni isn’t responsible for our success or failure. We Ugandans are responsible for our success or failure to a large extent. If we are to sit and wait for the perfect government we are going to die poor and our grandchildren will inherit that poverty.
Edison Simon Waya is a Ugandan blogger and entrepreneur.