President Yoweri Museveni has said that Uganda became a failed state shortly after gaining independence from Britain in 1962 because of the politics of identity.
“Uganda became a failed state because of the politics of identity. What do people need? They need prosperity. This is through economic activities. One must produce and sell what he produces best. Prosperity is achieved when products are bought,” he said.
Museveni made the remarks on Sunday during a lecture he presented to 109 senior officers of the Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF), the Police and the Uganda Prisons Services at State House, Entebbe.
The officers are attending a 70-day political and leadership course at the National Leadership Institute (NALI) in Kyankwanzi district, according to a statement issued from State House.
Museveni, who is the Commander-in-Chief of the army, reminded the officers of the need to appreciate ideology and strategy. He said ideology is like medicine, adding that if one is a medical doctor, his job is to diagnose the ailment afflicting the patient before recommending a prescription.
Museveni said when the National Resistance Movement (NRM) did a diagnosis of Uganda’s affairs, it was observed that the pre-colonial society was organized defectively, which led to colonialism. He noted that in 1912, the African National Congress (ANC) was launched in South Africa as the first political party in Africa.
The African National Congress, he said, identified the reasons why kings failed in their roles of protecting people. Museveni said when the NRM came to power, it was already aware of the fact that discrimination does not solve anything.
Museveni noted that at the time of independence, Uganda had two unprincipled rivalries along tribes and religion, adding that in 1962, voting was done along religious lines, which led to none of the parties winning a majority and, inevitably, this led to a coalition between Uganda People’s Congress (UPC) and Kabaka Yekka.
However, the alliance was short-lived. Principles of ideology The President stressed that the first principle that citizens should appreciate is patriotism because it serves everybody’s interests. He noted that patriotism is anti-sectarianism and goes a long way in fighting backwardness.
Museveni reminded participants that Uganda also needs to be in the East African and the African economic blocs to ensure a good market for our products because pan-Africanism forms a strong pillar of our prosperity.
He further told the officers that social economic transformation forms another vital principle and that prosperity is premised on modern production. Museveni also noted that democracy was a major component in the promotion and advancement of society.
He said NRM worked along these principles of ideology in its revolution.