Louis XIV [5 September 1638 – 1 September 1715] brought France to its peak of absolute power and his words when he said ‘I am the state and the state is me’ expressing the spirit of a rule in which the king held all power.
Centuries later, Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni, according to a Makerere professor, is emulating the same.
Dr. Daniel Ruhweza is an Advocate and an Associate Lecturer at the Department of Law and Jurisprudence, School of Law, Makerere University.
Appearing on NBS TV on Wednesday while NRM celebrated its 30 years in power, Ruhweza said the ruling party’s greatest failure is in institution building.
He faulted the president for failing ensure that institutions have the capacity to do their job.
“Mr. Museveni has created a system where he is relied on for everything. Even opening boreholes!”
Ruhweza said the NRM has also failed to usher in a succession talk.
“Anyone who comes up to run is seen as an enemy,” citing the case of former Prime Minister, Amama Mbabazi, who has been hounded for standing against Museveni.
Mbabazi says he didn’t have power, Ruhweza noted, adding, “When you analyse that claim, given the president’s role, there’s truth in it”.
He said even the current legal regime supports the ruling regime.
“We need to have a discussion on rule of law and term limits.”
There have been cases in which courts are seen ruling in favour of NRM when its sued for breaking the law.
Ruhweza agreed that the incumbent benefits from incumbency, which elevates him over fellow candidates.
“We need to have a discussion on this.”
Ruhweza said Museveni is only investing in those areas that will help sustain the ruling government’s stay in power.
“We need go beyond simply providing roads et al. There needs to be something much more that comes out of a new road.”
“Currently, we are teaching our students to think beyond the law and ask how what they learn can help transform Uganda.”
The don said the education system needs to change and that Ugandans should be thinking beyond the box of colonial education.
“NRM government needs to invest in a cultural change and people need to move away from the phrase “Tusaba Gavumenti Etuyambe” to ‘Wekoledde wo kki?”
He said the NRM shows what could have been achieved had NRM stuck to original plans.
“When you invest in human capital, you encourage them to think about how to make money.”
“You can’t give UGX10m to someone who has never had a business idea. NAADS et al should have been invested better.”
According to Ruhweza, Israel invested in human capital hence many patents, Uganda ought to do same but people should decide what to study.