I think the idea of having a debate was the right thing to do after 30 years of not having one. How it was conducted leaves a lot to be desired. It is like being married for 30 years without a meaningful conversation. It is simply not easy to begin such a conversation because the volumes of the things that need to be discussed are way too big.
The absence of the husband/the head of the family – Museveni, made the debate look like a wife who goes to the pastor without her husband, to seek for help on how to fix a marriage full of problems. The pastors/moderators tried to probe into a one sided conversation. The idea was too big for both the presidential candidates, and the moderators, and the absence of the president made things more confusing.
In the business world, an employee who fails to attend a company meeting to present an accountability report can be fired on the spot. Museveni has been an employee of the people of Uganda for 30 years; unfortunately Ugandans have failed to fire him.
The candidacy of Mabirizi in the debate made the absent Museveni look like the debate winner. This begs the question “If Museveni goes to bed and fails to wake up in the near future, what will be the future of Uganda?” Therefore the debate not only highlighted Uganda’s misery and her economic quagmire, but also the need to act in case of an emergency.
Milton Allimadi, the author, is a Ugandan Journalist based in New York City, USA.