Kampala, Uganda | By Pamela Ankunda | President Museveni’s nomination on October 25th was as historical a moment as we shall ever witness. Forget the empty threats peddled by Olara Otunnu and the aggressively confrontational Dr. Kizza Besigye who both turned up to be nominated by a commission they had vowed would have to be thrown out of office if they were to take part. They turned up after all.
Popular media will suggest that the nomination of President Museveni was an ordinary day. It was not. October 25, 2010 the beginning of a new journey, a journey that marks the next phase – economic and social – of this revolution. No doubt, NRM will again emerge victorious after the campaign process that has just started.
The power and emotion behind this article are the simple reasons that predict NRM’s win. I was born when Uganda was a curse; torn apart by the political divide and warring in every corner of the country. The curse of AIDS, measles and polio, high inflation, instability, orphaned families and shattered hopes described the country Uganda.
It was scorned, demonized and shunned even by its own citizens, few of whom wanted to be identified with it. Uganda was deemed to have no future. I survived it all, because NRM believed.
Driven by unmatchable and sheer spirit under Museveni, the journey started but not without major hitches and bumps. Along the way, friends fell, others diverted, traces of instability were visible, seeds of division that had been sown were beginning to sprout, but the nation never stopped believing.
Today, Uganda has finally attained its place at the table and rightly so. Stability and sanity are here, financial stability and growth as seen through the ever improving statistics, and the ability for most of us to take part in the economics both home and abroad is here, ideas are nurtured, information technology has been embraced, job creation is a priority. And as the President said in his last state of the nation address, Uganda is unstoppable.
However, we are not yet where we must be. And the president knows this and has promised to see it through by embarking on proper service provision and value addition especially for sectors like transport, effective health and education systems, and other social infrastructure, and the implementation of these must be effectively monitored.
None of these contestants has as much passion about the future of Uganda as the indefatigable President Museveni whom we have severally seen meeting diplomats in the morning, walk with ordinary peasants in his Arua farm, address Ugandan Entrepreneurs in the afternoon, visit a school in the evening and make a stop over to greet curious citizens by the roadside before dining with sports winners in the evening, and jetting off to address an International conference. His dedication to work for Uganda is unmatched!
Thus his nomination was only as a result of his continued vision for the social transformation of Uganda which is a mission we must implement. His nomination supported our confidence in his ability to tackle tasks that lie ahead, confidence in the NRM team to consolidate stability, continuity, confidence in the values and ideals of Pan Africanism and the unity of East Africa that he champions, and spread the legacy of his immense and valuable wisdom.
Thus, if anybody today takes this liberty for granted, if anybody still thinks freedom, peace, stability, security are a privilege, then history and her story must be re-told.
On October 25, we re-echoed to the world that here again, NRM is a party for the future, a mass movement that took up the duty to liberate Uganda, is now leading Uganda into the next phase; a phase of economic and social takeoff because the foundation has been built.
Here with us is President Museveni, a man whose name has been subdued in the annals of African history as a liberator, a revolutionary, a Pan Africanist, a man who rose above the rest, animated and driven to tell the potential of Uganda’s own story.
As he affirmed in his post-nomination speech at Kololo, the NRM has brought Uganda out of the mire of war, confusion and chaos, lawlessness, and economic destitution. We cannot trust any other group to lead us in this last phase of transformation into a powerhouse in the region.
It is for that reason that the youths will rally around him and support him because they know who their best ally is. More so, his nomination and expected 2011 victory is because President Museveni has become a symbol of hope and pride in the future. He conquers the aspiration of our generations, inspiring young people to find strength to take the mantle on.
Pamela Ankunda works at the Uganda Media Centre.