Kampala, Uganda | By Albert Gomes Mugumya | Sectarian politics have bedeviled this country since time immemorial. The narrow issues of religion, tribe and “it’s our turn to eat” cloud the factual issues and prevent the electorate from distinguishing between imperative issues and inconsequential ones.
In FDC’s search for a new party president, sectarianism is high on one team’s agenda. In order to survive Maj. Rubaramira Ruranga, the leader of Team-Nandala, has consistently pigeonholed his former comrade and boss Maj Gen. Mugisha Muntu as not having Ugandan origins.
It does not matter whether Muntu has Rwandese or Japanese origins. What matters is that he is a Ugandan citizen and has impeccable credentials. I therefore shudder when I think of a “Ruranga-led” government that I might be forced to flee to exile.
Ruranga seems to believe in a fragmented society to look for a cheap, exploitative political base after running out of ideas (not that he and his Team- Nandala had any in the first place) that can move the country forward.
According to close sources in the party, this is a man who once absconded from the party to look for greener pastures. How he re-appeared in the dark like Sherlock Holmes to destabilise the party, God knows.
Ruranga strikes a chord with his look-alike and near-namesake the UPC henchman “Major” Edward Rurangaranga who consistently during the past regimes referred to some people as Rwandese refugees, yet he himself expediently forgot about his Burundi origins.
He also reminds me of the Paulo Muwanga (RIP) who during the Commission of Inquiry on Human Rights Abuses (when the questioning got hot) referred to one of the Commissioners John Nagenda as “ Akanyanrwanda ke’ Namutamba.”
Yet it doesn’t matter much anymore where you come from but where you are heading to. Otherwise the Bugandaborn Archbishop of York John Sentamu would not be vying for the high seat at Canterbury and the Irish-born Dr. Ian Clarke would not be the LC3 Chairperson of Makindye.
I am not sure whom to blame, Ruranga or the one who appointed him as his chief campaigns coordinator. But as they say “the apple does not fall far from the tree.”
Politics has changed – it is no longer about the narrow issues of religion, tribe, height, which football team you support or which beer you drink, but it is about ordinary people with real problems and real concerns and therefore these people look to politicians and political parties for real problem solving, so that their lives and those of their children can fundamentally improve.
Party voters won’t vote for Nandala no matter how many graves of his ancestors he can showcase at a trade show. Instead, they will vote for the candidate who champions social causes, i.e. improved public services, cuts all unnecessary red tape, provides increased resources and political will for anti corruption efforts, enables greater public access to information about budgets, revenue and expenditure, builds an economically healthier society with greater fairness and greater social justice, and stands for generosity of spirit and equality of opportunity.
Ruranga and Team-Nandala should be able to identify the problems that Ugandans are facing today, like unemployment, and this is how they intend to go about solving them. Otherwise I doubt people would vote for a leader with a policy-ideas vacuum and whose message is about how many grandfathers he can identify and parade.
If Rubaramira Ruranga continues preaching his myopic politics he should also forensically check in the mirror and he should not be surprised if he discovers that he might have Congolese roots and blood in his veins (not that it matters if it turns out to be true).