IS THE NRM’S MILITIRIZATION OF UGANDA A STEP TOWARDS TOTALITARIANISM?

The model turns the country into a chain of command with the president on top and the civilians at the bottom

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Ministries, agriculture, police, the economy and now medical services in Uganda are among the new areas of operation for Uganda’s military men and women. A military background of sorts has become a major boost to the Curriculum Vitaes (CVs) of those willing to acquire juicy jobs in the Museveni government.

The National Resistance Movement’s 30 years in power have witnessed a massive increase of military men and women at the helms of sectors previously dominated by civilians, and many wonder if the move is slowly driving the Ugandan Republic into a state where the civilian is a subordinate to a military boss who in turn is controlled by the commander-in-chief, the President.

The model turns the country into a chain of command with the president on top and the civilians at the bottom. Such models have famously been used in Nazi Germany, the Soviet Union and today North-Korea. The dictionary calls it “totalitarianism”.

And a very vital component of totalitarianism is a military that serves the leader and not the people. Kind of what Museveni is trying to achieve by surgically appointing officers loyal to him to head various sectors. And for those members of Museveni’s party that aren’t real soldiers, the solution is in place as well.
  
Members of the President Museveni’s NRM party are annually called to a military type retreat in Kyankwanzi where they don military fatigues and get familiar with the sights and sounds of the AK-47 combined with party strategy discussions for the length of the retreat.

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Minister's J.C Miyingo and Florence Nakiwala Kiyingi at Kyankwanzi recently

Among those attending the retreat are members of parliament, ministers among other civil servants expected to serve the general public (including the opposition) with the utmost “impartiality”.

The president’s 2014 decision to put the National Agricultural Advisory Services (NAADS) under the control of the Uganda People’s Defense Forces (UPDF) sparked lots of criticisms and outrage as hundreds of civilians were swept aside from the NAADS.

Yet again, similar a decision has been made with the UPDF taking over service provision at a hospital in Wakiso district where a number of civilian medical personnel were fired by the president. The move has inspired the trending twitter hashtag “#WhatUPDFShouldTakeOver” with users expressing all sorts of suggestions to where next the president should appoint the military to replace civilians.

As the Ugandan military continues to take over civilians’ jobs, questions as to whether the country is en route to totalitarian rule grow even bigger.

Thank you for reading. And to ensure you have a great week, I leave you with some of the famous tweets about the trending twitter hashtag: #WhatUPDFShouldTakeOver. Enjoy…

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Author: Adam Walusimbi

Am a truth junkie

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