SAM MAYANJA: HERE IS WHY SECURITY REMAINS M7’S BIGGEST ACHIEVEMENT
By Mulengera Reporters
Veteran city lawyer and University Don Dr. Sam Mayanja has outed a long missive dedicated to the marking of the ruling NRM’s 35th anniversary. In the dossier, Dr. Mayanja digs deep into history of Uganda as a country to make his case that President Museveni’s NRM has pacified Uganda and delivered national security than any of the past administrations which Uganda has ever had both before and after independence.
Dr. Mayanja reflects on the religious wars of the 1890s during which the British sided with the Protestant faction whose members they used to obliterate Mwanga and Kabalega. Even after the duo’s annihilation, instability remained prompting then colonial administrator Sir Harry Johnson to put all Protestant troops under surveillance just to ensure they don’t turn against their British mentors. Mayanja says through all that period, there was so much instability even the British colonial administration felt insecure.
That the grievances emanating from the Buganda Agreement of 1900 created more disquiet especially as the Bataka Party emerged to rally all aggrieved peasants to resist the new status quo. The Bataka agitation and the resultant insecurity and uncertainty continued only to temporarily relent in the late 1920s when the British enacted the Busulu Nvujjo law which gave some security of tenure to hitherto deprived groups. More insecurity was to ensue in the 1940s when the Bataka Party activism reignited once again rallying all the economically deprived groups into fresh riots prompting the British to ban the Bataka Party in 1949. The resultant political vacuum was later filled by IK Musaazi who teamed up with others to form the UNC.
In the late 1950s, Buganda’s opposition to direct elections to the LEGCO fermented renewed political turmoil and instability in Uganda as Mengo diehards spearheaded riots vigorously objecting to direct elections. During that turmoil, banana and coffee plantations of those perceived not to be towing the Mengo official line were cut down and people’s houses burnt. Fast forward, Dr. Mayanja’s paper also references on the 1966 crisis which saw Obote unleash crude military force and might on Kabaka Mutesa’s palace in Mengo before using the resultant chaos to unilaterally ban kingdoms.
The 1966 events were ugly but certainty not all because the worst was to come through the Amin coup of 1971 which paved way for the state-inspired violence that was to last for another 8 years of Idi Amin. Many were killed as larger numbers fled to exile. Mayanja observes that through that period, there was no security for persons nor for property for those who lived in Uganda. The Amin chaos, which ended in his ouster April 1979, was followed by turbulent short-lived regimes of Yusuf Lule, Binaisa and Paul Muwanga whose Military Commission paved way for Milton Obote II administration whose tenure Dr. Mayanja says was marked by forced disappearances and senseless killings by the state agents.
THEN COMES M7
The legal historian then praises Gen Museveni for ushering in the NRM administration under which, he says, Uganda has witnessed total peace and stability covering all districts of the country and not just some of them. Mayanja curses the Lutwa regime, which Gen Museveni replaced after failure of the Nairobi peace talks, as equally disastrous when it comes to national security. Dr. Mayanja enumerates several rebel groups Gen Museveni has had to heroically overcome to be able to stabilize Uganda as a whole: Joseph Kony’s LRA and Jamil Mukulu’s ADF being among the most notorious ones.
He observes that the NRM is the first administration under which Uganda has had total stability guaranteed by a professional army for the last 100 years. That Gen Museveni has managed to deliver total pacification, something which eluded even the British colonial state and all his predecessors in the post-independence period. That the NRM’s record when it comes to enforcing security is the reason the Pearl of Africa has achieved so much global recognition and acclaim in the last 35 years to the extent that a Ugandan can chair the UN Security Council.
Dr. Mayanja also reflects on other Museveni accomplishments including sustained economic growth besides taming inflation and stabilizing the exchange rate regime. Mayanja also salutes Gen Museveni for the courage with which his NRM administration effected currency reforms which was a painful but necessary measure to right the wrongs of the preceding regimes.
That the number of Ugandans living below the poverty line has significantly been diminished. In the health sector, Dr. Mayanja reflects on what has been accomplished including the excellent leadership Gen Museveni exhibited against HIV/Aids many years ago. That the capabilities built over the years explain why the Ugandan COVID19 situation hasn’t escalated out of control compared to what other countries have experienced and endured. Such resilience in the health system, Mayanja notes, is what enabled Uganda to successfully fight off other life-threatening hazards like Ebola, the Marburg virus and others.
In the education sector, Mayanja quantifies the Museveni government’s accomplishments to include the growing of primary school enrollment from 1986’s 1.7m pupils to today’s more than 8m. That 90% of all parishes in Uganda now have at least a government-aided primary school and 90% of the Sub Counties each have a secondary school, majority of which are government-aided. Each of the major regions of Uganda has a Public University and thereby increasing access and making higher education more affordable.
Dr. Mayanja also makes reference to his petty subject of land and commends Gen Museveni for ensuring that the 1995 Constitution protected Ugandans’ security of tenure by formally recognizing customary as a land tenure system with legally enforceable rights. The same Constitution provides for conversion of both customary and leasehold into freehold under Articles 235(5) and 237(6). Dr. Mayanja further salutes the Museveni government for using the Land Act (1998) to further mainstream gender aspects whereby Section 40(1) makes spousal consent mandatory in case the husband or family head desires to sell a fraction of the matrimonial land property.
The current legal regime, as enacted by Museveni’s government, also prohibits Uganda Land Commission and other public land-controlling authorities from automatic re-entry into the land should someone’s lease tenure expire. The only aspect of the Museveni administration which Dr. Mayanja regrets is that the NRM government has allowed the Traditional & Cultural leaders to have unfettered control over what used to be public land (basically official Mailo) contrary to very clear and unambiguous provisions of the Constitution.(For comments on this story, call, text or whatsapp us on 0705579994, 0779411734, 0200900416 or email us at email@example.com)