30 October 2007

African Leadership… or lack thereof… Principle #1

Leadership problems begin at the top…

In Uganda’s case it begins with the top office of the government… which in the last half century has not seen a successful leadership turn-over… without a war!

I was clueless… and not for the first time in my life… when we arrived in January 2006 Uganda was in the middle of their presidential elections…

My personal opinion was that there was no way on earth Yoweri Museveni would be re-elected…

He had been in power for 20 years by this time and had to change his own constitution to run again… He had his primary opponent thrown into prison on false charges… when this caused him to lose popularity he released his opponent and super-ceded the power of the courts… and rumor has it He used his military to start riots at his opponents rallies and bully voters at the polls… my opinion was “this guy is nuts!”

As elections drew near more and more people were afraid to leave their homes… I missed a killing in Kampala at one rally by 3 hours… the next day I drove a friend to Iganga amidst reports of another 3 being killed in Iganga… he for sure didn’t have my vote…

Then days later he was re-elected with 66% of the vote… the people were dancing in the streets while his opponent fled the country…

No longer did I think that Museveni was nuts… now I thought “these people are nuts!”

Until I came to realize that they were not celebrating his re-election but instead they were celebrating 5 more years of peace…

Yoweri Museveni is not the problem… himself… he just represents the entire problem well…

The bullies rule this playground and few are willing to stand up to the bully… who wants a bloody nose?

At first you love the guy… a freedom fighter who came out of the bush with only 20 soldiers and overthrew the last dictator… so now the hero who overthrew the last bully has become the bully…

Leadership by intimidation and an iron fist… its what people have come to expect!

Whether it is in the workplace, church or NGO... leadership by intimidation is the most successful mode of staying in power...

Time for me to go work-out and grow a beard!

2 comments:

Teenietinyt said...

You forgot to mention the hard-aces in schools!

KELLY said...

no beard please