I continue with the theme of discipline in NRM with the retreat of new Members of Parliament in Kyankwanzi (National Leadership Institute) in perspective.
NRM’s strength and popularity is threatened only by internal indiscipline and lack of understanding of the deep ideology of the party. Many people find talk on ideology “boring” and bothersome but there is no other way around in an organised multiparty arrangement.
Before appreciating the profound values and principles of a party, one must study its history and discover what inspired the founding of the party and its ideals—that takes discipline, focus, loyalty and vision. Discipline is key everywhere-home, community, school, everywhere. With discipline and commitment to the party ideals, NRM will never lose relevance.
The idea of taking new MPs to Kyankwanzi for a retreat is a very useful tool that helps equip the people’s representatives with vital tips on how best to serve their voters and the nation, while maintaining their stand with the party on whose ticket they won elections. Contrary to what is claimed, the drilling and instruction that Kyankwanzi offers has helped many Ugandans gain leadership skills that they would never have had if the institute did not exist. The environment and curriculum there cannot leave anybody the same. That is why I hope and believe that the new crop of MPs should emerge wiser, ready to take on the task at hand with complete awareness of the responsibilities and expectations without compromising national stability and social cohesion.
The majority of the new MPs are young, some with little or no experience in national leadership. Like all formal engagements, leadership requires one to get oriented before embarking in duty.
It is unfortunate that opposition MPs cannot go to Kyankwanzi yet they are most in need of mentorship.
Every formal organization is founded on specific principles with specific objectives and stipulated values which guide the operations of that organization towards achievement of the objectives for which it was founded. Members always need to be inducted in these basic tenets of the party while considering them with a nationalistic and patriotic mindset.
NRM has the strongest and most broad-based leadership and the widest membership that makes it the only mass party in Uganda in structural terms. The strength of NRM is hinged on internal discipline and the ability to comprehend the challenges that face Ugandans and how to solve them. The party’s National Chairman, President Yoweri Museveni emphasizes that leadership is about solving people’s problems-not wearing titles and driving big cars, going for foreign trips, building houses or shouting and dancing on tables in Parliament.
With a Parliament where most members are young, it is possible to waste five years and before long, they are all swept out because of the members’ failure to be relevant. The attrition rate of MPs is so high but this is because most do not take their jobs seriously. They should learn from president Museveni whose stay in power is hinged totally on his ability to diagnose and solve people’s problems.
I urge the new MPs to support his Vision by studying deeply Uganda’s history, understand its current standing, the aspirations of the people and what the future entails. Remember, NRM’s concern is not about Uganda alone but the region and Africa at large.
President Yoweri is the driver of the NRM bus heading into the future. If the passengers are uncooperative and disoriented, the bus can veer off the road and ram into a deep gulley. It is all about identifying the historical mission of the modern NRM generation, setting goals, building a super structure and heading out to achieve the mission objectives. In that equation, discipline is paramount. Yes, there can always be divergent views but eventually, consensus has to be reached and decisions are made that can be implemented to benefit all.
The new MPs should also be aware that Uganda has enemies who would wish to use Parliament to disrupt our collective progress. They have plans to influence the functions of the Legislature so as to pass laws that do not match with our aspirations as Ugandans. They should be ready to stop such schemes and Ugandans will thank them greatly.
The author is a Personal Assistant to the National Chairman, NRM.
The views expressed here belong to the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of the Red pepper. Send your opinion, complaint, feedback, and letter to [email protected] or call/text / WhatsApp 0777959024. Anonymous writers must indicate the reason.