“People Power” is a concept. It is not a political party, nor is it a coalition, nor is it a movement, and to that effect it has no leaders. This is according to Hon. Asuman Basalirwa, the President of JEEMA
According to him, in fact, the concept gained traction during his campaign for the Bugiri Municipality parliamentary seat, which he won. He explained that his campaign slogan in Lusoga was: “Abantu na amaani”, which for the benefit of non-Lusoga speakers he translated to English as “people power.”
Deducing from Hon Basalirwa’s explanation, people power, in essence, is citizen activism at whatever level – basically, citizens engaged and taking seriously their civic duty. Meaning, therefore, within each individual citizen resides people power and no one person can claim to bequeath another people power.
It reminds me of those who are weary of the messiah-has-come type of contextualisations during discourse on governance and leadership, particularly so as it pertains to Uganda and Sub-Saharan Africa as a whole.
There are many examples of African messiah’s that have turned into the opposite kind of leader and so the mind boggles why that messianic rhetoric remains sexy?