Crisis: ‘Big man’ leadership

The acrimonious relationships among leaders of Uganda’s political parties – intra and inter is interesting. It reveals how the multiparty ‘democratic’ elections system now practised in Uganda is based on a mistaken belief in it as a system that nurtures good governance.

Among the worst injustices inflicted on Ugandans, moreover, are the billions of shillings that we spend on holding elections – some of which is borrowed money.

We spend money on elections knowing full well that if the election results do not turn out the way ‘the world’ expected them to turn out there will be mayhem and or more spending in billions.

Those who lose elections do not normally concede defeat. We must be the country with the highest number of post-election battles – legal and otherwise. Leaders in all parties rarely voluntarily accept to step aside so that more able leaders within their respective parties emerge and take leadership.

Individual opposition leaders compete among themselves on who can best disrupt the running of the state, get prominent media coverage and create an illusion that they are the ‘big man’.

The conduct of all our political leaders is of the ‘big man’ as opposed to that of a party representative or people’s representative.  The views expressed by our political leaders are their own views and sometimes are the views of ‘the world’. They are certainly not the views and will of the people of Uganda.

Instead of establishing policies that enhance our lives, our political leaders on both sides waste resources (time, energy, equipment and money) on shenanigans of a few egoistical, selfish and deluded ‘big men’.

Might it be better for us to emulate the governance system of Switzerland and to adapt a multi-party federal parliamentary democratic republic system? A system that incorporates a council of elders that ensures that power is not vested in one individual, and it provides for rotational leadership.

I dare say that the Swiss system is much more compatible with traditional African systems, such as the one of my kin. Within Iteso culture, authority is vested within a council of elders within each clan.

11 thoughts on “Crisis: ‘Big man’ leadership”

  1. […] It is as bright as sunshine, for which Uganda is gifted to enjoy daily – you cannot miss it. Among the worst injustices on Ugandans are the billions of shillings that we spend on holding elections – some of which is borrowed money. Read more on this from my post on this blog titled: “The crisis of ‘big man’ leadership in Uganda” https://nowaraga.wordpress.com/2014/09/29/the-crisis-of-big-man-leadership-in-uganda/ […]

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  2. How about another article on the advantages and disadvantages of the original “Movement” system – the RC/LCs. This could be topped with the Swiss Federal Council system eliminating the Big Man at the top.

    Stan

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    1. Good suggestion. Interestingly apparently the RC/LC system was an adaptation of the Buganda chief system as applied to the territories it had captured, such as in Teso, where the King decentralised management of his Kingdom to his chiefs … Will read up on it and do a follow-up article. I think it would be interesting to compare also with the original intent of the now botched decentralised district local government system.

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  3. wow Norah, the big man syndrome absolutely explains the dilema and catch twenty two situation in the polical arena in our nation uganda.

    If all parties fighting for governance opportunities, ever stopped in their tracks and asked why they are seeking power, they would soon find different options of making a livehood. Service for pubc good should be the main objective in every politicians mind. Those described in the post are egocentrics, who thrive on personal gratification and glorification.

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  4. Multi party democracy should be assessed from the principles point of view than the system and structure. Resources in the ideal sense should be invested to meet the cardinal principles not the structures and systems for these merely become a small part of the principles. Obviously the Global economic forces fanned the local volatile situation at that time but hold on for a while…..what was our preamble to the budget framework paper ….To tame this very volatilites, economic stability etcccccccc. The Election period was one of throwing cash to loose useless activities here there completely through unconventional means likened to money laundering. If money begins to be carried in sacks just to secure a few handful votes then we deserve not to hold any periodic elections in this country. I know currently….they are hoarding money for 2016 then literally swash money to an economy ill-prepared to adsorb and put it to it’s rightful use. The walk-to-work solely aimed at highlighting the social economic difficulties faced by wanaichi principally laid by political decisions and perhaps tilt the political balance in itself a constitutional means of governance reform.

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