One of the tasks of teachers is to identify students with potential leadership qualities and prepare them accordingly. A student who is always punctual is made a time keeper. A student who likes reading is made a librarian. A student who is the best soccer/football player is made captain. A student who does well among scouts is made troop leader, and student who has overall leadership qualities is made prefect etc. These student leaders observe the behavior of their fellow students and identify those that could succeed them and on some occasions recommend them to the headmaster who finally takes the decision.
People who know Museveni very well as a student are in general agreement that he did not exhibit leadership qualities. During the interim period between the fall of Amin in 1979 and the elections of 1980, Museveni did not impress Ugandans as a national or constituency leader. He lost an election for Member of Parliament in 1980, yet he had been one of those who fought and defeated Amin.
Museveni chose a very destructive guerrilla war instead of waiting for the next general election because he concluded he would not be elected in a free and fair election. With foreign backing, he managed to become president of Uganda in 1986. In 25 years as president Museveni has proved not to be a good leader. Here are a few examples.
1. A leader who thinks he is more intelligent than his fellow country men and women and is born to rule and when time comes hands over to his son or daughter or brother is not a good leader.
2. A leader who thinks that members of his tribe, close relatives and in-laws are the only ones that should get good education, good healthcare, good nutrition and good jobs in government and security forces and own most lucrative businesses in the country is not a good leader.
3. A leader who sees opponents as enemies who must be destroyed politically, economically, socially and culturally is not a good leader.
4. A leader who denies other citizens good education, food security and healthcare to weaken and marginalize them in order to dominate them in a hereditary fashion is not a good leader.
5. A leader who advises citizens to produce food for cash rather than for the stomach is not a good leader.
6. A leader who refuses to provide or subsidize school lunch for primary school children when it has worked in developed and developing countries especially for girls and has been endorsed by African leaders is not a good leader.
7. A leader who tells his fellow leaders at the UN General Assembly – that met to discuss the adverse impact of rising food prices on citizens – that rising prices in his country is a good thing because farmers like himself are making good money is not a good leader.
8. A leader who refuses to help unemployed youth during economic hard times through public works while other leaders are helping their citizens in developed and developing countries is not a good leader.
9. A leader who tells his fellow leaders at the UN General Assembly that the unemployed in his country are the lazy ones is not a good leader.
10. A leader who exports food to earn foreign currency for the needs of the rich when millions of citizens are going to bed hungry is not a good leader.
11. A leader who targets a particular group of people for deprivation (as was done in Rukungiri district while demarcating municipal boundaries without consulting the people affected) is not a good leader.
12. A leader who privatizes national economy and hands over the bulk of it to foreigners is not a good leader.
13. A leader who prefers young and inexperienced foreign experts over well qualified and experienced citizens is not a good leader.
14. A leader who regards advice he does not like bankrupt from empty and noisy tins is not a good leader.
15. A leader who introduces birth control (deliberately or not) without informing the nation is not a good leader.
16. A leader who divides the country into so many economically unviable districts almost along tribal lines is not a good leader
17. A leader who corrupts church leaders for political support while preaching that religion should stay out of politics is not a good leader.
18. A leader who uses public property to serve private purposes is not a good leader.
19. A leader who allows domestic industries to be destroyed by cheap imports like used clothes and powdered milk because foreigners advised him so is not a good leader.
20. A leader who spends vast sums of money to host international conferences for personal gain while development programs are starved of funds is not a good leader. I could go on.
To repeat, the leader I am referring to is President Museveni of the Republic of Uganda. He has failed Uganda and her people. The time has come for him to leave. Ugandans and friends of Uganda should make sure that it happens in February 2011.