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Consultation is part of the deception strategy

So, our tax money is wasting away on a totally needless exercise – countryside consultations by members of parliament on what is inherently an immoral plot to delete the presidential age limit from the constitution.

That this scheme is nefarious is unmistakable. It’s yet another manoeuvre to manipulate the Constitution so one man can endlessly misrule our country.

The whole process is riddled with illegalities including an evidently outrageous police declaration banning MPs from attending meetings outside of their constituencies.

The plot is undoubtedly saddled with deceit and manipulation, the most egregious so far being openly dangling money to MPs in the name of conducting consultations. But what is there to consult?

Even the most uninformed citizen knows this is all about sustaining one-man rule. Yet the schemers on their part are adamant, perhaps driven by whatever rewards, promised or already delivered or out of sheer naiveté, continue to peddle lies that evoke principle and fairness.

When earlier in the year The Observer first broke the story of a plot afoot to table a bill in parliament, there were animated denunciations of premature speculation.

There was also outright denial by senior government officials, including the minister of justice. The chief schemer himself, the real author of the scheme, is on record for denouncing those who, according to him, were wasting time engaging in rumors.

I wrote in these pages that the architects were in fact testing the waters but were also throwing the plot in the public domain so as to gain traction and work on normalizing and procuring acceptability en-route to approval through supposedly open public discussion.

Ugandans love to argue all-day and will readily listen to a contrary argument, however reprehensible. The tactic of getting people to debate and normalize the dirty plot has worked well.

Here we are, engrossed in debating the merits of a matter that, to be sure, holds no substantive merit worth debating. It has been endowed with superficial substance and thrust into the limelight, now preoccupying the emotions and energies of the entire country. Sad!

In that regard, the faculty members at Makerere University’s school of law did the right thing to snub an invitation to present views to the Legal and Parliamentary affairs committee of parliament.

Were they to honor that invitation, they would have given credence and credibility to a dubious agenda and a dastardly process which carries the hallmarks of entrenching an authoritarian regime.

What exactly does parliament’s legal committee want to hear? That suddenly, because there is someone who will be officially 76 years by the time of the next general elections, then we can rationalize getting rid of the 75-year age provision in the Constitution?

It is sickening that valuable time that would otherwise go towards productive work is spent on a matter that deserves neither attention nor debate.

Money that would do well to better a decrepit public sector replete with a dysfunctional healthcare system and a declining education sector is now expended on utterly ludicrous consultations.

When did it become necessary to consult on whether or not people must retire at a certain age? The so-called consultative meetings being conducted by MPs are nothing more than part of the larger repertoire of deception that undergirds Museveni’s rule.

Unsurprisingly, instead of seeking views of the voters, assuming there was ever any need to do so in the first place, a coterie of ruling party MPs have instead focused on talking their constituents into embracing the life-presidency agenda.

If media reports are accurate, many of these have met hostility from their own backyards with citizens denouncing the misguided narrative that amending the Constitution is for the good of the country, and not a selfish agenda for which some MPs hope to reap private benefits from the state largesse that the ruler controls.

Part of the tragedy facing our country is that people elected to represent citizens, or perhaps more accurately put, in some cases, those who cheated their way to being ostensible people’s representatives, are betraying the trust and power delegated to them.

Needless to say, in all this, the chief betrayer of the people’s trust is the man at the top whose treachery and manipulative ways should have become crystal clear to anyone who cares about the future of our country.

We can only imagine what the next plot will be in the insatiable quest for power and in the deluded messianic mission to ‘liberate’ Africa.

Already, we now understand that a five-year presidential term is too short for the hallowed visionary leadership that wants to accomplish a sacred program to deliver us to the heaven of prosperity authored from Rwakitura.

Perhaps the next demand will be that we abolish elections, which actually would be a good thing, and have the ruler crowned emperor, a title he may well relish. But it’s all illusory.

The natural course of history is so random that no one human being can control its twists and turns. There is abundant history from which to learn.

Problem is, when so sloshed with power, the tendency is to turn a blind eye even if the hour of reckoning is inevitable.

moses.khisa@gmail.com

The author is  an assistant professor of political science at North Carolina State University.

© 2016 Observer Media Ltd