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Succession: NRM could pick a leaf from Singapore

NRM party chairperson Yoweri Museveni

NRM party chairperson Yoweri Museveni

Today, as Singapore’s political landscape ushers in a new prime minister, Lawrence Wong, it is an opportune moment to reflect on the stark contrast between Singapore’s success story and Uganda’s stagnant political and economic situation under the leadership of General Yoweri Museveni and the National Resistance Movement (NRM).

Singapore’s People’s Action Party (PAP) has demonstrated effective leadership and achieved remarkable economic progress, while the NRM seems to have failed to learn from Singapore’s model.

One of the key reasons for Singapore’s smooth transition of power lies in its meticulous leadership succession planning. The PAP has established a system where potential successors are identified early and groomed in public view, ensuring a seamless transfer of power.

In contrast, the NRM has witnessed lack of succession planning, with General Museveni having held power for an unprecedented 37 years. This absence of a clear leadership pipeline has hindered the development of new ideas, fresh perspectives, and the infusion of youthful energy into Uganda’s political landscape.

Singapore’s success is not merely limited to economic growth but also extends to its commitment to combating corruption. The PAP’s strong anti-corruption measures and its insistence on accountability have earned Singapore a reputation as one of the least corrupt nations in the world.

In contrast, Uganda, like many other East African countries, suffers from high levels of corruption, particularly in the public sector. The NRM’s failure to effectively address this issue has undermined economic progress, perpetuated inequality, and eroded public trust.

While Singapore has consistently implemented comprehensive development plans aimed at economic transformation and improving the lives of its citizens, the NRM’s manifesto promises have often remained unfulfilled.

Despite decades of rhetoric on poverty reduction, health improvement, and economic transformation, little tangible progress has been made. The failure to translate promises into concrete actions has left Uganda trailing behind Singapore, and hindered the country’s overall development.

Political maturity is an essential characteristic of a thriving democracy. Singapore’s political system has evolved over the years, fostering a culture of open debate, constructive criticism, and merit-based leadership selection.

In contrast, Uganda’s political landscape has been marred by lack of pluralism, limited political freedoms and a dominant ruling party that stifles opposition voices. The absence of a vibrant and inclusive political environment has hindered Uganda’s progress in terms of democratic governance and hindered the country’s ability to learn from successful models such as Singapore.

The stark differences between Singapore’s success and Uganda’s stagnation underscore the NRM’s failure to learn from the leadership and economic wellbeing model employed by the PAP.

The NRM’s lack of leadership succession planning, inability to combat corruption effectively, inadequate implementation of development plans, and the absence of political maturity have hindered Uganda’s progress.

To achieve true transformation and improve the lives of its citizens, Uganda must learn from Singapore’s success and embrace inclusive governance, merit-based leadership and effective implementation of development strategies. Only then can Uganda shed its reputation as a stagnant enclave and pave the way for a brighter future.

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