What else is new? Mugabe and his Grace

Zim Coat of Arms

So Grace Mugabe, infamously known as Dis-Grace, has been having an affair with the central bank chief, Gideon Gono. There’s a way the name Gono sounds unhygienic—VD like—but given the fact that we are looking at a woman who goes on a shopping spree and spends more than an entire country’s GDP, well, she couldn’t get closer to the source of the money, her sustenance. As for the old man, Mugabe, it’s a game of let’s see who outcompetes the other in this business of cheating. So really, it’s not news at all.

Uganda is holding presidential nominations and the incumbent, Museveni, is one of the presidential candidates who is clutching at whatever straw can save his butt. So he’s come up with a rap to begin with. You hear the sound of desperation as he raps; “Give you some rap” x4 and goes into some folk epic he’s turned into a rap. In his rap someone prospers while another is struck by thunder. He could be wishing that on the presidential opponents. But rap interpretations aside, I never quite understand why a president who wants to stand for another term shouldn’t give up office first to be at the same level as the other candidates. It puts him on unequal footing if he’s still the president and a candidate at the same time. He has a key to national resources he can help himself so he wins the race.

If I were part of the Electoral Commission, I would make presidents who wish to stand to resign from their presidency first. After all, other politicians like parliamentary members do resign from their constituencies before they can stand for presidential nominations and elections. So certainly, something is not right here and democracy is already skewed as things are. Talk of starting on a wrong footing. The incumbent with his party NRM have been in power since 1986. Considering his slogan—Peace, Unity and Transformation—and the status quo—Degeneration, Destruction and Decay—you really wonder if the transformation he’s promising isn’t another Samuel Beckett’s ‘Waiting for Godot,’ only more crude. The state our hospitals are in, roads, academic institutions, parastatals, and having one of the highest unemployment for youths especially, not even a lizard can be blinded what needs to be done. Away with the incumbent, he’s had his time and he has not delivered. Period.

It’s comforting there are eleven presidential candidates, and at least three have potential to lead and make things better. But I must say the party names are confusing and unoriginal. There’s People’s Development Party (PDP), People’s Progressive Party (PPP), Democratic Party (DP), Forum for Democratic Change (FDC), Uganda Federal Alliance (UFA), Uganda People’s Congress (UPC), Green Partisan Party (GPP) and the Independent candidates without a party. One can only be hopeful that in all this quandary a new leader will be elected who for once will try to step outside the predecessors shoes. This is one case where many of us do not want a repeated performance of what’s been done before, God forbid. That said, may peace prevail and may we witness a rebirth of respect—for lack of a better word.

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