POLITICAL Leadership the world over is taking a hit.
The Leader of the world’s Super Power is a petulant, foul-mouthed, misogynistic character whose ascendence to the top seat in the world’s so-called bastion of ‘freedom’ appalled the most idealistic of us out there.
It was simply a sign of the times to come. There are many words we employ to describe people who behave the way this world leader does; some polite yet very apt – like ‘despicable’ – while others are too rude to be put into print.
For a long time, closer to home, we have seen these signs manifesting themselves mostly because of the activity that has taken centre stage for long years of political campaigning.
Sadly for us, the political activity and campaigns continue to focus more on the campaigns and attainment of positions and titles of ‘leadership’ rather than the results of that leadership.
This Tuesday was less surprising than disappointing, and not because of the usual reasons.
Having been locked up in a Leadership Retreat to discuss matters of seeming importance that would not be affected by the lifting or not of Age Limits anywhere in the world, I emerged from the Board Room in the evening to an amazing array of astonishing videos and social media messages.
The first stood out because of the vivid colour involved. Initially I took it to be some masterful disinformation and sabotage; how could I just believe that an adult who is currently in the public eye could dress up all in bright yellow and drive a bright yellow vehicle of a distinct make and model, then park it by the roadside and not expect to be recognized?
Even more, would I not be intellectually careless to simply accept it to be true that the brightly-clad adult would then stop close to the Parliament building where the world’s eyes are focused for the nonce, and still not think that someone would notice them?
More to that, in this day and age of frantic and ubiquitous social media activity and heavy smart phone penetration, what self-respecting grown person would stand up against the wall and engage in a spot of public urination?
Before passing verdict, I trawled through my messages for important ones and was flabbergasted to get to a video clip that purported (I use this word very carefully, because I must tell the children that all this is made up fiction) to be an interview with the same yellow-clad gentlemen suspected of public urination.
I watched the video once and decided that the words could have been doctored, even though the phrase “I was badly off” sounded authentic. I even found a Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) Ordinance 6 of 2006 that read that any person who “commits a nuisance by easing himself or herself in any street or place of public resort…where he or she may be seen by the public…” commits an offence.
A short while later, I realized that I was subconsciously trying to avoid addressing the images and footage of Representatives of the Ugandan population engaged in a scuffle that involved hurling chairs about the ‘august’ House. That word ‘august’ means “respected and impressive”.
One person on Twitter lamented at the possibility of the children of any of the people in the Parliamentary fight footage seeing their parents fighting with their workmates, in suits and ties.
Two other video clips depicted other national leaders running from security officials, and others involved insults and disparagements befitting of an American President.
Here’s the one of Odonga Otto being chased by Parliamentary security officials: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Go2GNg0bEj4
Here’s the one of Moses Kasibante being chased by a policeman after jumping off a police pick-up truck: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rvIeob4oUxA
There was no salvaging the day, in general, and I urged my phone battery to die quietly so I could rest.
The next morning, a friend of mine expressed his dismay over a snafu with an Operation Wealth Creation project upcountry that meant his mother was going to lose an investment worth Ushs100million.
See, the rains have started and she is ready to plant crops but…and as we were chatting I quickly checked to find out whether any Leader has recently given guidance to the Ugandan populace on agriculture, agribusiness, investment or any other ‘developmental’ issue.
Even though just six months ago we were talking about the drought being a national disaster, we are into the wet season and there is no noise being made about growing food crops and other such unimportant matters. We are all about ‘Politics’.
Finding that the Age Limit debate has dominated the conversation, I checked for a copy of the Bill that is causing so much national excitement that we have lost control of our adrenaline and bladders. All the intellectuals out there should surely have dissected it quite considerably left, right and centre?
Like most of you out there, I couldn’t find it, and I am not interested enough to really chase it down because supporting it is the least of my worries and has not been made desirable in any way, while opposing it appears both cliched and just as distasteful in action, as evidenced on Tuesday.
Indeed, today most everything to do with Politics (not Uganda, yet) is as undesirable and distasteful as finding old men engaged in public urination. In terms of Leadership, we are really badly off right now.