Succession talk divisive, ill-intentioned – Odrek Rwabwogo

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Dear Friends and colleagues,
 I have seen some of my old media interview videos and images mischievously and callously re-edited and distributed in increasing proportion by some elements who I suppose are intent on creating a certain political posturing.

I have ignored these in the past but I am now compelled to respond given the presumptuous import and possible interpretation of these clips by some of you, my friends. These videos are adulterated and they are presented as if they were done today yet they are more than six years old.

The people doing this, I presume, seek to create the impression that there are some special people, the right conjecture should be ‘usurpers and jostlers’ in the Movement; people vying for positions on the matter of succession and leadership in the party and/or country. They assume that if they throw my name in this melee, it makes their games appear legitimate and credible. This is wrong. Munsaanze nga ndaba, amaaso nga kanude bulungi. You will not use me or anyone I work with in this undisciplined and aimless behaviour.
There are two problems with this thinking. First, the people behind it should know there is no election going on now and we only got out of an internal election in the in the country a few months back. I was not a participant in any of these elections. Why would I or anyone now project themselves in a non-existent contest? What outcome would one be aiming at? Who is this with the kind of time on their hands for these distractive games at a time when the country is struggling to move forward with the work of healing rifts caused by elections? The second problem with this fruitless social media campaign is its underlying intention to drive a wedge among supporters of the Movement as if the organization has neither structures nor leadership or administration and a system to make decisions on how leaders are replaced. This, therefore must be enemy propaganda meant to cause unnecessary strife and it should be rejected. Anyone who falls for these stunts or appears to promote them and is casual about their negative impact, is an adversary of our stability to which many gave their lives. And what more, the creators of this disinformation must be enemies of the process of building our institutions, the very efforts that will create certainty and predictability for our country’s political system. These people therefore, cannot be my comrades. Please know that Uganda is neither a monarchy nor is the Movement a tree to be climbed and abused by any illegitimate interests anyhow.  Legitimacy in the Movement and in any organization is a function of merit, capability and contribution. There should never be any other grounds or criteria.
To you who I work with or who have seen our efforts in the past and are now genuinely confused by this cleverly contrived online gimmickry in pictures, I would like to assure you that I continue to work as an unpaid teacher for building national collective values, support efforts to wean our youth from dizzying empty politics so they can concentrate on creating their own enterprises. Even if there might be some people who see and appreciate something in what we do, no one has come to me to consult on anything you see circulating on social media. I wake up and see these images just like many of you do. I have no hand in them. In the 2015 race in which I was disallowed, I did not hide behind social media. I went publicly to all corners of our country, to our elders and to thousands of young people and we worked in broad daylight.
I explained the issues of our time and what we need to do as an organization and a growing country. Why would I now choose to hide behind social media trolls and circulate old campaign artifacts, even if I wanted to run for any office?  If anyone has worked with me over the years, they would easily tell this is not our work methods. We always seek an honest, deeply engaging and thoughtful debate about what needs to be done. This is because we know that Leadership is not about positions and titles. It is hard and thankless work and without a genuine calling, few can sustain the pain of the marathon and the loneliness of hard decision making. Therefore, anyone who falsely or deliberately positions me in this jostling for positions, really insults both our intelligence and the work we do. Leadership is a selfless and genuine internal search for purpose and contribution to any institution, whether public or private. Leadership is a carefully sought out choice about who is capable among very many who might often not even see a similar direction, for an institution at a given time and circumstances.
To many young people that I meet in our teaching sessions, I implore you to focus on the greater issues of our country especially our very urgent need for building an economy that, like rising waters, lifts all boats, to seek out what unites us and to shun the use of cheap underhand methods as a means of getting into leadership. Those unprincipled methods will come to bite you in your own time if you aren’t careful.
I Thank you

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