Uganda national security: Are we secure really???



If there is anything that the current government has talked of among its achievements, it is National security. And if you visited villages and asked why they vote president Museveni all the time, the first reason is that he brought security and nationally, people are free. But the question has popped up into my mind, are we really secure? According to Mateka Loise (my friend), we can say we are secure if even after Museveni or any other important individual, we still remain secure. But the thing is; have you not heard of these sayings in the village, "If Museveni loses the race, there will be a war. So let us vote him". Is that the peace and security you mean? The one maintained if there is no change or loss of an individual? Let us simply analyze the Uganda national security and see..

According to National Defence College of India (1996), national security is an appropriate and aggressive blend of political resilence and maturity, human resources, economic structure and capacity, technological competence, industrial base and availability of natural resources and finally the military might. Harold Brown, U.S. Secretary of Defense from 1977 to 1981 added other values or elements of economic and environmental security when he defined the words. In his words, “National security then is the ability to preserve the nation’s physical integrity and territory; to maintain its economic with the rest of the world on reasonable terms; to preserve its nature, institution, and governance from disruption from outside and to control its borders” (Brown Harold, 1983). Prabhakaran (2008), added that the nation must be able to overcome the multi-dimensional threats to the wellbeing of its people and its survival as a nation. These threats to the nations people and their sovereignty can either be external or internal (Charles Maier, 1990). All these definitions can be summarized in Anold Wolfers’ words, “National security objectively means the absence of threats to acquired values and subjectively, the absence of fear that such values will be attacked”.

As reflected in the above definitions, it is not enough to think that a country is secure simply because it has a strong and effective military aspect or one/few of the elements of national security but all other aspects must be strong and effective too (Romm, 1993). Thus Romm and Joseph J (1993) point out that on top of military security, there must be economic, political, environmental, energy and natural resources, technology (cyber) securities and empowerment of women.

Even though I do not have all the facts and statics plus news records of every event (the reason my analysis is prone to your judgments and criticism), but i am confident enough to say that we have not been doing well in our economics, technology, food security, constitutionalism and in so many other areas that guarantee national security. While the government brought remarkable changes among women by encouraging women emancipation, the recent acts of police and anti-ponography campaigns have done more disgraceful versions to our women. The current arrests of women while they are naked are all a symbol of a weak nation as we have cited above. Economically, the unemployment level has risen, the gap between the rich and poor enlarged, the fall of our shillings and death due to famine has nothing to assure us of security.

About energy, natural resources, and environment security, I do not think we have moved an inch. Recently, president Museveni said that electricity has been extended to many parts of the country but he recognized the fact that electricity is expensive. That is no help, it only means that the rich will use electricity and get richer and poor remain poor. I do not think we have a working policy to safeguard our environment, industries still do their way, and even the kavera campaign lost morale. So what is it that guarantees security here? Even militarily, we have so much conspiracies and deaths going on within the country and outside where our army is offering a helping hand. Take an example of our soldiers dying in Somalia and those who die here under unclear circumstances. Our constitution lost its value many years ago, I do not know if you know that. Yaeh, at times they pull it out and use it for some selected jobs or defenses, but, is that all? Don’t you think that a constitution with power and respect can govern a country even without a president or army? Do you think there is security when people do not respect their constitution? Does that tell you that we are secure?

Yeah, our country is not as it was in 1986, it has changed a lot, but don't you think more than this must have happened? Do you think our economy, education, health, and national security in general should be what they are after all these years? In my opinion, I do not think we are secure enough. The current government must set up strategies by tackling and improving all the elements of national security like the economy, the political and constitutional governance, the energy and environment security and more so that even when governments or leaders change, our national security still stands. I have used the words, 'the current government' to show that I am not interested in the name of the government. It could be NRM (Museveni), FDC (Besigye), Or Mbabazi, I am not advocating for any of these, I am simply interested in seeing work done. What do you think????

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