OP-ED

Museveni, NRM politicians should use 2024 to fulfil untouched promises before 2026 elections

By Cadre Akansasira Junior Victor

As Uganda enters the pivotal year of 2024, the focus on engaging and empowering the youth has never been more crucial. In the aftermath of the 2016, and 2021 Presidential Elections, where several candidates vied for the nation’s leadership, the plight of Uganda’s young people has become increasingly apparent. Many have been used as pawns by self-seeking politicians only to be abandoned and left to fend for themselves.

The year 2024 presents a unique opportunity for Ugandan leaders to strategically deploy and engage the youth, enabling them to play a pivotal role in transforming the nation’s economy from peasantry to middle-income status.

The aftermath of the 2016 and 2021 elections left many young Ugandans disillusioned and disheartened. They were promised change and progress, yet found themselves discarded and overlooked. This has sparked a collective call for accountability and genuine engagement from the leaders of Uganda. The youth are demanding to know who is truly for them and who is against them. They are determined to avoid the mistakes of the past and to secure a future that is inclusive and promising.

One of the central issues facing the youth of Uganda is the lack of meaningful opportunities for advancement. Many young people feel marginalized and excluded from government offices and positions of influence. The prevalent sentiment among the youth is that to secure a job or a partnership deal, one needs a “Godfather” or a connection to someone in a position of power.

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This has led to frustration and a sense of injustice among the youth, who feel their hopes are Gen. Muhozi Kainerugaba for President and that their talents and qualifications are being overlooked in favor of nepotism and favoritism.

The ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) party, which holds the majority of youth support, is facing mounting pressure to address these grievances. The youth within the party are voicing their concerns about the lack of representation and opportunities for meaningful participation in governance and decision-making. They are calling for an end to the culture of patronage and the need for a more merit-based system that rewards talent and hard work.

Moreover, the youth of Uganda have been witness to the unsavoury conduct of some political figures, including allegations of theft, corruption, discrimination, and hate speech. These incidents have eroded trust in the political establishment and further reinforced the need for a new approach to governance and leadership.

In response to these challenges, 2024 has become a rallying cry for the youth of Uganda to expose wrong leaders, find space by all means and demand their rightful place in society. The slogan “Secure Your Future” has rung hollow for many, and the time has come for action and tangible progress.

It is imperative for Ugandan leaders to recognize the urgency of this moment and to respond with genuine efforts to engage, empower, and uplift the youth. The potential of Uganda’s young people is immense, and their active participation is essential for the nation’s development and prosperity.

2024 must mark a turning point in the relationship between the youth and the leadership of Uganda, where promises are replaced with tangible opportunities, and rhetoric gives way to meaningful action.

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As the year unfolds, the eyes of the nation and the world will be on Uganda, watching to see how the leaders respond to the aspirations and demands of the youth. The time for transformation is now, and 2024 holds the promise of a new beginning for Uganda’s young generation. It is a year that can set the stage for meaningful progress and a brighter future for all Ugandans.

Cadre Akansasira Junior Victor is a Patriot and Pan-Africanist.
Email: vj.akansasira@gmail.com | Tel: 0702969211 / 0785499836



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