Uganda Parties Should Adopt the ‘communist’ ways of Disciplining ‘Rebels’ if they wish to survive
8/21/2012 8:34:39 PM -
Many have written about the chasm between Museveni and NRM 'rebel' members yet few seem to fully grasp the nature of their misunderstandings or how best to deal with rebellious activities within an organisation. It is something I have thought about after being a moderator of Ugandans At Heart (UAH) forum for a long time, and seeing some members being intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly 'indiscipline' in the way they conduct themselves in our online debates but hate being 'punished' or 'corrected' in any way. Actually, there is one I banned recently and he threatened to destroy UAH using all means; called me a former NRA 'kadogo', e.t.c, and i was left amazed how far people could go with their bad behaviours and poor upbringing.
Unlike the NRM, at UAH- too much power there rests much on the shoulders of the members and it is primarily in their control as to its success. I only come in if I think the member is way out of line too much but i'm not really an interfering cow.
According to the NRM party constitution, house rules say a member should: ' observe discipline, behave honestly and be loyal to the decisions of the majority of the members of the organ where a member belongs and to the decisions of higher organs within the structures of NRM '.
The same document says a member must : '' refrain from publishing, distributing or making statements to any media house which purports to Rights of be the view or position of NRM without members authorisation of the organ of NRM where the member belongs''. However, I have been reading reports in the media where Hon Nsereko, Hon Ssekikubo, and others were threatening the positions of their party, and nothing is done to them. May be, the NRM organs are not as functional as they make us believe , because in all honesty, why are these guys still members of a decaying party? That's why i'm still sceptical of their real intentions to rebelling against their party chairman. I smell fish in their messages though i may be wrong, but we shall wait and see.
At one time I read comments from one gentleman who happens to be the NRM chairman - rhetorically saying that the NRM NEC would consider disciplining rebels, with possible penalties including expulsion, censure, reprimand and fines, but nothing came of it. I thought Museveni was the most powerful man in Uganda; after all, he is insulated by a rabidly partisan parliament with no interest in investigating the executive branch (and little taste for disciplining itself). May be, these so called 'rebels' were created by the so called 'discipliner' to render the responsibilities of FDC irrelevant. Who knows! May be NRM is already a dead party as ignorant and corrupt people combine their ignorant corruption to steal elections, ignore laws and design bills designed to weaken Uganda. May be the rebels have seen this and don't want to put the party over their country and corrupting to the duties they swore an oath to. A lot of 'may bes'
To some extent, I think FDC are certainly just as tough about party discipline compared to NRM. The difference is that you have a wider range of ideologies in the FDC than the NRM. It's a lot easier for Museveni, with all the resources and power he has got, to thread the needle than it is for any FDC leader. It seems president Museveni only cares about his survival and he does it by supporting criminality, divisions, fraud, and parasitism within his own party.
Perhaps, respectable religious leaders need to be the nation's parents and start disciplining these unruly 'kids,' forcing some sense of responsibility on them, because I'm really tired of seeing indiscipline within political parties in Uganda. 'kyaba too much'! The concept that the members should retain the right to self-regulate their behaviour or conduct is entirely misplaced. Some people need to be forcibly guided if they are so big headed as FDC dealt with Beti Kamya and Onzima.
I think political parties in Uganda should take a communist approach to dealing with 'rebels' in their parties. The Soviet Communist International (Comintern) was founded in March 1919 at a congress in Moscow by Vladimir Lenin. The international objectives of the Comintern were self-evident from its title. By 1920 Lenin had already left no doubt that he envisioned the Comintern as 'a branch of the Russian Communist Party, organized on its model and subject to its orders.' The 1920 Comintern congress made this clear, demanding of its foreign delegates that when they returned home, they would impose 'iron military discipline' upon party members in their countries, ensuring fealty to and 'the fullest comradely confidence' in the headquarters in Moscow. Beyond the parties, they were to seek to take over mass organizations and especially trade unions in their home countries.
Significantly, the Comintern made clear that members of foreign communist partiesfrom Europe to Americawho did not toe this line, who did not give total subservience to Moscow, 'who reject in principle the conditions and theses put forward by the Communist International, are to be expelled from the party.' This was the classic, infamous 'party discipline' that was a trademark of communist parties everywhere.
The 1920 congress further added as a condition for admission and membership to the Comintern: 'Every party which wishes to join the Communist International is obligated to give unconditional support to any Soviet republic in its struggle against counter-revolutionary forces.'
Personally, I think political parties should be governed by military discipline, and 'democratic centralism' where party-membership is tightly controlled and all members must keep party discipline, not contradicting the party-line in public, but only through internal 'democratic' debate. All political parties should be allowed to own newspapers, just like they own online forums, to play a central role in communicating the party official positions. A serious party shouldn't rely heavily on front organizations (as I hear NRM own some organisations in and out of the country), ostensibly independent but actually controlled by president Museveni.
But overall, I think the key to learning and success of political parties is discipline as opposed to letting the wheel drive itself. We try to install 'discipline' in our online forums by moderating messages of 'rebels' and if possible: throw the bad apples out of the basket to avoid contaminating the good ones.