February 28, 2017 the Parliament of Uganda, in an event that attracted such diverse reviews, nine (9) members out of 45 Candidates were voted to represent Uganda in the East African Legislative Assembly in Arusha, Tanzania.
The role of EALA members is mostly to sculpt policies [shaping the future of the Integration and pressing the case for their individual countries in the East Africa Community]. But whereas it is important to do all that, it is upon the new legislators now to understand that the noose that undermined the success of our Integration in the past has never been lopped off – and it is still very apparent today — elitism.
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It is with such critical importance that this [mistake] be addressed now – lest all these efforts [by the East African Bodies] be a pipe dream again.
No doubt, the myriad of tasks that await the new breed of East African legislators in Arusha, mostly orbit about streamlining macro-economic integrations and the eventual political federation. Meanwhile it should be at the back of EALA’s mind that it matters less what they [political elite of this region] do if it’s not in synch with the wanainchi, and what they (common people) perceive to be more important to them.
It is these, the grassroots that anchor any society. The absurdity with everything that is happening with the East African Dream is how recklessly, the Common people have been sidelined. It is no coincidence that majority of our people are largely green about the whole idea.
The elitist approach with which the leaders involved seem to be scheming this integration risks killing it much sooner than later – ironically because the party being left behind is the Principal stakeholder in the entire plan.
Before the East African Community finally collapsed in the 1970s, it was as simple as the heads of states falling out with each other. . . Eventually everything East African crumbled to naught, just because there was absolutely nothing else the community could hang itself upon to survive the agitation at the top. It had been a leader’s thing more than it was a people’s thing, so to speak.
We seem to be repeating the same mistakes [even institutionally (with EALA, The Summit, Council of Ministers etc.]. The leaders at EALA seem to care more about streamlining who does/takes what, when, why or even how yet doing little to include the people of East Africa about what could be a monumental African achievement in this Century – the East African Federation.
These are the days when the people of East Africa are being put on a rollercoaster of Western pragmatism. Truth be told, the apparent political unrest [defiance] in our society is a frustration and an offshoot of Neo-Imperialism and [an] Americanism [which is much like being hostage to Idealism (bureaucracy / democracy) vis-à-vis the African solution [which really is about the ordinary man himself fighting for what he believes and knows by instinct].
African people are weary and exhausted of this political idealism and showdowns. Our leaders should now be working at how to restore some social sanity and serenity first. This, by radically popularizing the East African Integration [talking more about what unites than what divides us]. In other words African people in all member countries should be made to know that they can always count on each other – this, in terms of security or social welfare.
It is upon the leaders now to use [East African Institutions] to foster the revival of the “Africanness” in us. Our brotherliness [or brotherhood] will be the fervor to propel our economies forward and eventually cushion our politics.
As it is now, we are [unwittingly] stuck in political impasse where strife, mistrust, self-importance rule the day. Moreover this helps no future – especially the African future.
Our legislators ought to reflect deeply and more insightfully so; we need no more expediency at this point in time [term]. Clearly it not saving the European Union from its imminent catastrophe – especially now with France beginning to admire the BREXIT really intensely.
The question is; what different are our legislators going to do to give us an East Africa that will withstand sectarianism [religionism / tribalism], jingoism or even Western imperialism / witch-hunt.
If I should suggest, a solid African ideology [one not merely focused on political or economic welfare but on African social excellence and tolerance] is the key. And this can only be by making big campaigns to prepare, teach and involve the Wanainchi.
It is upon our legislative Assembly to be original and not be so predictable. We are Africans and we should believe in ourselves more and draw energy from within our peculiarity and our people.
This approach is what I envisage to be African solution to African problems.