Consciousness of the masses is paramount for national transformation, London based scholar Yashpal Tandon has stated. He made these remarks while speaking at the launch of his Common People’s Uganda book at Africana hotel in Kampala.
Using the example of China and Cuba, Tandon pointed out that unless people are ideologically awake and in charge, uprisings only stand to prop elite interests.
“It happened in Cuba Castro could do it, china and Vietnam but Uganda no…We are the only party that decided that power comes from people not from the gun.
Museveni came to power by the barrel of the gun. Now that is okay if there is the consciousness to support you. If it is not there then the power of the gun without people’s participation is dictatorial”, he explains.
Tandon further explained that the reason they disbanded as Uganda National Liberation Front- Anti dictatorship (UNLF-AD) was because the consciousness of the people had not reached its melting point. He rubbished assertions that the top core handed over its soldiers to the National Resistance Army.
UNLF-AD was a short lived guerrilla outfit that was formed in the early 1980’s to fight President Milton
Obote regime. It was led by Professors Yash Tandon, Edward Rugumayo and Dan Nabudere among many others.
Commenting on the plight of peasants in modern day Uganda, Maj. Gen. Mugisha Muntu the Alliance National Transformation (ANT) party leader said unless key interventions are made, the nation is seated on a time bomb. Muntu explained that land and agro centred reforms need to be undertaken to improve the lives of peasants who are increasingly fragmenting their land to meet population demands.
“Unless there are interventions such that the person who has got 2 acres is helped on how he/she can increase the production even on the small acreage that they do have, irrigation and seed improvement. You will find yourself sitting on a time bomb”, he elaborates.
However for this to happen, Muntu says it boils down to who is in charge of the country.