Ask Mugisha Muntu - October 2022 Report

 This report highlights the major elements of the dialogue. The Ask Mugisha Muntu dialogue was moderated by Godwin Toko.

Mugisha Muntu’s view on religion tied to politics

I was born in a Christian family and had a Christian upbringing in the schools I attended. I am also born again. I say by God’s Grace because I acknowledge that I would be unable to do anything on my own without God’s intervention in my political journey.

On hobbies- sports and books

At present, I do not support any particular team when it comes to football but I enjoy watching basketball and swimming. I have intentions of engaging in swimming and golf as a way of exercising. Reading is one of my favourite pastimes. I read a lot of motivational, spiritual, and historical books. All of which have helped to shape my perspective on life. 

On life in the bush (the 1980s)

The first camp I joined was in Matugga which had about 40 soldiers. The majority of us were unarmed and I only spent 2 days there. Cooking and movement were always at night to avoid detection. For the longest time, we survived on cassava until 1983 when there was a  liberated territory that gave us easy access to food supplies. 1984 was a tough period as a lot of soldiers died due to malnutrition, health issues, and brutal battles.

On employing the 1980s experience to today’s regional and global situation

I will like to say or think that I can apply the methods used during those times in today’s regional and global situations but that will not be favourable.  In the area of injustices for instance, If I had the same factors, we would not be discussing these issues on social media platforms because I would have been armed and fighting.  However, the contemporary world proffers different diplomatic ways of tackling both regional and global challenges. Now with the benefit of hindsight, we recognise that arm warfare as the first resort to acquiring power is pointless. We do not need to engage in armed warfare to take power. Suitable conditions, exceptional skills, and good methods, and strategies can facilitate the peaceful transfer of power.

Viewpoint on the cause of climate change

The basic underlying cause of climate change is poverty and until it is resolved, deforestation will persist.

 On the solutions to mitigate climate change in Uganda

The government needs to design programs that focus on economic development whereby people are lifted from poverty. This will enable the ordinary individual to generate an income that caters for them in their varied areas of need like health and education. Additionally, the government needs to consider allocating resources towards the promotion of afforestation and recycling of plastic. It is not enough to make laws regarding littering and deforestation. Those laws need to be enforced to deter others who partake in similar acts.

 On the issue of population in Uganda “is it good or bad?”

The priority here should be building and expanding the economic base thus ensuring that they sustain economic development which can cater for an expanding population. Also making education a priority. To control the rapid population growth in Uganda, education is important. When people are educated, they are able to control the population with low birth rates which is more effective.

On how to make the East African Community better?

There has to be a shift in mindsight. The desire for cooperation and unity is insufficient. You should be able to cede power if you want to improve. The moment leaders in the East African Community overcome the fear of the unknown and look at things from a different perspective, then the free movement of capital, labour, goods, and services will bring about prosperity.

Final remarks: I appreciate having this discussion with Godwin and participating in it with the audience. Thanks a lot, to the colleagues who made this conversation a success. I hope we can keep building this and grow the numbers on our varied social media platforms.

Report compiled by Priscilla Kwabea Fianko