I have been watching the campaigns in my country with keen intent with the candidates making many promises from simple sanitary pads to specialized prisons with equipments for the corrupt like you would have in a kindergarten. Some promises are good others are simply out of this world while some successes can’t be defended however I have noticed a pattern there is so much blame shifting with no one taking blame for failures.
By blame shifting I mean a situation where one candidate calls out the other candidate for a decision taken several years back presented in search a way that the candidates looks like its him who solely made that decision all on his own while disregarding his colleagues which I personally believe is not true because I see it more as a propaganda tool than speaking reality. For starters unless a decision Is blessed by the whole collective I don’t think a minister regardless of stature can go his way a make a decision otherwise people would be making decisions that would have resulted in a coup that would have taken place long time a ago since so many players are simply deciding on their own whim.
This blame shifting has been used mainly by the incumbent candidate Museveni who has shifted blame to his competitors Amama Mbabazi and Kizza Besigye over decisions they made while in power but some how when ever he explains their role he absolves himself which I think is wrong otherwise if he was speaking gospel truth he would have been coup *d’étated *a million years ago which has not happened which means he actually blessed all these moves made by his former colleagues.
This blame shifting thrives where usually the incumbent speaks last at say a speech or public gathering, the afflicted part can’t have much say in defending themselves. Imagine this scenario the president comes to your town where you are the LC1 he promises to deliver water and reminds the voters how you failed but because the voters are gullible they fall for it but you remember a caucus meeting chaired by the same president that shifted the same funds to cater a certain unplanned and unbudgeted event. You in the end become the fall guy and it would help to explain why so many low level candidates don’t always return to office but the president does. This is because the blame is shifted to all the low level leaders except the big man and the problem is the voters see and interact with the low level leaders who are always the fall guys.
It’s on this background that I would like a presidential debate because it gives the victims chance to explain there hands in these decision on the spot and also by chance they will be able to explain what the president stood to benefit from that decision because for 30 years we Ugandans have seen the president as the wronged party. He will shift blame to anything even the constitution if it says he stands then he stands its not his decision the constitution says so period.
A live debate would be the right platform because it’s hard to stand on your feet and say candidate so and so while he was in government decided against this without explaining how you the collective in power let that happen yet you have the constitutional power to turn it around.
A debate would also will also pit the candidates ideas against each other directly in front of us without their PR machines playing dirty games and scheming under cover because if the candidate promises 1million shillings pay rise then the candidates can defend that promise explaining it in such a way tat the other candidates looked fools for not having seen this possibility long before. Also candidates would have to explain why some campaign promises have never been fulfilled because the other day I saw the Minister of youth on TV trying to explain why Arua had not yet been given city status despite it being a campaign promise from 2011 elections and even next years elections its a campaign promises and all she did was mumble way the answers. Imagine if the man supposed to over see the manifesto begins mumble too in front of a live audience with his opponents ready to pounce for the crumbs. I know a date would not change the result but at least it breaks the invincibility of certain candidates.