Uganda’s Slow Slide into Crisis
Growing discontent threatens the dysfunctional and corrupt political system built by President Museveni, who is now manoeuvring to extend his three decades in power by raising a 75-year age limit on presidential candidates. As security, governance and economic performance deteriorates, Uganda needs urgent reforms to avoid greater instability.
The combination of corrupt, politicised police plus rising unemployment and deteriorating local governance, has contributed to mounting crime. In Kampala, youth gangs at times allegedly connive with police officials. Between May and August 2017 at least twenty women were raped and murdered on the outskirts of Kampala and Entebbe, sparking public panic.
Major violence is unlikely for now, but Uganda nonetheless faces the gradual fraying of order, security and governance. Discontent is growing, particularly among youth, against what many Ugandans see as perpetual rule by President Museveni and his NRM government. The president cannot continue to rely on patronage and coercion by loyal security services instead of initiating the reforms necessary to reverse the decline of the economy, public services and security.