chapter  7
13 Pages

Uganda: Democracy with an Army Checkpoint

WithRobert Pinkney

General Amin invaded Tanzania on the grounds that Tanzanians were harbouring Ugandan rebels who were plotting against him, and the Tanzanian Army not only repelled the attack but advanced to Kampala in 1979 and forced Amin to flee to Saudi Arabia. Uganda's current political structure is much more 'home grown' than that of Tanzania, or even Singapore and Malaysia. The churches play a prominent role in society, but Uganda's experience of sectarian parties in the 1960s makes them wary of becoming too 'political'. Democracy promoters in Uganda have to cope with more shifting sands than in Tanzania. As in Tanzania, the objectives and activities of indigenous democracy promotion groups overlap substantially with those of external promoters. The strengths and weaknesses of democracy stem very much from the processes by which the current regime came to power as a successful insurgent movement.