To ascertain whether a Nation at any point in time is in need of a Dictator of a Leader or a democratic one usually depends on the Threats, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Strengths of that Nation.

By Guest Writer

OPINION: The history of Rome can teach several developing African Nations many things about their own socio-political destiny.

After the people of ancient Rome expelled the despotic Tarquinius Superbus in 509 BC, they vowed never again to serve another king.

Reassembling the remnants of their kingdom into a republic, Tarquinius’ traumatized subjects adopted a constitution whose checks and balances would prevent power from concentrating in the hands of any individual.

Instead of one king, the Roman Republic was ruled by two consuls. These consuls were nominated by the Senate and chosen by the Comitia Centuriata, a popular assembly. Each consul could veto the other’s decisions. Both were dependent on the Senate to implement their executive orders.

The largely patrician (ruling class) Senate, meanwhile, had to contend with the tribunes of the plebs (citizens acting in an official governing capacity).

The only weakness in this setup was revealed during national emergencies, which called for quick, decisive action as opposed to unending debate.

To help the Republic defend itself in times of crisis, its founders created guidelines for appointing temporary dictators who, while in charge, stood head and shoulders above the senators, consuls, and even Rome’s old kings.

One could even argue that Rome’s dictators were more powerful than its emperors. Constitutionally, the emperor and the Senate were considered equals, with the latter absorbing the duties and responsibilities of the people’s tribunes.

Unlike dictators, emperors also lived at the mercy of soldiers, with Commodus, Caracalla, and Elagabalus dying at the hands of their own bodyguards: the Praetorian Guard. After Constantine, Rome’s emperors were further constrained by the principles of Christianity.

As you can see, a dictatorship is a functional part of Democracy in principle and even theory.

A Dictatorship in a theoretical functional Democracy arises out of a special necessity whereby all the Citizens agree to be governed by Dictator and to be dictated to without their resistance or opposition. When a Democratic dictator slaps you, you are supposed to say “Thank you sir”.

To ascertain whether a Nation at any point in time is in need of a Dictator of a Leader or a democratic one usually depends on the Threats, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Strengths of that Nation.

If a nation stands a risk of being invaded by other nations, the Leadership better be able and ready to dictate somehow. Modern democracies have been known to give rise to Leaders who they authorized to Dictate to other Non-Citizens e.g USA, the British Empire, German Empire, The Third Reich and this Political strategy works wonders for their Citizens most times as they get to absorb all resources from other regions other than theirs etc. Have you ever heard Americans Calling George Bush Jr to account for Crimes in Iraq?

The Nationals must therefore critically examine if having an All-powerful absolute leader leads to a vivid collective advantage for themselves as a people while being well aware of the ancient known Roman Democratic fact that True Democracy may only be practical under “Normal and standard Conditions” of Governance.

So is Uganda at this Point in time under “Normal and standard” conditions whereby the benefits of Bureaucratic Democratic processes and procedures out-weigh the Negatives of swift and Quick decision making, execution and implementation?

I don’t know. 

But you can think deeper about it.

The author is Jago Minyang Makombo Abaala, a concerned citizen.

Disclaimer: We as UG Reports Media LTD we welcome any opinion by any one if it’s of a constructive use to the Development of Uganda. All the expressions and opinions in this write-up are not of UG Reports Media LTD but for the author of the article.

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