Discrimination has stunted Uganda’s development efforts

Uganda has begun the next fifty years of independence on a sad political, diplomatic and socio-economic note marked by political instability within the NRM and between it and opposition groups, corruption scandals, diplomatic deficit to handle the UN report on alleged Uganda involvement in DRC and deepening and spreading poverty.

Ugandans therefore need to take stock and understand why with all the abundant natural and human resources and generous foreign aid Uganda has continued to perform far below expectation. One of the reasons is discrimination at individual and group levels. The history of communities that were later compressed into Uganda at the start of the 20th century is full of illustrations about how discrimination has stunted individual and group performance and ultimately adversely impacted Uganda’s development.

Bantu speaking people entered what later became Uganda with a wide range of skills including livestock herding of short horn cattle, goats, sheep and poultry keeping, knowledge of manufacturing a wide range of products especially iron and crop cultivation. Later they specialized according to their comparative advantage (manufacturing, herding, crop cultivation, fishing, hunting and gathering wild fruits and vegetables which they traded in local markets). This diversification and exchange enabled households to consume adequate and balanced diets that enabled them to develop immunity against diseases.

Devastating wars in southwest Uganda

Since I joined Uganda politics I have been disturbed by the high propensity for war. It appears that Ugandans are eager to solve every problem through war. If you advocate peaceful means you are quickly called a coward. There are commentators who habitually dismiss peaceful change of regime in Uganda without explaining why war is a better alternative. You wonder whether these are saboteurs or genuine citizens. A large part of what we read and hear about Uganda is war mongering. There are Ugandans who are now getting ready to start war once the Syrian one is over because they believe it is Uganda’s turn. I believe war should be resorted to in self-defense. We therefore need Plan A (peaceful change of regime) and Plan B (military means for self-defense). Preparation for both should take place concurrently.