Ugandans are hurting and demonstrating against the government

The sketchy sad news reaching us through the New Vision report of a police officer killed in the nation’s capital Kampala, use of tear gas to disperse demonstrators and arrest of opposition leaders including the president of FDC and the Mayor of Kampala. Since 2009 demonstrations are increasingly becoming common especially since the fraudulent presidential and parliamentary elections of 2011. It is important to realize that demonstrations take place to register that something is wrong and needs to be corrected by the authorities elected to represent the interests of the people who are sovereign.

In Uganda many things have gone wrong led by corruption and the situation is getting worse. The public’s outcry and advice from other sources have been ignored by the government. The economic crisis and the attendant unemployment of youth, hunger, disease and poverty have reached intolerable levels. The emergence of rare diseases affecting children including the nodding disease and the one deforming children limbs is a cause of deep concern. Market forces and the private sector are not equipped to address all these mushrooming problems. The state has to step in and ease the suffering of the people of Uganda.

Ugandans are hurting as 2011 draws to a close

As 2011 draws to a close, let us take stock of where we are as a guide on the way forward.

Uganda’s story begins with the colonial rule whose mission was “to bring peace, prosperity and justice to the less fortunate peoples [of Uganda]”.

Peace is understood to mean absence of conflict, torture and wars; prosperity to mean absence of poverty and its offshoots of hunger, disease and ignorance; and justice to mean fairness and equal opportunity for all.

All independence governments committed themselves to do the same.

While conducting a guerrilla war (1981-5) NRM was most critical of the failures of colonial and independence governments to fulfill promises in peace, prosperity and justice. NRM presented a blue print known as the ten-point program as an alternative to past failed policies and practices.

It’s now twenty six years since NRM came to power through barrel of the gun, having failed to gain power through the ballot box in 1980. Instead of enjoying the promised peace, prosperity and justice, the people of Uganda have experienced too much suffering and are hurting badly.