The publication of the National Recovery Plan (NRP) in 2011 accessible at www.udugandans.org which presents a sharp contrast to what NRM is doing necessitated civic education on a wide range of issues. We have therefore dealt with some ‘hot’ topics that others have avoided so that Ugandans fully understand why with all the natural and human resources Uganda is retrogressing which is no longer a debatable issue. Even economic growth rates and per capita income which were used to present ‘rosy’ economic performance have declined precipitously. Economic growth has plummeted from 10 per cent in mid-1990s to around three percent currently while population is growing at 3.5 percent ahead of economic growth of 3 percent. This is not development. It is retrogression. Under these conditions Uganda cannot become a middle income country in a few years from now.
In our assessment of Uganda’s performance, we have separated processes from outcomes of development such as a higher standard of living. NRM government reports processes. For example, writing an excellent modernization of agriculture document per se won’t transform subsistence to commercial farming. Writing an impressive Poverty Eradication Action Plan with little or no implementation won’t reduce poverty. Programs have to be implemented which NRM has failed to do. Constructing schools and graduating students every year is necessary but not sufficient. Education makes sense only when graduates get jobs and earn good income to meet at least the basic needs of life.
Greetings fellow Ugandans and friends
The verdict is out – loud and clear. The February 2011 presidential, parliamentary and local elections were massively rigged – there were many imperfections including lack of level a playing field and using public funds for NRM campaigns. The results are illegitimate. Therefore, governments at the central and local levels formed out of these illegitimate elections are also illegitimate, unacceptable and rejected by the people of Uganda.
Western congratulatory messages that have come in so far should be interpreted with a grain of salt.
The people of Uganda have decided to bring the new governments down through peaceful demonstrations, making room for a coalition transitional government to prepare for free and fair elections at presidential, parliamentary and local levels.
The massive election rigging has driven the last nail in Museveni’s presidency. He is no longer the darling of the west. Corruption, sectarianism, failure of structural adjustment, plunder of Congolese resources, interference in neighbors’ political affairs and alleged genocide of Hutu people in DRC by Uganda troops have immensely diminished his credibility.
The west has been sending messages of discontent with Museveni’s regime which we need to take into account as we drive him and NRM out of power.
During and since our last broadcast on radio Munansi (February 20, 2011) many questions have been raised including whether Uganda is ready for change, where are the leaders, when should the change take place and, will Museveni and his security forces behave like Qaddafi in Libya? Let us look at history lessons for guidance.
Is Uganda ready for change? Yes it is. Historically, in countries where rebellions, revolts or revolutions take place, societies are characterized by extreme inequalities, high unemployment especially among the youth, high levels of poverty and high prices. For example, at the time of the French Revolution, France was characterized by high inequalities in wealth and privileges between the monarch, nobility and high clergy on one hand and commoners on the other. Also, poverty and unemployment levels were high and food prices were high. Uganda meets all these characteristics as discussed in previous debates.
Where are the leaders? Changes have taken place with or without leaders. History shows that some revolutions have had leaders that mobilized the discontented people through advocacy. The England’s peasants’ revolt of 1381 was prepared through agitation by priest John Ball and peasant Wat Tyler. After this revolt, no medieval English government attempted to impose a poll tax again. When Margaret Thatcher attempted to restore it she was forced out of office as prime minister.