M7 should admit that his development policies haven’t worked in order to be able to make adjustments. But by refusing to admit he is continuing to make errors. He has now begun to come up with statistics about Gross National Income (GNI) and per capita income and increase in the manufacturing sector and energy production.
At the beginning of his presidency he came up with a comprehensive ten-point program whose end result was to end the suffering of the people of Uganda. He stressed ending, not reducing, poverty in Uganda. He stressed making schools work and produce quality and skilled workers. He would feed all Ugandans adequately. Diseases would be conquered and he would re-grow hair on balding Uganda hills. These were laudable goals.
But Museveni lost the way by embracing inappropriate neo-liberal policies of invisible hand of market forces, laissez faire policies, labor flexibility, austerity program and trickle down mechanism. He knew these policies had not worked in Chile and Ghana and he knew Tanzania was resisting them.
Isaac Newton was born in England in 1642 almost 100 years after Galileo (Italian scientist) had written that the earth goes around the sun contradicting ancient Greek scientists including Aristotle and Ptolemy who had written that the sun went around the earth. Newton became very interested about how the world worked. He read every book he could lay his hands on.
Newton got admitted to Cambridge University to study science. There, he was told to study the ideas of ancient Greeks like Plato and Aristotle. However, Newton thought that the ideas of modern scientists like Copernicus and Galileo were closer to the truth than those of ancient Greeks, a radical move. He wrote in his notebook in Latin that “Amicus Plato amicus Aristoteles magis amica veritas” which in English translation reads “Plato is my friend, Aristotle is my friend, but my best friend is truth”. He experimented with the ideas of modern scientists until he was able to determine the force that pulls on the apple. He called it gravity. In 1687 he published his ideas in a book titled Principia Mathematica, or Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy. Because he told the truth, Newton occupies a proud position in the pantheon of scientific investigation and is buried in Westminster Abbey.
Many are wondering why October 9 (2010), Uganda’s 48th independence anniversary came and went like any other day. It happened that way because there was virtually nothing to celebrate. Independence anniversaries are about celebrating achievements, not mourning failures. A number of factors explain this silence.
Until the abandonment of structural adjustment in 2009 as a failed strategy, NRM government boasted that it had created conditions for high economic growth (although the rate was lower than the real GDP growth rate of 7-8 per cent a year required as a minimum to achieve the MDGs especially halving extreme poverty between 1990 and 2015), low and stable inflation rate, export diversification, privatization of public enterprises, controlling and reversing HIV & AIDS, providing universal primary education and maintaining peace, security and stability. External sponsors of these programs praised Museveni and his NRM government for achieving stability. Thus, NRM government and its external supporters felt they had done their work – and done it very well. The rest would be performed by the private sector as the engine of growth under able guidance of the invisible hand of market forces and trickle down mechanism. Maintaining macroeconomic stability was left in the hands of the Ministry of Finance and Central Bank.