Museveni’s address to journalists on eve of 2011 elections

Reading his address to journalists one gets the impression that Museveni had in mind ignorant people who have no clue what has happened in Uganda over the last 25 years. How can he transform Uganda into a second world when he has driven it into a fourth world? Uganda was a third world country when he came to power in 1986. For all intents and purposes, Uganda is now a fourth world using the yardstick of diseases of poverty that have spread to all corners of Uganda. We had some manufacturing enterprises that created jobs when he came to power. They are mostly gone. Uganda has de-industrialized and is now dominated by neglected agriculture using hand hoes and no fertilizers and services based in Kampala and dominated by foreigners.

Instead of pushing forward Museveni has been driving Uganda backward –possibly deliberately to create a marginalized and easily exploited society. Structural adjustment that was supposed to drive Uganda from third to second world failed miserably and was abandoned in 2009. Since then he has no plan to talk of, in any case, the government has been declared broke. God knows where all the donor money that was poured into the country from bilateral and multilateral sources a few months ago besides export earnings has gone. Ugandans and donors must demand a full account of what has happened.

Uganda’s overall standard of living has not approached what it was in 1970. Instead 20 percent of Ugandans are poorer than they were in 1986. Uganda is poorer, hungrier, sicker and less educated than when Museveni entered State House in 1986. He has succeeded only in facilitating re-colonization of Uganda.

Museveni is eager to get East African federation concluded in order to get another job and advance his Tutsi Empire dream. He is uncomfortable as president of Uganda because increasingly Ugandans believe he is not Ugandan. He knows he has never been popular in Uganda! He has been popular in the western camp of developed countries that call him ‘the blue-eyed darling’. Federation has no net positive benefits for Ugandans. It will only open the gate to immigrants and their animals from Kenya, Rwanda and Burundi who will occupy our land and cause conflicts. Kenyan skilled workers will take virtually all jobs since they are better trained than Ugandans who are mostly functionally illiterate and virtually unemployable.

Museveni’s legacy will be a failed president. He wanted to perform better than Obote but he has now realized that he is far behind and will never catch up, much less overtake him. He could even end up behind Amin according to some opinions. That is why he is distancing himself from the legacy issue.

At the start of his presidency, Museveni announced that Uganda would be a middle class and income country within 15 years. It is now a fourth world with a dwindling middle class. Much of the middle class has become the ‘new poor’ as a result of public servant retrenchment and overall adverse impact of structural adjustment from 1987 to 2009. Right now there are no programs that have succeeded. Modernization of agriculture was virtually abandoned soon after its launch. Poverty reduction action plan has similarly failed to take off, hence absolute poverty stands at over 50 percent.

Museveni says Uganda is not Egypt and therefore there won’t be riots. Uganda is Egypt in the sense that like Egypt, Uganda has many people unemployed mostly university graduates, poor, angry, hungry, sick and poorly housed. All the ingredients for riots are in Uganda as they were in Egypt. Ugandans are not docile as Museveni thinks. Mubarak had assumed Egyptians were docile. He was proved wrong in 18 days.

Ugandans have already served notice that if Museveni rigs this election, they will not go to court this time but will push him out of state house by other ‘peaceful’ means just as Mubarak was pushed out of the Cairo palace.

Should Museveni be re-elected freely and fairly for another five years, it will signify darker days for Uganda than we have experienced so far except the group he belongs to. He will simply re-appoint the cabinet he has had since 1986 and Uganda will continue to do business as usual and sink deeper into poverty and misery. Museveni, his family, relatives and in-laws will continue to accumulate ill-gotten wealth.