Radio Munansi English Program Jan. 26, 2013.
This is Eric Kashambuzi communicating from New York.
Greetings to you all: fellow Ugandans at home and abroad, friends and well- wishers.
I am glad to be back on Radio Munansi to continue the discussion of issues in Uganda’s political economy under the theme “Together we shall succeed”.
I mentioned political economy to signify that political decisions determine economic direction and economic forces affect politics. Thus, politics and economics are inter-linked.
I also chose the theme “Together we shall succeed” because I honestly believe that by working together we have a better chance of unseating NRM whose record of failure is there for all to see. I have been thrilled to see that the idea of working together has been received warmly by fellow Ugandans on face book among others.
Since the beginning of 2011, I have been active in Uganda politics. I have told you who I am, where I was born and grew up, where I was educated and what I have done in my career. I presented my profile in three parts which are posted at www.kashambuzi.com for easy reference.
Good medical doctors always insist they will not prescribe medication until they are sure they have diagnosed and identified the problem. The tests and consultations involved are sometimes expensive in time and money.
Similarly challenges in other areas of human endeavor should be correctly analyzed before solutions are presented. This takes time, money and above all patience.
As I read and hear commentators about developments in Uganda and the Great Lakes region, I am impressed by the depth of analysis and understanding of issues. For example:
1. People are correctly saying that economic growth is necessary but not sufficient condition for social development;
2. They are saying that rapid economic growth that destroys the environment is not sustainable;
3. They are saying that focus on urban development at the expense of the countryside will create more problems than solutions;
4. They are saying that without educating girls and empowering women and controlling immigrants into Uganda it will be difficult to reduce population growth;
5. They are saying that export of raw materials however diversified in commodities and markets will not generate enough foreign exchange earnings, keeping Uganda dependent on donations with strings attached;
Some people –Ugandans and non-Ugandans – close and not so close to me have wondered – directly and indirectly – why I have decided to oppose Museveni when there is no chance of winning because he is powerful at home and abroad. Besides I or someone else could get hurt. Some have even questioned my motive.
This is the first time in Uganda’s political history that I have actively campaigned. I have chosen to participate in order to defeat Museveni in his re-election bid for another five years. He has been president for 25 years already. During this period, as outlined below, the welfare of the majority of Uganda citizens and the environment has deteriorated.
My education and profession were influenced greatly by the injustices of the colonial indirect rule system which was an extension of a repressive feudal system of lords and serfs (rich and poor) in Rujumbura county of Rukungiri district in southwest Uganda. The chiefs and their families lived very well at the expense of the poor who produced goods and services. Through tribute, taxes and free labor the poor peasants toiled for the comfort of the chiefs. Most of the nutritious food (goat meat, chicken, eggs, beans, fruits etc) was consumed by chiefs. Heads of households would disappear for months to work for tax money leaving their wives behind toiling to keep the family alive.