Comments on Uganda’s Jubilee Speech

On October 9, 2012, in a seven page speech delivered from Kololo airstrip, President Museveni who has been in power for more than half of fifty years of Uganda’s independence addressed the nation and the world. The first two pages of the speech were devoted to protocol requirements and listing invited dignitaries within and without Uganda. The third and part of the fourth pages were devoted to the list of ten strategic bottlenecks inherited at independence in 1962. Before making comments on the speech item by item, let me remark on three things.

First, because there was no agreement on the head of state at the time of independence, the Queen of the United Kingdom remained head of state represented in Uganda by the Governor-General. H. E. the late Mutes II became ceremonial president in 1963, not in 1962.

Second, since 1987 Uganda has been the darling of the west and has received generous donations in financial and technical assistance on a regular – not erratic – basis, at times receiving more assistance than the absorptive capacity. Development partners should therefore be congratulated for that generosity, although there isn’t much to show for it.

Comments on Robert Response on Gt. Lakes developments

I am basically a researcher and writer. In doing so, I provide well researched information as a basis for discussion on the way forward. My focus of research and writing is on the Great Lakes region. As such you cannot avoid writing about inter-ethnic conflicts which have been of a zero-sum game: “I am in power and you are out”. I am trying to create space for dialogue so that we engage in a win-win discussion to permit all people in the Great Lakes region to live in peace, freedom and dignity. And what’s wrong with that?

Apart from 1959 to 1994, the history of Rwanda since the 15th century is one of Tutsi dominating, exploiting, impoverishing and marginalizing Hutu people. When Kayibanda became leader of his Hutu party in the 1950s, he approached Tutsi and suggested power sharing in a win-win arrangement. Tutsis refused because to them power sharing with Hutu is impossible (Kagame dismissed the Hutu president, prime minister and other ministers whom he used when he captured power in 1994 before he was able to control Hutu population).

Comments on Uganda’s National Agricultural Policy

Dear Gen. Caleb Akandwanaho

I have read the final draft dated December 31, 2011 prepared by the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries. You sent this document to me among others for comment through Ugandans at Heart Forum. I will make comments of a general nature at this stage. At a later stage I will make comments paragraph by paragraph. Let me start with the good news.

First, there is a wealth of information on this sector prepared since NRM came to power in 1986. The information is contained among other documents in publications by the World Bank; Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO); National Agricultural Research Organization (NARO); Modernization of agriculture; Jossy Bibangambah; Eric Kashambuzi; and UDU’s National Recovery Plan (NRP) which was transmitted to the government through the ministry of Foreign affairs and numerous articles including one by Kashambuzi which was published in the New Vision in August 2011. These publications have adequately identified successes, challenges, processes and expected outcomes.

Response to David’s comments on Museveni’s fading star

I thank David for his contribution to the debate on the above subject. If David had carefully and objectively read the article he would have noticed that the first and in fact the larger part of the article is about Museveni’s rising global star.

The rising star was based mainly on Musevenis adoption of structural adjustment which had been designed to be a new development model based on market forces and private sector as the engine of economic development and social transformation which would lead to the improvement of the standard of living of all Ugandans. However, the failure of the model as reflected in rising functional illiteracy, unemployment, diseases of poverty ( jiggers, malnutrition and neurological abnormalities, etc), as well as environmental degradation forced the government to abandon structural adjustment in 2009 causing Museveni’s star to fade.

Secondly, his rising star was also based on the exemplary manner Museveni exhibited in preventing the spread of the HIV and AIDS pandemic by especially recommending condom use. His subsequent switch to abstinence is believed to have contributed to the rising HIV infections thus eroding his star.