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.

How should we unseat the NRM regime?

On November 25, 2011, I wrote an article on the corrosive impact of corruption on Uganda’s economy and society. I observed that corruption and NRM are inextricably interlinked that you cannot eliminate one without eliminating the other.

I concluded that both must go, using peaceful means in the first instance and resorting to war only as a last resort in self-defense.

A few people have contacted me privately to express opposition to my approach insisting that fire must be fought with fire. This group believes that a militarized NRM must be faced by a militarized response in the first instance.

Because so far I have not been convinced to support war, I wish to elaborate on my arguments in favor of peaceful means in the first instance.

My simple argument is that we should use water (peaceful means) to extinguish fire because there is ample evidence that it works, witness Eastern Europe in 1989 against communist dictators. If that fails then we have every justification to resort to war to end the suffering of Ugandans. And our friends and well wishers will understand that and extend a helping hand as appropriate. Why do I insist on peaceful means?