The Rise of the Cassava Republic: A look into President Museveni’s “National Address “On the State of the Economy”

To use frugally these imported items (kukekereza, kwereembareemba) or kubyesonyiwa (get alternatives)” – President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni (22.05.2022).

Cassava. Cassava. Cassava. Well, here we are and things are not changing. The Head of State came with his history lecture, but he says he fixed everything since 1986, but the problems are always returning. Things are never stable enough or ability to permanently find solutions. That’s why even the “revolutionary” man and His Excellency is living large. The same does all his cronies and it’s really unique that a man who has all the wealth and all the power. To say to the citizens to not by imported items and switch to cassava.

Just read these lines in 2022:

The struggle between the two lines, therefore, was as follows: the revolutionary side (our side) pointed out that what was primary was to avoid death (massive death – ekyorezo), all other problems notwithstanding. The reactionary line was to emphasize the loss of jobs, loss of businesses, loss of school time, pregnancies of young girls, etc. Our line was that ebizibu (problems) are not equal (comparable) to death (okufa). Death is irreversible, while problems are reversible at the appropriate time. “Ekitatta Muhima, tekimumalako ente”, we say in Luganda (if a Muhima does not die, even if he loses cows, he will, in time, recover them)” (Museveni, 22.05.2022).

He is speaking well of the lockdowns and the stopping of society as he did for months during the global pandemic of late. Where the state had no emergency or contingency plans to help their citizens. There was a lack of support and the price of survival must have been really hard on the citizens living hand-to-mouth. As there is only one elite who could work from home. The day-traders and the ones living of their hands couldn’t do that directly. That was why so many was hurting.

Now, he speaks of the revolutionary line, as the NRM is far from that now. They have become the elites and the bourgeois who is eating of the plights of the rest. The President will not say that, but his staleworths, associates and all in collective is living large while the rest is struggling. That’s why his speaking like this. Because, it is so easy on the throne and when you especially doesn’t come with solutions, but let the people fix it for themselves. That’s the “revolution” his bringing… and he is clearly not on point with the needs of the people anymore. As their plights and the trouble to afford basic commodities isn’t going away and he choses to nothing about it. Since it is only a problem, but he don’t won’t to solve it. As it is not about survival…

He continues:

Again, here, we confront the struggle between the two lines: the revolutionary, patriotic line of the truth and seriousness on the one hand and the reactionary line of populism, cheap popularity and lack of realism of: prices-control by Government, subsidies, tax cuts on the other hand. Although this is not as serious as covid-19, the choices here, are also with serious implications. It is a choice between okubandama (collapse) of the economy on the one hand or survival (kwetaasa, kuhonoka). The real medicine for high prices and shortages, is increased production. Produce more, if you can” (Museveni, 22.05.2022).

It is really clear that his trying a balancing act, but it’s far from revolutionary at this point. It is being relaxed about the trouble and issues of the people. Instead of supporting and finding means to an end for the mwannachi. He prefers to look silently by and hoping the resilience of the people will linger on. Neither is his fearing uprisings or major demonstrations. Because, the “bread and circus” is working. Secondly, there is enough to keep people content with bare minimum. While the people should afford a bar of soap or cooking oil. The loaf of bread is just a proof that the society is weakening and the middle-class is dying too. There is only the rich who is connected to the government and their inner-circles. The businesses are thriving because of connections and suction from associates of the state. The rest has to fight and struggle.

He speaks of producing more, but who is buying and how are you selling that? When people cannot afford things to begin with. That will only benefit the traders who are exporting and not the people who cannot earn enough to pay the increased prices. Especially, when the state isn’t planning to help to regulate or subsidies imports of certain products. Neither, can certain products be produced at a massive scale for a reasonable price over night either. So, the President here is really naive or if not. Ignorant on the facts and what this really do. Its more Cassave and less wheat all over again…

In conclusion, I repeat that the only, really, serious dangers to our future are: reliance on only rain-fed agriculture; damage to our environment; and a nuclear-war among the mistake-makers” (Museveni, 22.05.2022).

Well… there you have it. This is the vital parts of the speech, because the rest was more history lessons and not relevant for today. That’s why I have only these paragraphs. He just shows what his asking for the public. You have to figure it out and if not use less soap. If not someone has to start production in Namanve or Luzira for that matter.

Museveni promised a “Steady Progress” and “Securing Your Future” but in this speech. He never really meant these things. Because, he is leaving people to fight for themselves. Since he has no incentive or reasons to do things. That’s for a simple reason. He don’t fear retribution or a revolution against him. As the President for 36 years… he hopes he has dozed people off so much. That they will never care to turn against him in the streets, avenues or in the villages. Even if they can’t afford basic commodities. Peace.

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