President Museveni Kyankwanzi Key-Note speech today had deceit of NRM Economic policy and the similarities to Big-Men of old like Arap-Moi and Amin!
As the 10th Parliament of Uganda is starting and the vetting of Members of Parliament are touring the National Army Leadership Institute (NALI) at Kyankwanzi as they have the retreat to make sure the National Resistance Movement MPs and Cabinet are acting right. Especially the policies that is right for the Executive and his Elite. But other than that he had the Key speech today and said some questionable things again.
“Even to negotiate credible and durable trade deals with the USA, the EU, China, India, Japan, Russia, Brazil, etc., we need Pan-Africanism. It is only through the EAC (160 million people) and the whole of Africa (1.25 billion people) that the other foreign countries or trading blocs can listen to our voice in the long run. It is, however, not correct for the regulators not to take action against the Chinese and Indian retailers who unfairly compete against our retailers. Those foreigners should not operate at that terminal level. They should be re-directed to manufacturing in particular and other areas like construction. Retailing should be preserved for the Ugandans or, possibly, the other African immigrants as well” (Museveni, 2016).
Well, it got me thinking about another Ugandan president back in the day; that apparently President Museveni we’re proud to bring down together with the Tanzanian Army and Milton Obote, but that is forgotten saga in his head. As President Idi Amin said this:
“For instance, between 1962 and 1968, the government of Uganda sponsored as many as 417 Asians for training as engineers. Today, however, only 20 of the 417 Asians work for the government. Within the same period, the government sponsored 217 Asians to train as doctors, but to date not more than 15 doctors of these are working for the govt. Finally, within the same period, the government sponsored 96 Asians to undertake law courses, but of these only 18 are now serving in the government” (…) “I am further informed that some of these Asians who were sponsored to take courses abroad refused to return to Uganda after thy qualified, which means that thy have contributed absolutely nothing in return for the training benefits which they received from this government” (…) “it is painful in that about 70 years have elapsed since the first Asians came to Uganda, but despite that length of time the Asian community has continued to live in a world of its own” (Semuwemba, 2016).
Not only the former friendly Ugandan dictator had his say on the matter in the past, even the former Kenyan President Daniel Arap-Moi said this in 1982:
“Instead of Indians using their advanced knowledge in business to help Africans improve their profit margins” (…) “Asians in this country are ruining the country’s economy by smuggling currency out of this country and even hoarding essential goods and selling them through the backdoors” (…) “I am not discriminating against anybody, but I am against people who are out to enrich themselves through false means. From now on, anybody found hoarding or smuggling will be punished severely. If he is an Asian, he will be deported immediately regardless of whether he is a citizen or not, and if he is an African, he will have his licence canceled” (New York Times, 1982).
So now the Mzee is sounding in the same regard as Daniel Arap-Moi and Idi Amin Dada; with his new cabinet with Democratic Party MP, Uganda People’s Congress MP and Uganda Federal Alliance MP; the similarities to Democratic Republic of Congo former dictatorial President Mobutu Sese Seko comes to mind. He is really stealing from all the totalitarian leaders of East Africa. It is magnificent how he kept it up. While speaking progress and democratic values while contemplating that the Asian’s are the problem for doing their retail instead of Ugandan citizens, even if the Asian’s happen to be Ugandan; just another heritage than the Pan-African he speaks of.
Ironic that he said this a bit also today:
“We in the NRM, therefore, have never accepted the shallow social science of the Western countries that fetishized capitalism and elevated that useful social system, but one with limitations and weaknesses nevertheless, to the high pedestal of a deity (God-like). The position that capitalism was the only useful social system in the modern era, was wrong. The dramatic rise of the Chinese economy, in terms of GDP size, to the second biggest economy in the world today is proof of the correctness of our position. By mixing both the capitalist and socialist stimuli to the Chinese economy, the Chinese Communist Party has lifted hundreds of millions of Chinese out of poverty and registered gigantic steps for the growth and transformation of the economy” (Museveni, 2016).
Well, here is lie from the Executive as didn’t follow whole heartedly the Marxist or Communist paradigm or socio-economical structure as after the regime change by the rebellion of Museveni; he easily traded his ideal of the communist paradigm.
“Six years after Yoweri Museveni and his National Resistance Movement took power, Uganda has made remarkable strides in overcoming as grim a legacy as any African government has known. Improved security has been an important factor in allowing the country to rebuild. Economic policy has helped, too. The past six years has seen economic growth averaging more than 5 percent per year, as idled land and vacant factories were brought back into use. The economy has also achieved lower price inflation. Now, in 1992, Uganda is at a crossroads. Economic growth is slowing, and inflation is beginning to rise. Uganda is highly indebted to foreign lenders. Further increases in capacity utilization will be a costly means to grow and cannot represent a strategy for sustained economic growth. Infrastructure remains inadequate in transport and communications. The preferred road is clear: public and private investments are needed to continue the reconstruction” (Warnock & Conway, 1999).
Claimed impacts on liberating the Economy through IMF’s SAP:
“Two principal reforms mandated by the IMF arrangements were trade liberalization and the progressive reduction of export taxation. But as the external review points out, “Liberalization of cash crops had only limited beneficiaries.” This was the case because only a small number of rural households grow coffee. Liberalization had little impact on rural incomes over the period of adjustment- rural per capita private incomes increased just 4% over the period from 1988/89 to 1994/95” (…) “The IMF also mandated the privatization of state-owned industries, a process that has met particular criticism in Uganda. The Structural Adjustment Participatory Review International Network (SAPRIN), which was launched jointly with the World Bank, national governments, and Northern and Southern NGOs in 1997, has reported that the privatization process in Uganda has gone too fast and has been flawed from the start. A report by Ugandan NGOs who participated in SAPRIN found that “The privatization process in Uganda has benefitted the government and corporate interests more than the Ugandan people. . . The privatization process was rushed, and as a result, workers suffered. Some 350,000 people were retrenched and, with the private sector not expanding fast enough, unemployment sharply increased. Those laid off were not prepared for life in the private sector, with no training being provided.”(Naiman & Watkins, 1999).
So not only being anxious today about Asian retailers; today the Executive Museveni claimed there rewards of liberating the economy, which is not so very communist and even more capitalistic of NRM! Together with the liberation escalated the unemployed, which has happen to this day. And isn’t inspiring to read contemplating the recent numbers of unemployed and how this man still tries to ‘inspire’ MPs and Kyankwanzi. There is just something wrong with that picture.
The thing that should be inspiring today, not only sound-bite of Amin and Moi, but the lie:
““We in the NRM, therefore, have never accepted the shallow social science of the Western countries that fetishized capitalism and elevated that useful social system, but one with limitations and weaknesses nevertheless, to the high pedestal of a deity (God-like)” (Museveni, 2016). When the IMF said this in 1999: “Two principal reforms mandated by the IMF arrangements were trade liberalization and the progressive reduction of export taxation” (…) “The privatization process in Uganda has benefitted the government and corporate interests more than the Ugandan people” (Naiman & Watkins, 1999).
So if you see this little detail, you see the deceit of Museveni to his own Elite and MPs. As he claims the mixed economy, but the IMF with their Structural Adjustment Program that Museveni accepted and agreed on. This was far from God-like more State-liberated economy through neo-liberal ideas that the IMF and World Bank wanted so that the Ugandan Government could get their donor-funded loans that the NRM needed.
So hope you learned something of the nature of Museveni today and his actions of the past or his nature of deception. There are certainly some who is not surprised, but as I have said before. President Museveni rewrites the history to his liking and today he did it again, just with a twist. Peace.
Museveni, Yoweri Kaguta – ‘Re-focusing on the National Resistance Movement (NRM) Ideological Orientation’ (26.07.2016) link: https://www.yowerikmuseveni.com/statements/keynote-address-joint-political-leadership-nrm-central-executive-committee-cabinet-and
Naiman, Robert & Watkins, Neil – ‘A Survey of the Impacts of IMF Structural Adjustment in Africa: Growth, Social Spending, and Debt Relief’ (April 1999).
New York Times – ‘KENYAN SAYS ASIAN MERCHANTS RUIN ECONOMY’ (07.02.1982) link: http://www.nytimes.com/1982/02/07/world/kenyan-says-asian-merchants-ruin-economy.html
Semuwemba – ‘AMIN’S SPEECH BEFORE HE EXPELLED THE ASIANS WAS AWESOME!’ (27.11.2014) link: https://semuwemba.com/2014/11/27/amins-speech-before-he-expelled-the-asians-was-awesome/
Warnock, Frank and Conway, Patrick – ‘Post-Conflict Recovery in Uganda’ (1999)