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Tired of President Museveni’s “1986”!

I know I am born in 1985, but I am tired of the year of 1986 and the year National Resistance Army (NRA). The now National Resistance Movement (NRM) and President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni. The liberation movement that has run the republic since 1986. This war lasted from 1981 to 1986, the NRA went out of the Milton Obote II government after the illegitimate election of 1980s. Which from then on has been used as the scapegoat and the ones to put to blame for ever since.

The 1986 is the magical year that Museveni entered into supremacy. The Supreme kingpin and mastermind of all it. Sowing the mustard seed and creating a newer safer Republic. The one time the peasants was supposed to have their say in government and make the republic a democracy. The Republic of Uganda was going from strong-men and big-men to run the Republic. Instead, it has been now three decades with manufactured democracy in-line with the vision of Museveni.

President Museveni have used all techniques to fix election results, paying villagers and making new government forms to fit his paradigm. Instead of releasing his promises he has built elite around him that is loyal to his brown envelopes or public fearing his security organizations. This is a special coming from the man promises all the possible governance and government structures needed, if he got into power. Instead, he has done the opposite.

It was supposed to get into a middle-Income Country instead of the Less Developed Country, which is the state is in now. The LDC that Uganda now is because of the state of government that President Museveni has created around him. That can be seen with amounts of debt, the massive overspending on the State House and the pledges around the President. Government of Uganda, GoU have been built around Museveni, instead of institutions and procedures. Therefore, the state are following the orders of the President and his Presidential Handshakes.

That is why, every-time in a speech at any sort of occasion the President will mention 1986 and how the state used to be. As of today 1 out of 5 in the Republic or 21% are between 15 to 24 year old. And by 2016 there we’re only 2% who are older than 65 years old. Which means that the President are part of a minority age bracket. President Museveni 30 years old rule are older than many of the youths in the Republic. They should also wonder what is so special about the years they never we’re living and about governments they never lived under. There are big proportions of the population who cannot remember or has been apart of the first years of the NRA or the civil-war during the 1980s.

They would be like me, they would feel the same fatigue of the NRA and Museveni rule, the extension of the liberation from Obote and Amin. The ones that Museveni mention whenever he needs someone or somebody to blame. Certainly mention 1986. The 1986 that are the most important year since independence, therefore, the NRM Day, the 26th January 1986, liberation day. Instead of the Independence Day 9th October 1962. That one is not so often mentioned by the President, since he didn’t get them out of the British Empire and not be a British Protectorate anymore.

Still, the 9th October 1962 doesn’t seem to be important for Museveni, the 26th January 1986 is the most vital one. The one that sets the standard, the day that changed everything and gave him total access. Therefore, the celebration of 1986 is so key and be levied at any occasion, and at any speech. President Museveni praises his overthrow of Amin, Obote, Okello and Biniasa.

They all just had to be overthrown, he had to make coup d’etat and make folklore out of it. So his name can ring out and be praised. Let it be clear, the President sings 1986… 1986… 1986… like a jingle never stopping. Peace.

Rwanda 1994: Gen. Paul Kagame letter of 10. August 1994 (Confidentiel)

Opinion: Suddenly President Kagame doesn’t want Rwanda to be dependent on the West!

For Africa as we wait to see what unfolds and adjust, we should be learning the lesson that we should not be entirely dependent. We will wake up to the reality there are things we should be doing for ourselves. You have made it appear that your situations are perfect and you want others to emulate you. Then you are surprised by what unfolds. It is what you have been hitting us with that is coming back to bite you. I did not change the constitution. If you want to know the truth you will find it is the people who did, not me. My satisfaction lies in the truth that we have not been involved in harming our people. What we are doing is to develop our country. If we don’t take care of ourselves, no one else will. As long as Rwandans are happy, we will keep doing what needs to be done. We will be listening to what others say but we will not be distracted from what needs to be done.”

-President Paul Kagame speaks to Gerard Baker, editor in chief of the Wall Street Journal, at the closing session of Invest in Africa conference.

President Paul Kagame of Rwanda, the long lingering Executive of Rwanda has compelled his words against dependency of the West. Surely, he has had this in mind for while in his own haven, as the Rwandan government has been a donor friendly. Therefore, that he claims now to take a stand against them shows the sudden change of attitude. However, it is sudden donors and programs that have stopped coming Kagame’s way, therefore the Rwandan government have started to run a giant tab of external debt instead of donor aid grants. Like look at some quotes from companies that establish the economic output and the financial flow of nations, like Deloitte and KPMG!

Rising debt:

“According to BMI, total external debt levels in the country have been rising steadily in recent years, from 16.1% of GDP in 2010 to an estimated 30.5% of GDP in 2015. Debt levels for 2016 and total external debt are forecast to amount to 35.2% of GDP and will be composed mostly of government debt” (Deloitte, P: 4, 2016).

Failing Foreign Aid, therefore rising debt:

“The primary headwind to the Rwandan economy in the 2016-2025 period will be the impact on debt as a result of falling foreign aid. Despite prudent fiscal policies to date, increases in debt levels will follow from the fall in foreign aid, since Rwanda is now deemed fit to transition from grant-based financing to loan-based financing by the IMF” (Deloitte, P: 5,2016).  “The government has been compelled to adopt a more prudent fiscal policy stance in an attempt to reduce the country’s dependence on donor support and increase fiscal autonomy. Recent external headwinds have encouraged the government to ease demand for imports by reassessing its infrastructure investment programme. This will undoubtedly have a negative impact on economic growth. That being said, the benefits of lower donor dependence and improved macroeconomic stability should outweigh the costs related to lower growth over the short term. Turning to external balances, Rwanda’s wide merchandise trade deficit is expected to maintain a shortfall in the overall current account going forward” (KPMG, P: 4, 2016).

“Aid harmonization has been improved and progress continues to be registered in the implementation of the Paris and Busan commitments especially the use of national budget and procurement systems. The Bank was the 6th largest Official Development Assistance (ODA) provider to Rwanda in 2013/14, accounting for 9.4% of total ODA26. The World Bank and EU invest in agriculture and energy whereas the leading bilateral DPs focus, among other things, on human development and social protection (Annex 8a). Annex 8b summarizes the progress made in implementing selected indicators as captured by the Donor Performance Assessment Framework. Use of the sector budget support (SBS) instrument has increased the share of Bank support disbursed using country systems. Under the DPCG, the Bank actively participates in activities to enhance the implementation of EDPRS II such as the 2014/15 assessment of SWGs” (AfDB, P: 9, 2016).

So if you look at the financial policies of the republic of Rwanda, some of it is not really chosen as the donors funds that has been suspended or stopped might be for several of reasons. That might be that if they accept the funds they have to follow a spectre of policies and interferes with the power that Kagame wish to achieve. The RPF and Kagame has total control of Rwanda, the export and the import, also owns dozens of the businesses. So the Rwandan government had to switch their economy with more loans, instead of donor aid. The loans are coming in through external debt as the external donor funds and grants have dwindled.

Therefore, the excuse of suddenly wanting to be independent is more a need, than a wish. If it was a wish earlier, than the AGOA or USAID to the RPF would have stopped decades ago. That should be common knowledge of the relationship between Paul Kagame and Bill Clinton. It is not that it is positive that the Rwandan Government want’s less aid is a healthy stance. Still, the excuse isn’t eaten by me.

The reality is that the increased debt instead of donor grants will hurt the economy, as the levied interest rates and other cost will hurt the economy. It isn’t healthy to be dependent of the aid either, but the reasons now seem more to reactionary than real intent. I am sure Paul Kagame would love funds from Belgium and France to build hospitals and clinics in rural regions of Rwanda. So, suddenly the West isn’t good enough, especially when they are questioning his reasons for staying in power and not having any successors while his regime is keeping a close lid on the opposition. Therefore, the economy and independent from the world becomes more important because then he needs to less show of transparency and accountability. Peace.

Reference:

AfDB – ‘RWANDA BANK GROUP COUNTRY STRATEGY PAPER 2017 – 2021 (October, 2016).

Deloitte – ‘Rwanda Economic Outlook 2016 The Story Behind the Numbers’ (June 2016)

KPMG – ‘Economic Snapshot H2, 2016 – Rwanda’ (15.10.2016) link:

https://home.kpmg.com/content/dam/kpmg/za/pdf/2016/10/KPMG-Rwanda-2016-Snapshot.pdf

Zuma’s #SONA17 another spectacle of cold-blooded ANC with blatant disregard of the National Assembly and its Constitution!

sona17-parliament

Now that a few days have gone by and mind is put to the rest, the State of the Nation Address 2017 #SONA2017 of South Africa been held in the National Assembly and the dust have settled. We can still wonder if this was the outcome and the wished legacy that the African National Congress (ANC) wanted to leave behind. The speech of President Jacob Zuma will not be the important matter after the national tragedy; even the Greek legends couldn’t have created a masterpiece of this proportion.

Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) under Julius Malema or the Democratic Alliance (DA) under Mmusi Maimane couldn’t have wished for better audience to show the neglect and lost space under President Zuma. President Zuma has forgotten his heritage and what he carries with his position. Zuma is living on laurels of others, but not honouring it, instead he and his allies are eating of it. They are eating so heavy that all meat is scratched off the bone and digested.

Even The Congress of the People (Cope) leader Mosiuoa Lekota wouldn’t have thought this would go this far, even the so the South African Communist Party (SACP) Blade Nzimande must think that the freedom fighting days of ANC and wish for a equal distribution of goods and wealth is long dead in the ruling party. If it was so the ANC would not enrichen their elite and new-wealthy men and woman who loyally are eating of the government plate; instead of building progressive and clear-cut initiative to create work for a broader base of the citizens. Those days are long gone and forgotten after the term of Thabo Mbeki.

military-parliament-09-02-2017

Zuma had to bring the National Army into the chambers where the speech of the president was about to happen, as much as the Police Officers presences on the streets was like a lock-down from the get-go. Like Zuma was preparing for a show of brutal force and not a honouring the Parliament and its constitution. Not like he has respected before, he has only had eager for power and not for running it for a common good. That MP Mapisa Nqakula needed to gazette legality on the 9th February to make sure the public of legality of having the army in the Parliament between 5th to 10th February. Zuma has many loyal servants that honour him instead of the constitution. Nevertheless, that is just a floosy disgusting paper right, aye?  

No matter if an ANC MP created a fuzz with words and the ANC Parliamentary Speaker Baleka Mbete would have been Nobel in his approach. Instead of dialogue or even giving space, he expected to be a loyal servant only to Zuma and not to the rule of law. There are not many who doubt where the loyalty of Mbete lays, not with the codes of the sacred chambers of Parliament, but instead with the man who is the executive of the Republic. ANC has certainly forgotten their roots and their mission, the quests and their direction as a political movement.

What even more insulting after the violence of removing EFF and the DA walking out of the Parliament as a result of the misbehaving ANC MPs, the ones left behind started to sleep when President Zuma was addressing them. Well, there wasn’t anything serious left other than empty tin-box lies and deceit from the man-in-charge. Who has no scruples and no mercy for his opposition!

Zuma will now not tango with his enemy or even try to shadow play with the opposition, as the local election we’re insulting to the ANC and their ruling regime, that they lost important towns and places they have never seen others having mayors and local governments post-apartheid. That is the estate and the cracking into the party organization and the strain the chaos of corruption has left behind under Zuma. Something that not a puzzle of magic wand or public display can change, the heartbeat and the pulse is out of whack.

malema-sona17

Zuma and his cronyism aren’t benefiting anyone nearly except his men and woman. The rest are left behind and on unknown terms as the leadership of ANC skates by with no concern of their reputation or their legislation. The procedures and their neglect of the value of institutions or government companies are proven with the delayed 2015 report on Eskom, that we’re released the day after Sona17, because ANC wanted another scandal than this one in the news.

Zuma wanted to be released from fatigue and disgusted with the sleeping MPs and the attacking opposition. He wanted to be claimed to be corrupt and neglect of his role as executive of holding the report behind locked doors. Just like he wanted to silence the Capture of the State report, but that one became a hot-potato he couldn’t keep in the archives until it was meaningless.

Now the SONA17 have put a new giant stain on the ANC, the Zuma administration and the National Assembly that prefers defending the Executive or defending the rule of law. As some say the constitution and the laws that built the Republic of South Africa. They doesn’t matter for Zuma or his cronies, but it means something to ones living in KwaZulu-Natal, the Orange State or anywhere else in the republic. Peace.  

President Mugabe attacks UN leaders (Youtube-Clip)

Opinion: Tired of the ‘last words of Mwenda’ against the FDC and Besigye!

mwenda-lastword-banner-3

Mwenda, Andrew Mwenda the Independent Magazine owner and editor, the man who knows all about how to rant against fellow political opponents, than a month later praising them, like they are the next one to save the world. In one week Museveni can be the worst and the other week he will be the hero. The same is with the Forum for Democratic Change and Dr. Kizza Besigye, all through December 2016 and this beginning 2017 his focus has been bashing on Besigye like he is AIDS.

Mwenda has a fetish or worse a deluded mind where he uses all kind of words to address why Besigye isn’t the President, without considering the fact of the power of ‘the old man with the hat’. The editor rant is about the organizations, the loss of local elections and the losing of presidential election going back to Dr. Paul Ssemogerere of the Democratic Party who ran against President Museveni and all of his campaign we’re filled with attacks and brutality. Just like all of Besigye’s has been, it is a reason why he is for the second time in his life-time charged with treason against the Republic. All of those explanations vanish like water meet the heat of the sun and becomes part of the air.

Mwenda’s rants concluded with today’s word calling FDC a Cult on Facebook. Where he was calling literally Besigye a Cult leader, because Mwenda has to grind out every little bit of anger into the public sphere. He added videos of the inauguration of Nana Addo in Accra where Besigye we’re invited, Mwenda had this to say about the Ghanaian President speech: “In these two videos, newly elected Ghanaian president, who invited FDC cult leader to his inauguration, parrots the inaugural speeches of Bill Clinton in 1993 and George Bush in 2001. Besigye’s 2010 manifesto copied David Cameron’s Conservative Party manifesto almost word for word” (Mwenda, 08.01.2016). So his words are saying itself how he has to attack the man for attending and being invited while Museveni is busy bodying himself to drop “Presidential Handshakes”.

Ferry for Besigye to Busuga 16.11.15

“Besigye’s despotism in FDC:

Earlier in the day he wrote this too against Besigye: “Most of the FDC leaders i have interviewed ran away from NRM after witnessing the same trend. Now they say that compared to Besigye and his FDC fanatics, M7 and his NRM look like the best democrats one can find. In short Besigye had established a ruthless and intolerant dictatorship over the FDC and now relies on the cult of personality rather than on institutions to govern” (…) “While Besigye fanatics claim I have been hired by NRM to tarnish the name of their cult leader, the information I post here is always supplied to me by the top ranking members of FDC who want to rescue the party and Uganda’s democracy from the tyranny of extremism and the despotism of Besigye” (Mwenda, 08.01.2017).

So he continues his rants, his words of direct attack, as there are rare breed and the Besigye is giant problem. Besigye is the reason for the losses; Besigye is the reason for everything. If it rains it’s Besigye, if it snows it is Beisgye, if it is wind it is Besigye and if it is sun by all means it is Besigye. That is how you can talk in the sense of Mwenda. He is the weatherman who always will pin the blame on Besigye, and by all current codex or modus operandi it will be boiled down to Besigye. Nobody else, the others are needed props in tale of fatigue, lacking organization or even repeatedly popular personality of Besigye. Instead of asking why was there yet again Primary Elections where Besigye won over Gen. Mugish Muntu. Something that didn’t happen in the Movement, where Museveni where sole-candidacy for Presidency and Mbabazi wasn’t allowed to run against him! Something that Mwenda wouldn’t mention, for one simple reason, it will blow his mind and lose his marbles. Mwenda will be little prick who thinks he is a genius, but misses key aspects of matter. Like you need water or milk to drink tea. You can try to boil coke, but the tea will not mix well, but boiled milk or water will make a perfect blend.

Mwenda’s rants are now pointless and personal, like vendetta against the FDC and Besigye. Like he has to attack them! He cannot do anything else, if not he loses his mind. I know I write against Museveni a lot too, but usually with context of economy or recent acts, but Mwenda recreate the election and the internal organization of FDC without caring about factors that are put into play with no regard of the political status in the Republic. FDC are not alone on the losing end of Movement, but Mwenda acts like they are the only one, there is UPC, DP, Farmer’s Party, TIC, UFA and so on.

Kisoro FDC 01.02.2016 Muntu Rally Police

Like yesterday’s rant: “Besigye die hards are either cowards or hypocrites or both. While they make the loudest noise on how they are ready to die for him, they have done nothing (except for insulting critics on social media) to prove they are worthy of their claims. Each time Besigye goes to town, Kale Kayihura sends only eight (8) police men who pick Besigye like chicken, bundle him over a pickup truck and take him to police as these “ready-die-for-our-man” fanatics watch helplessly” (Mwenda, 07.01.2017).

He goes again into insults not only Besigye, but his supporters, because what else there to do. Because he doesn’t have a valid argument as long as he is putting FDC and Besigye in vacuum, the same kind of empty hole his arguments and reasoning is for the moment. 2017 stroke Mwenda and his mind went haywire. To prove the nonsense of this man, let’s take a piece of the rant of the day before:

“Over the last 16 years, Besigye has concentrated all the meager resources of the opposition on one singular objective, to capture the presidency. Yet we all know that maintaining the presidency is the most important objective of M7 and the NRM where he has concentrated most of his resources” (…) “Now FDC is much weaker relative to NRM. Not only that. NRM is also backed by the power of the state. By concentrating all opposition resources to attack NRM at its most fortified position, Besigye has expended his meager resources to secure an objective where he has the least chance of success. This is a strategic blunder” (Mwenda, 06.01.2017).

The relative argument itself is disgusting, because even if NRM is a ordinary party as Mwenda make it seems, it still is freighting how little he consider how the ambitions are under siege in the NRM, therefore handpicked and rigged members are becoming leaders, but that part of the argument is lost on Mwenda. Because that makes NRM more fragile than Mwenda wants to say. As well as the FDC primary model is better than NRM, though not perfect it still are more democratic than NRM ever will be. Another reason why the debate of Muntu and Besigye in the FDC are a valid one, directly opposite in the NRM where there is no discussion if VP Edward Ssekandi or PM Rukhana Ruganda will ever challenge Museveni. But that is a silent and a mute-point. If doing so your devaluing the epitome of all Ugandan wishes is to have Museveni for life as the chairman of the Movement and Executive of the Republic. Another thing, Mwenda doesn’t have the balls to connects when taking in consideration the stalemate in FDC and in other parties. In a state where it isn’t really democratic, in the sense that NRM are rigging when needed to control the Parliament and all other political offices in the country. The rest is just a front. Strange that Mwenda cannot mention that either. But that is another illness, that his eyes looks away from.

The flawed and the lost plot, is why all of sudden has went into mayhem and going all in to attack FDC and Besigye, Mwenda seems like only dreaming and thinking about them. That is the only thing that boggles his precious minds and the only discussion he can have in the Independent Magazine, as the other obstacles of the Republic can be redundant.  Peace.

On the International Day of Democracy, UNPO Vice-President Delivers a Statement at the Human Rights Council (15.09.2016)

ethiopia-15-09-2016

Each year on the 15 September, the world celebrates the International Day of Democracy, highlighting the global importance of maintaining democratic values for nations and peoples. As one of its fundamental principles, UNPO is committed to advocating and supporting democracy around the world. Democracy is a form of government by and for the people, where freedom of expression, protection of human rights and the rule of law ensure that all its citizens are treated equally.  For many nations and peoples, however, autocratic governments not only fail to uphold democratic values but also are the very perpetrators of gross human rights violations. On this day, the international community turns its attention to victims of undemocratic governments and reflect on what can be done to promote inclusive, participatory, representative, accountable and transparent political systems. 

On this year’s International Day of Democracy, UNPO would like to draw particular attention to the case of Ethiopia. Despite its complete lack of democratic setup, the country is generally hailed as an African democratic role model and a beacon of stability in an otherwise troubled region. Aiming to raise awareness of the human rights abuses in Ethiopia committed by the authoritarian Tigray-dominated regime, Mr Abdirahman Mahdi, the leading representative of the Ogaden People’s Rights Organization and UNPO Vice-President, spoke today [15 September 2016] at the 33rd United Nations Human Rights Council on behalf of the Nonradical Party, Transnational and Transparty.

In his speech, Mr. Mahdi highlighted that “while Ethiopia, in theory, has a federalist constitution that guarantees wide-ranging autonomy for the nations-based federal states and equal participation in national politics – in practice almost all the nations have no real say in political, economic and military affairs, instead these fall under the sole control of a Tigray-dominated elite, who does not shy away from using excessive violence”.

Ethiopia is but one case of many governments that adopt features to portray itself as democratic to the international community when, in reality, the complete opposite is true. The Ethiopian government has denied its people all the fundamental democratic rights promulgated in its constitution. Elections are consistently rigged and external observers are banned from coming to Ethiopia to monitor them. Armed and security forces extend their reach through all levels all society while trying to showcase to the world that a federal system has ensured the right to self-determination to its ethnic groups, as stated in the constitution.

However, 500 people were killed since November 2015 in various protests, including the most recent protests outside of Qilinti jail against the detention of Oromo politicians and activists which, according to Mr. Mahdi, is “the latest evidence of the readiness of the government to exert brute force against civilians”. Systematic use of rape as a weapon by the Ethiopian army and paramilitary forces as a way to exercise total control through fear and violence was also highlighted by Mr Mahdi in his speech at the HRC. In addition to systematic persecution, the victims of the Ethiopian regime are silenced due to the criminalization of free speech, impeding the news of their plight to be widespread throughout the international community. Journalists from abroad are banned access and local journalists are jailed, while NGOs on the ground are forbidden to report the facts.

Against this background, recently the Oromo athlete Feyisa Lilesa’s powerful gesture of resistance at the 2016 Rio Olympics brought much-needed media attention to the plight of the Oromos and the other ethnic groups in Ethiopia. Concomitantly, the European Commission’s decision not to send money from its Emergency Fund to Ethiopia in consideration of the serious violations of freedom of speech and right to protest in Ethiopia contributed to drawing the international community’s attention to the lack of democracy in the country. On the International Day of Democracy, UNPO reaffirms its commitment to its core values and will continue to raise awareness of violations committed by states which, in many cases, claim to be “young democracies” to conceal its appalling human rights records and dictatorial structure.

Nepal: Deputy Prime Minister Calls on the Prime Minister of India (20.08.2016)

India Nepal 20.08.2016

Hon. Wilmot’s Open Letter to Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa (16.06.2016)

RSA 16.06.2016 P1RSA 16.06.2016 P2RSA 16.06.2016 P3

 

DP Press Statement: ” If Ugandans expected something different from business as usual they were badly disappointed” (07.06.2016)

Norbert Mao NTV

Kampala June 7, 2016. 
The long awaited cabinet list is finally out. If Ugandans expected something different from business as usual they were badly disappointed. True to its dominant nature of putting partisan loyalty above the public spirit and competence, the cabinet is another dose of more of the same. Apart from the laudable gesture of retiring those who were long overdue for retirement like Henry Kajura, Tarsis Kabwegyere and Dr. Nyiira, the cabinet doesn’t represent any change in political path. The tendency to entrench family rule and hegemony in our polity is still visible no matter the efforts to disguise it.

To the politically gullible, the inclusion of some members of opposition parties in the cabinet may appear to represent a spirit of inclusion. However to the adept and keen observers, the inclusion of people like Betty Amongi (UPC), Florence Nakiwala Kiyingi (DP) and Beti Kamya (UFA) in the cabinet is nothing but despicable tokenism and falls far short of any expectation Ugandans may have had that following a disputed election marred with unprecedented rigging and post election brutality and continued repression, an inclusive government based on a consensus reached through a national dialogue process. In a dialogue process, the direction of the country would be negotiated. We reject tokenism because it simply means trading a few crumbs for a fair share of the loaf of political power. As the Igbo of Nigeria say “No one gets a mouthful of food by picking between another person’s teeth”.

Florence MP

Uganda is a country that is deeply divided and hurting. The nation is badly in need of healing. Museveni’s one man rule ensures that no alternative voice will be heard in cabinet, parliament, the judiciary or even the streets. In terms of democracy, Uganda in the next five years will be nothing more than a political graveyard.

We therefore denounce the new cabinet as yet another lever in Museveni’s power arsenal. Museveni and his cabal are presiding over a malevolent and capricious state capture which is clearly seen in the tyranny of the majority in parliament, the elevation of so called cadre judges in the judiciary and the suppression of civil dissent. This cabinet therefore doesn’t represent a new direction. You cannot make an omelette by shuffling around rotten eggs.

DP 07.06.2016

On the State of the Nation Address delivered on 31 May, 2016, we await the National Budget. That is when we will give a comprehensive response. But we have something to say in the meantime. As expected the address skirted around the issue of governance without acknowledging the political logjam we have in Uganda today with an illegitimate government in place led by a person whose victory will continue to be questioned for ages. With characteristic arrogance Mr. Museveni declared, “Having followed closely world and historical events over the last 50 years, I am not aware of any society anywhere in the world that is more democratic than Uganda as far as the forms and structures of democracy are concerned….Democracy is one area where we do not need aid”. We note that this is a qualified statement. It is an admission that Uganda Is democratic only in form. In essence and substance Uganda is a totalitarian state.

The heart of the address was the economy. Mr. Museveni assured Ugandans that by 2020, that is in four years time, Uganda will be a middle income country. This may be an impressive jargon but let’s unpack it. That term is based on the so called Atlas Method that the World Bank uses to rank the economy of countries. Low Income countries where Uganda falls have a Gross National Income per capita of US$1,045 or less. Middle income countries have a Gross National Income (GNI) per capita of between US$1,045 and US$12,736. (Of course middle income countries are further subdivided into lower middle income and upper middle income countries. Lower middle income countries have a GNI per capita of between US$1,046 – US$4,125. Upper middle income countries have a GNI per capita of US$4,126 – 12,735). High income countries have a Gross National Income per capita above US$12,735.

Ugandan shillings

Even without waiting for the National Budget we can say for certain that the absurd proclamation that Uganda will be a middle income country by 2020 is a political hoax smacking of deception and gimmickry. With a balance of trade of minus US$164.6 million, global business confidence of only 54 percent, military expenditure of US$340 million, inflation of over 6 percent and growth at only less than 4 percent, Uganda’s ambition of attaining middle income status under the current NRM economic framework is a pathetic pipe dream that no one can take seriously. This is coupled with an unsustainably high external debt of over 14 Trillion Uganda shillings which costs Uganda a lot of money to service. Then there is the lack of fiscal discipline, high military expenditure, unattractive wages that fuel brain drain, high unemployment of over 60 percent and the run away corruption. This is what constitutes the hemorrhage that Museveni dwelt on during his dull and unimaginative address to a demoralized nation. It is this hemorrhage that is responsible for the heavy tax burden under which Ugandans agonize. What the Uganda Revenue Authority is attempting to do is thus akin to a person collecting water using a basket. Unless the leakages are plugged the whole thing is an exercise in futility. The strategy of fighting corruption using the methods he used to fight indiscipline in the army will not work against corruption. It will be like treating a cancer using Vaseline. While indiscipline in the army is not profitable, corruption has grown into an institutionalized and highly profitable activity. Museveni will not win the war against corruption unless he becomes born again and offer leadership by example. You cannot exhort your flock to drink water while you gorge yourself on wine! Sooner or later the flock will follow your bad example. Therefore the fight against corruption requires a level of moral authority that Museveni lacks. He cannot point out the splinter in the eyes of his followers because he has a log in his eyes. As I have stated before, fish rots from the head. Today, I wish to advise Museveni that when you are sweeping a staircase you start from the top. Let him start from himself and those closest to him then move downwards. Fighting corruption is the one thing in which the bottom up approach cannot work because the bottlenecks in the war against corruption are in the top of the table.

Fortunately, for Ugandans there is a political party called the DP which shuns corruption, violence, dictatorship and militarism. We shall continue to illuminate our political space with viable alternative policies that shall be cogently presented in all platforms. Our impact shall not depend on our numbers but rather by the superior quality of our ideas and the firm foundation on which we stand.

We call upon Ugandans not to lose hope. We shall work hand in hand with other democracy seeking forces in our motherland to see that the NRM, like all totalitarian regimes that have persecuted and oppressed people throughout the ages, ends up in the dustbin of history. We will continue to speak out without fear or favor against all ills that afflict our country and continue to keep hope alive that we shall overcome. The darkest part of the night is just before dawn. Let that hope for a better future keep us focused on the tasks of the present.

Hon. Norbert Mao
President

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