While reading through books in my “library”, looking through and reading again Franz Fanon for inspiration and for enlightenment. There was two paragraphs that was fitting Uganda in 2017. It was like explaining the state of the National Resistance Movement. It was like he painted the picture and shown the reality in the flesh. That his visions of 1960s, could still be the same today, with no changes, but with the same attitudes and the same state of affairs.
What is special about this is that while in University in Dar Es Salaam, President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni wrote with Fanon in mind in his thesis there. Therefore, he would have read this in the past, but has forgotten the knowledge of the wise-man and intellectual. Fanon is perfectly saying what we all are seing today, nothing seems to be left out. Unless, you have the newly minted taxes and the rising debt made by the elite.
However, here is the part I felt was really like today:
“In these poor, underdeveloped countries where, according to the rule, enormous wealth rubs shoulders with abject poverty, the army and the police force form the pillars of the regime; both of which, in accordance with another rule, are advised by foreign experts. The strength of this police force this army are proportional to marasmus the rest the nation. The national bourgeoisie sells creasingly openly to the major foreign companies. Foreigners grab concessions through kickbacks, scandals abound, ministers rich, their wives become floozies, members of the legislature line their pockets, and everybody, down to police officers and customs officials, joins hands in this huge caravan of corruption. The opposition becomes more aggressive and the people arc to latch on to its propaganda. Hostility toward the bourgeoisie is now manifest. The young bourgeoisie, which seems stricken by premature senility, ignores the advice proffered proves incapable of understanding that it is in its own interest to veil, even slightly, its exploitation of the people” (Frantz Fanon – ‘The Wretched of the Earth, P: 117, 1961).
“The state, which by its strength and discretion ought to inspire confidence and disarm and lull everybody to sleep, on the contrary seeks to impose itself in spectacular fashion. It makes a display, it jostles people and bullies them, thus intimating to the citizen that he is in continual danger. The single party is the modern form of the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie, unmasked, unpainted, unscrupulous, and cynical” (Frantz Fanon – ‘The Wretched of the Earth, P: 164, 1961).
If this wasn’t like reading about the Ugandan experience in 2018, I don’t know, but I felt like it. All the reports, all the news and the state of the NRM. The army and Police force is the pillars of the NRM, not the popularity, neither is the fight against poverty in the midst of vast wealth for the elites. That are also involved with foreign money and exports, that is not interconnected with the whole economy, therefore, the riches are getting vast amount of money, while the trickling down isn’t appearing. Also, the knowledge of ministers, MPs and elites acting with corrupt behavior and misusing state funds is common, as long as the State House is on it too and get their cut. Therefore, Fanon is like mirroring the experience of 2018. This is something he wrote in the 1960s, maybe a bit earlier. But published the first time in 1961. Still relevant today and should he warning. That some things doesn’t change.
Fanon can paint a picture of the NRM of 2018. He does it 57 years ago. And its still viable and shows the reality of what the President delivers in Uganda. The Republic is a disgrace, all the empty pledges and promises from 1986. Just like the President wrote in his own thesis in 1971:
“It is the work of the most conscious activists to arouse the masses, raise their political consciousness and give them a vision of a better future and the knowledge and will to oppose existing exploitation by all future means. It is incumbent on the activists to make the oppressed people realise the latent capacity in them to smash the centuries-old exploitation and become masters and beneficiaries of their labor. It is only through raising the consciousness of the masses that the subjective conditions for a revolution will be created” (Yoweri Kaguta Museveni – ‘Fanon’s Theory on Violence: Its verification in liberated Mozambique’ 1971).
So now he has become the man that oppress, the man that exploits the Republic and are the man behind the elites and corruption that Fanon says underdeveloped nations have. His description is straight out of the NRM of today and their actions towards the public. The use of the police and army to keep grips, while eating of the public plate. That is why the worlds of rebellion and activism from the President is also relevant as he was studying Fanon himself in 1971. A decade after Fanon published the book, which of both of us has taken pieces from.
Uganda needs a better vision for the future, but the guidance cannot be by Museveni. He has forgotten the knowledge and wisdom Fanon had. Museveni has forgotten the tales of rebellion and the tales of resistance, therefore, he has used the army and police to oppose defiance. That is because Museveni has forgotten the reasons why revolutions are created. No one knows when that could happen, when that could spark, but the lack of delivery, the lack of governance and institutions, will sooner or later explode in his face.
No matter how great his police and army is, because you can detain a dozens of activists, but you cannot keep the whole people hostage. You cannot do that, you cannot stop a revolution. You can try, but if it really appears. Then the shallow organizations in and around the NRM will fall. That is because oppressed understood their power that they had latent and could use to topple Museveni. Peace.
“Parliament votes money for state house, they appropriate money for welfare, another president would have chosen to buy booze for those who go to visit him but President Museveni has decided to give it to out as donations.” – Ofwono Opondo on NBS TV Frontline on the 3rd May 2018.
President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni isn’t a big giver or anyone who cares about the state, even as the State House budget every year is bloated on mismanagement and out of proportions. To say otherwise is to defend the stupidest and naive among us. If the President was generous, he would borrow as much money in the recent years to cover the deficit and then give scrap-metal in districts of by-elections. He would have figured out proper ways to finance the budget. Not come with specialized taxes later, as well as borrowing more from the World Bank to health care. That is all mismanagement.
The giant budgets for the State House, for the Office of the Prime Minister is for the betterment of the Republic. But for the ego’s and direct control of the President of the state funds. That is why the President has all the perks, all the expenses paid for and all the estates run with government funds. It is not privately run, that is lie. The donations are not from his pockets, but from the state pockets and from state coffers. It is directly taking a straw into the Bank of Uganda. Drinking until the toxic levels in the veins are too high.
The problem with the defence of the donations, is that the President has all the direct power over it and trust in that shouldn’t be, as the corruption scandals, Presidential Handshake, Santana’s, CHOGM Money and everything else always lead to the State House. To say otherwise, is to lie and forget the facts, even the NSSF issues and UNRA scandals has been ordered from above. Therefore, to believe that the donations will go nicely and to good causes is to have to grand thoughts about the man who never brought steady progress. The President has given to ghost projects and businesses not existing of late. Then you know someone close connected and cronies is getting those funds. Not some random citizens who is trying to sell shoes on the street. That would be a marketing plot from the United Nations, and not from the State House.
With this in mind, the Donations in the budget for the State House. Is made so he can look good every time he visit any district. So that the pockets are endless. These funds will not solve much, only be there for a short-term gain for a selected few. Instead of helping the schools, the police and the infrastructure. These are for the benefactor to look good. There is no difference between these funds and any foreign NGO. There are no real governance and real proof of the end-game. If it will be fruits and be sustainable. The donations either goes to bring water to a districts for decades or into the pockets of cronies. Who knows right? They might even pay off ghosts like they did in Rukungiri?
Ghost always eat, shits and sleeps like people too, they need castles, Bentley’s and a salary for the upkeep. That is why the donations comes suddenly as the Ghosts are ready to feast. The giant party and the giant wedding, where the bride and the Burro can get their day.
So my trust in these donations are slim, more slim than Slim Shady. The won’t be an aftermath, even as ruthless as the President is. This is rigged to make the President look like the shiny star when needed. To be the fountain of honour, God’s grace on planet earth and take away the dust of the shoulders of the common men. Even just for a hot minute and after that the people has to continue their Grand Hustle. Because the President won’t offer anything when he has left the stage. When the cameras is gone, when the speeches has been hold and the locals are back on duty.
The President won’t offer a thing, a minute, even a second as the twists and turns are happening. The donations was done, the pride and greatness was severed, even on borrowed time. Now that His Excellency is elsewhere, the dwindling funds and luck with have ordinary meagre budget to live upon. They have to wait for his next return to get extra help. Just like an NGO who comes and goes, unless they are stationed and have missions in the district. That is expected of any NGO, but the state is supposed to stable, the factor of life and making sure the citizens has services to enrich daily life.
Instead, the public are awaiting donations, not out of goodwill, but out the need for the President to be grand, to be big and to be Noble. Because he cannot build systems for this. He cannot make this within the other parts of the institutions and public service. Since that takes away the glory of him giving away these donations. He needs to rubber-stamp it directly and be the man. Be greatest, even if he just faking it until he is making it. If some of his cronies get a something extra by his visits and his rallies while doling away gifts. Its perfect because then he knows they will defend him and his causes. While he just gave away small tokens that he doesn’t have to show any transparency about. Just say, I gave away these things and it will bring development. Even if there is no proof or anyone following up on the donations. Why should they? It was gifts, people can use it as they see fit. Make scarecrows or make castles.
He hasn’t done his duty, if he had, then he wouldn’t need to give donations. The State House wouldn’t have that post on the budget, the State House wouldn’t have such big budgets and expenses. However, they do, because of the EGO of the President. He needs everything and control of everything. Even tiny gifts to locals when he pop-by, because he don’t trust anyone, but himself. Peace.
“He then asked he president to stop funding wells and toilets and use the money to buy grain. (Because really, how can you use a toilet if you never eat?)” – William Kamkwamba
Well, President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni has started to promise things again, like he does now and then. It is a habit, he has done this for over three decades, to keep up with all his pledges. We would need a wall in a library and dozens of reports to check if he kept his promises. Many would be lacking, but that is for another day. Today, he was celebrating after returning from London and the Commonwealth Head of Government Meeting (CHOGM). He has always liked to bask in glory on those occasions, because it is all talk and no need to play or pay. Now, he has returned and promised something again. Therefore, I wonder, how come the state has money to pay lavish salaries for athletes, but cannot hire needed civil servants?
Priorities, the state got none? Is that what Mr. President is saying? I understand he wants to celebrate, but has the ones in past gotten their perks? The Olympic winners of the past? Have they gotten their check and built their house, even finish building the stadiums in their names? After my calculations, there are many who is left behind. Just like so many other projects under Museveni. Because it is fun while cooking and eating. But very, very boring to clean up the mess and paying the farmer too.
First, the recent news of lack of funds:
“The Ministry of Public Service had earlier directed all ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) that filling of structures should be done in a phased manner subject to availability of funds. “I further emphasised in the Second Budget Call Circular (2nd BCC) dated February 15, 2018, that wage allocation for 2018/10 was only for staff in posts and no funds have been provided for recruitment,” Mr Muhakanizi states” (…) “Mr Muhakanizi’s order comes after Parliament’s Public Accounts (Local Government) Committee report on the 2015/2016 findings of the Auditor General pointed out that of the 77,713 posts that are established in the local governments, 23,093 are vacant, implying that nearly 30 per cent of the jobs are not filled” (Arinaitwe, 2018).
Second, the sudden announcement that there are funds available:
“I made a promise that whoever wins a gold medal at an international or continental competition would get a monthly salary of Shs5 million, a silver Shs3 million and Shs1 million for bronze. The five medalists today will get onto the payroll. I have also been told of some arrears to other athletes, they will be cleared. Likewise, I will build a house for Cheptegei and Chesang who won gold medals, like I have done for previous gold medalists” (Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, 22.04.2018).
Maybe, I am stupid or maybe the system is foolish. Because how come there is no funds for paying the teachers, hiring principals and other needed civil servants in the government, but the Ministry of Sports and Education has capacity to dole out millions to several individuals. So the sudden victories are important, than the future generations own lessons in school. All Ugandans should get the memo. That the victories done on the Commonwealth Games are more vital to the Republic, than studying or even getting educated. If you want to secure a decent pay and salary in Uganda. You got to start running and the government will find you money.
However, if you need administrators, secretaries, teachers, principals or whatever else, there is lacking off in the districts, at schools and at hospitals. You can linger unemployed and even with the education to go into the field of expertise, the state cannot find funds for you. But if you had run on dilapidated stadiums and run around pot-holes, gotten a chance to be picked up by Uganda Athletics Federation. Than you have hope for a decent salary and a future. Unless, you get picked in NRM Primary and rig yourself into Parliament. For that matter, get a name grand enough to become a Regional District Commander (RDC), then you get a salary and also a house.
If you are just a commoner applying for job, it will not be easy, even if the government institutions hasn’t hired what they need and lack to fill the positions, because of lacking funds. Trust me, if you get into the field and get a medal. You will secure your future. That is the promise. But remember, Museveni, as always promise a lot, but don’t keep it. Just like he has done to previous winner and gold medalists.
So in reality don’t expect anything, you should be worried about those promises. When the President cannot even have the needed funds for needed civil servants within his own government. The signs of problems and lacking structure should be there. The gravitas of nonsense should strike you. But someone will buy into the soft-words, but others will be. I have a way out, but that is not certain.
Arinaitwe, Solomon – ‘Uganda: Govt Stops Public Service Recruitment’ (19.04.2018) link: http://allafrica.com/stories/201804190159.html
In the Republic of the Presidential Handshake, there been talk about the Presidential Donations in Rukungiri recently, where trucks, tractors, boda-boda’s and monies to SACCO’s are coming days ahead of a By-Election there. That President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni and his party National Resistance Movement (NRM) was giving funds directly to certain people in the district. That is why this became a topic on NBS Frontline.
I am glad I am not a NRM Apologist, because they have to defend murder, assassination of institutions and the well-established nepotism within this regime. Therefore, I am glad I wasn’t Chris Baryomunsi on the TV today. The Cabinet Member said this:
“All the donations made can’t total to UGX5bn. It’s not correct to say the president was in Rukungiri to bribe voters. He has a passion to fight poverty. It was a genuine donation” – Chris Baryomunsi on NBS Frontline (19.04.2018).
Because the NRM have no trouble with this and defending what he did, because of the coming election of a Woman MP for Rukungiri District. Like it is just happening days ahead of the By-Election, that the President can use from his coffers at the State House and dole out gifts. This is Ad-Hoc Cash from the giant box of Presidential Pledges, that he can give where ever he likes. Instead of actually building institution, more just patching up the hurt, instead of building something genuine.
“The president is a very generous person and it’s not fair to say that the donation in Rukungiri was an unfair. He donates to all parts of the country. He has not broken any law by donating” – Chris Baryomunsi on NBS Frontline (19.04.2018).
Well, it is still questionable, even the Parliamentary Elections Act 2001 states: “26. Use of Government resources:
(1) Except as authorised under this Act or otherwise authorised by law, no candidate shall use Government or public resources for the purpose of campaigning for election.
(2) Where a candidate is a Minister or holds any other political office, he or she shall, during the campaign period, restrict the use of the official facilities ordinarily attached to his or her office to the execution of his or her official duties” (Parliamentary Elections Act, 2001).
So if the WMP candidate for the NRM are getting credit and the use of the bribes, the Presidential Donations or Pledges, than the public resources has been used in campaigning for elections. That is questionable, even if it wasn’t the NRM Flagbearer for Rukungiri, but the WMP candidate would benefit for the kindness and use of public resources.
So Baryomunsi should question the Electoral Laws if Presidential Pledges, Presidential Donations or gifts are acceptable before the polls. That is what the Minister is saying and the apologist of the NRM is saying. That Museveni is getting of the hook, instead of being questioned. Even the not-so-new Chairman of the Electoral Commission Justice Simon Byabakama said it was an evil partner of the elections with bribes. It is proven again that the NRM is following their M.O.
If Byabakama really believed it destroyed the Democracy, he wouldn’t have accepted the pledges, the donations and the gifts from the President in the month before the election in Rukungiri. However, he did, not condemn or done anything. Because he knows he is a crony of the President, whose lucky to have a day-job.
Because 5 billion shillings as gifts and sudden donations from the President is questionable. To say something else, is to be blind. That is what the NRM wants people to be, because the President has no plans with it. Other than trying to bribe and give things. So the District will look favorable to him and that the people cannot vote for someone else, who gave vans, tractors, boda-boda’s and so on. Peace.