The Bus Rapid Transport system together with a Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (MATA), in the midst of the Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA), Kampala City Hall and Ministry of Kampala. This are having different heads combined with the mastermind on the top President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni. Doesn’t matter what the ones in the parishes are considering, the Division Mayors, Lord Mayor Lukwago, KCCA Director Musisi or even State Minister Kamya. The one rubber-stamping the initiatives is and will be the President. Since he has his finger into everything.
That is why I have no faith in BRT. Even if it is stop the congestion, the lack of public transport in Kampala and problems of control of the Boda-Boda’s, the authority of the Taxi’s and the Specials. There are still significant issues to be reached. It doesn’t matter if they are banning or stopping certain transport options. As long as the ones working, are the taxis and boda-boda’s. These are the ones who has designated routes and travels with licensing for their routes. The Taxis are usually used Toyota Hiace imported from Japan, second-hand ones who was former bread-trucks, who are rebuilt to fit as many people as possible.
While a BRT means there will be heavy investments in stages, in divisions and in congested areas to fit the paradigm of buses. It isn’t barely putting buses on the road and assume the population will start taking it. The need for steady implementation of road structure, of bus-companies, of driving schools and of time-tables has to be put on order to make sense for the citizens to use it. Since it needs to be better than the transportation options that are today, like the taxis, boda-boda’s and specials. At this stage the Uganda Investment Authority (UIA) in their feasibility study estimates the needed funds to get it going at this point to be the staggering $612.06 Million. With today’s value of the Uganda Shillings it is about Shs. 2,193,883,999,999 UGX, in other terms over 2.1 trillion shillings. Which means one tenth of the Financial Year budget of 21 Trillion Shillings in FY 2017/2018. Just to put in perspective.
This infrastructure project of this size and ramification better make the roads of Kampala into bricks out of gold. Clear every single pothole and make sure the gravel grade more than standard. This project has been going on for ages without any movement or significant progress. Why I am writing about it, well there suddenly if it is true, some Chinese Investors who wants to touch the erratic transport system of Kampala. This are together with the Chinese Ambassador to Uganda, at the State House discussing investments into it. Therefore, the sudden move of actual fueled money into it. As the 2.1 Trillion shillings doesn’t grow on trees.
President Museveni stated this today:
“The Kampala Metropolitan Rapid Bus Transport project is a necessity. We should not continue to have so many cars with limited capacity” (…) “The investor will construct 26 rapid bus stations, 420 stage shelters and an initial 400 buses with a carting capacity of 74 passengers” (Museveni, 18.06.2017).
With this unknown Chinese Investor, they are clearly indicating some infrastructure and some buses to put up. If this will see the light of day and will be honestly implemented, than there are start, but it takes time to find routes and needed ways to make it profitable, as there will also be lost oppertunities for the ones who used taxis, specials and boda-boda’s on these roads. That is if this isn’t a scheme and plot of manufacturing more monies through the state-house. Which wouldn’t be surprising knowing how the President often operate.
The BRT would be a bonus and strengthen the congestive traffic of Kampala, a needed one for more time working and less time stuck in traffic jams. It would be important for the citizens leaving the divisions and traveling across town to work. But the state haven’t been able in the recent years to pull it off. Maybe Chinese investments would help it and their involvement in it would see it moving. But it shouldn’t just be the President’s blessings over the investments. The KCCA, Ministry of Kampala and City Hall should all have a say and make reports on how to build it properly. As the UIA even states there have only been a feasibility-study. That is preparation for the solution, but not the white paper or even framework for the Divisions or Central Business District of Kampala to make the BRT a success. Right now it is dream, which most likely could turn into a nightmare before its shuttle.
NAMA Proposals in 2013 are even more costly: “The capital costs budgeted over the 15 year period were estimated to total some US$ 1.181 Billion”. That is the double of the estimates from UIA in 2017. Therefore, something has either been scaled down or the NAMA was considering more aspects in their plans, than the UIA has. But is not like the President today has delivered any paperwork or reveled any sort of information what sort of possible deal he done with the “the Investor”. He could be scapegoat or even a mirage for all we know. Because none is on the up and up.
Especially considering he had a meeting with them at the State House in Entebbe with none of the leadership of Kampala. The ones in Kampala will just later get the news of the building and investments, therefore has to figure out how to implement it and work-out the perks. Parts of me wonder if the President even has looked into the documentation and considered the needed partners in play. But that is just how the President operates. He just can build Rome on his own or Kampala for that matter. He has all the skills and the brown envelopes at his disposal. Peace.
“The Ministry of Transport at the weekend authorised the Rift Valley Railways (RVR) to temporarily run passenger rail services in a move to add pressure on striking taxi drivers.RVR will transport passengers Monday to Friday, from Namanve to Kampala and back at Shs1,500. In the morning, there are two shifts that depart Namanve at 7am and 8am. Evening shifts leave Kampala at 5:30pm and 7pm. Each shift can transport 550 passengers using five coaches”.
So they have done it before, will be able to do it now? Secondly, how long will it last before it break down or the money is gone and the trains lay astray somewhere? Peace.
“When the NRM captured power in January 1986, it found the following major problems;
i) Severe shortage of basic necessities like soap, cloth, housing, sugar, blankets, salt etc.
ii) Severe bottlenecks involving
– Shortage of transport
– Badly damaged roads both trunk and feeder roads
– Malfunctioning power and water supply
– Lack of agricultural inputs
– Unutilized capacity in the industry sector
iii) Disruption of life in most parts of the country leaving behind displaced people, orphans and widows.
iv) High level of insecurity
v) Huge money supply in the economy
vi) High rate of inflation
vii) Very unfavourable balance of payments” (P.5, Poverty Alleviation Department, 2011)
The Ten-point program:
Restoration of Democracy:
Constitutionalism and fair elections was part of this point in the program. NRM and Yoweri Museveni made a new launched in 8. October 1995. That their holding elections every 5 years (P.6, Poverty Alleviation Department, 2011).
Restoration of security of all persons in Uganda and their properties: First they did disciplining the army – that got the NRA and UPDF together. Also restoring some safety and peace in the Northern Uganda with the operation to get rid of LRA and also stabilizing things in South Sudan. Keeping law and order with the run of things with UPF (P.11-15, Poverty Alleviation Department, 2011).
Consolidation of national unity and elimination of all sectarianism. President Museveni said himself on 12th of May 2006: “Ever since 1986, when the National Resistance Movement (NRM) ended decades of state-inspired extra-judicial killings that accounted for the death of 800,000 Ugandans between 1966 and 1986, we introduced popular democracy based on a no-party model. In order to defeat the almost one century old sectarianism that had been fomented among our people and had been partially responsible for the upheavals that gripped Uganda, we avoided the immediate re-introduction of multi-party democracy. This model was not well understood abroad although it healed our people from sectarianism based on religious sects and tribes. We ignored the pressures from outside until we were convinced that the mindset of people had changed.”(P:16, Poverty Alleviation Department, 2011).
Defense and Consolidation on National Independence: By doing this point was to get political independence. That wasn’t officially in place before 1986. Economic independence – that being the result of URA is now collecting 100 times more than it did from 1987 to 2010 (P. 19, Poverty Alleviation Department, 2011).
Laying a basis for building: an independent, integrated, self-sustaining national economy. This has been done by becoming a part of COMESA and EAC. Also 20 policies have become bills to this date. Make opportunity for private sector development. Also the growth the ICT/Telephone business and the Oil exploration will give the economy a boost (P.21-25, Poverty Alleviation Department, 2011).
Restoration and improvement of social services and rehabilitation of the war-ravaged areas. This has happen through the extensive expansion of the health care. Also the new standard in educational system in Uganda: “Article 30 of the 1995 constitution says that all persons have a right to education. Article 34 further states that “A child is entitled to basic education which shall be the responsibility of the state and the parents of the child.” The provisions notwithstanding, fewer than expected children were going to school. So while campaigning for Presidency in 1996, President Museveni noted that there were big numbers of children who were not attending school and/or dropping-out of primary school, largely due to failure by parents to meet education costs. He therefore promised that he would introduce free primary education if elected. Subsequently, the NRM government introduced (UPE) in 1997. Also the building of infrastructure of the road projects that has been over the last 20 years: “One of the major responsibilities for the NRM government is the construction and repair of roads. In order to properly plan for the road network in Uganda, the government formed the National Roads Authority which became functional on July 1st 2008 with the mandate of designing, developing and maintaining the national road network, currently at 20,000 km” (P: 25-32, Poverty Alleviation Department, 2011).
Elimination of all forms of corruption in public life: “misuse of power for personal gain”. It’s been passed since 1986 – 8 laws that been passed to secure the system of bribes, corruption and grafts in the country. The NRM government has also put 8 agencies that follow up the corruption in the country (P: 33-34, Poverty Alleviation Department, 2011).
Settling the peasants that have been rendered landless by erroneous “development” projects or outright theft of their land through corruption.“The land question has been in Uganda since the colonial times. Several legislations have been passed but they have not done much to solve the question. In the late 90’s and 2000’s, eviction of the so called squatters was so rampant that people always, petitioned the President for assistance”(P: 35, Poverty Alleviation Department, 2011).
Encouraging co-operation with other African countries and defending the human and democratic rights of our long-suffering African brothers. “Over the last 25 years, President Museveni has ensured that cordial relationships with other countries are a top priority. Uganda’s foreign policy has been promoted putting in mind other foreign interests and ensuring that other countries do not undermine Uganda’s interests”. The achievement that the NRM government has done by this point is the Tripartite plus Joint Committee with Burundi, Rwanda, Uganda and DRC, Arusha Accord with peace in Burundi, Inter-Governmental Authority Development progress in Sudan and Somalia, EAC where Ugandan interested get a key place and the President involved with the peaceful resolution after the election violence in Kenya. Which is also the biggest trading partner (P: 37, Poverty Alleviation Department, 2011).
Following an economic strategy of a mixed economy – I.E. Use of state and private sector as well as cooperatives in the development process.“Since coming to power, the NRM government developed programs to address infrastructural and economic challenges” (…)”The vision is that ‘every household in Uganda is able to access basic necessities namely: food, shelter, clothing, health and education for material and social comfort and be able to earn an income”. Also the push and to organize SACCOS and cooperatives to get a mix of business and government (P: 38-42, Poverty Alleviation Department, 2011).
Comment to the Ten-point program:
Point One:“The Movement dispatches vehicles to go around ferrying people to the polling station. Once people goes into the vehicles the buying votes begin (…) To ensure that the people who get the money deliver the votes, they insist that a Movement agent at the station votes on their behalf (…) In some villages like Kyeitembe and Nyakabirizi cows were slaughtered, and everyone who accepted to vote for the Movement was given a kilo of meat” (Kobusingye, 2010, P: 116).
Observer commented earlier this year: “A Human Rights Watch report recently claimed that some elements in the Ugandan contingent had sexually abused vulnerable Somali women and girls. The UPDF contested this claim but pledged to investigate. Earlier, The Observer had reported about army officers ‘selling’ places to soldiers seeking to be enlisted for the mission” (Observer, 2014)
(United Nation General Assembly, 2010)
Museveni himself has pointed out earlier this year: “Uganda started off her Independence, in 1962, on a very weak foundation. This was, mainly, because of bad politics pushed by opportunistic sectarian groups and manipulated by external interests. The sectarianism, as we have pointed out many times, was based on religion, tribes and gender chauvinism (marginalizing the women). There were only three women that I remember in the Independence Parliament of 1962 to take one example. Within four years of Independence, the then Prime Minister had to abolish the 1962 Constitution because of the contradictions that were getting ever sharper” (Museveni, 2014).
Commenting on the political independence: “Richard Nduhura (…) In 2001 he contested for a parliamentary seat against Reform Agenda’s Spencer Tiwomwe. Nduhura’s agents were engaged in gross electoral malpractices, including multiple voting, underage voting, ballot stuffing, and bribery of votes. Nduhura found to have voted for himself twice” (Kobusingye, 2010, P: 118). Hey, it happened in 1961, 50 years later you did the same, why complaining President? And on Economic independence – Al Jazeeras tiny clip is telling the story:
(P: 55, National Planning Authority, 2010)
(P: 56, National Planning Authority, 2010).
Discussing the points of education and infrastructure let me first address the educational policy. Baryamureeba says: “Uganda needs to consider reforming the education system if we are to focus on skills-development as a country. Primary school education should be reduced to six years and it should focus on setting a solid foundation or building blocks of the child’s education. At primary school level, children should master reading, writing and arithmetic”(…)”Primary school teachers are focusing on terminal national examination instead of imparting these essential skills. There are skills that are necessary at primary school level, but are not examined in the Primary Leaving Examinations (PLE). As a result, teachers focus less on such skills” (…)”All students, who complete primary education should be allowed to seek ordinary level education (O’level). At the end of O’level, students should sit the Uganda Certificate of Education (UCE), which is a national examination” (…)”free education should be provided at primary school and O’level education only. Beyond this stage, education should be optional and the students should meet the costs. The Government needs to stop providing free education beyond Senior Four, because it is neither strategic nor sustainable” (…)”Then Grants Board should have clear guidelines of how these institutions can access funds and to what levels. This would reduce on strikes in these institutions as a result of demanding for more funds from the Government” (Baryamureeba, 2013). On infrastructure study on economic planning and building in Pallisa and Soroti: “The planning of roads should factor in the economic potential of areas as the current system under MoW only considers roads in bad situation. This will improve on accessibility to areas that have identified themselves as economically productive” (..)”The level of funding for roads should be increased both under machine based as well as labour based methods. The latter method was seen to be effective in contributing to income earning opportunities of the local communities which helps government achieve twin objectives of poverty reduction and road provision” (EPRC, December 2010).
Let mention a few: The Dr. Latigo scandal of 1986 – the Uganda Airlines payoff that made him lose his top position over the airline. Another one was Santana Vehicle Saga in 1988 where the Ministry of Defense wanted ‘Land-Rovers’ but this deal between Uganda and Spain made the deal for Santana’s. They had paid for 260 Land Rovers and not Santana’s so that $6,8m worth Santana’s shipped versus the $8m Land Rovers that the bid was set for(Mugabe, 2013). We also had the CHOGM 2007 the dealings with Mr Mahogany and Mbabazi that there was huge mismanagement of public funds that was we’re meant for the CHOGM 2007. Also the Global Fund 2008 the scandal of drug and malaria. The money went to phony organizations and also take-away money to PMU. Termangalo land scandal the deal between NSSF and Mbabazi that forced the fund to buy the land. The ID Scandal of 2010 where the Government borrowed a lot of money and never kicked off the project (New Vision, 2013).
This shows how little serious the 8 laws and the agencies that supposed to follow the monies that are giving and shared from the government to different entities. So I do think I will comment it further.
To prove some of the actions of the government that opposes the ideal of Point eight. “Agnes Kirabo, the FRA Coordinator, says there is no need for any apology to Ugandans or the President and that it is the President himself who should be concerned at the spate of the land grabbing vice considering that it is at the heart of failing his Ten Point Programme” (..)”Sources at ULA say that the ministry has in the past investigated their sources of funding and warned them against getting involved with Mubende issues where over 22,000 residents were evicted from their land, their crops destroyed, houses burnt from about 10 villages by security operatives to give way for a plantation forest by UK’s New Forest Company Uganda Limited (NFC) on the orders of President Museveni” (…)”Oxfam and ULA also rattled the government when they released a report indicating that 22,000 were evicted from their land in Mubende. When this reporter travelled to Mubende at the height of the crisis, officials at the Resident District Commissioner’s office which handles the land issues (showing the president direct involvement since RDCs answer mainly to the president) said that Oxfam had done a false report and asked the reporter to go back to Kampala” (…)”FRA, for instance, invited hundreds of peasants who testified about loss of their land to investors, government and army officials. The NGOs launched the land losers’ directory on the same day. The book is intended to document all land losers” (…)”Orombi noted: “UJCC welcomes the ongoing initiative by civil society organisations that have brought together ULA, FRA and UJCC whose main aim is to educate Ugandans on their rights and challenge oppressive systems and structures that have led to unlawful eviction of thousands of Ugandans from lands they have occupied for generations. (…)”But a more contentious one that has already pitted activists against President Museveni is the Amaru eviction of over 10,000-17,000 people from Apar into pabbo sub-county. Although president Museveni has in the past threatened to deal with those who claim that government is behind evictions, increasingly, he is personally directing more and more evictions including this one and the evictees themselves are coming out to criticise him”(Matsiko, 2012).
“In 1983 and 1984, six countries in the Horn of Africa – Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, Sudan and Uganda – took action through the United Nations to establish an intergovernmental body for development and drought control in their region. The Assembly of Heads of State and Government met in Djibouti in January 1986 to sign the Agreement which officially launched IGADD with Headquarters in Djibouti. The State of Eritrea became the seventh member after attaining independence in 1993(IGAD, 2010)”. Somali Prime Minister Abdi Farah Shirdon Saaid commented this: “The Ugandans have contributed significantly and a lot, and this is now a critical moment and in light of that we are of the view, if the media reports turn out to be true, it may be a challenge”. On the same note the Ugandan Foreign Ministry said in a statement: “Uganda’s withdrawal from regional peace efforts, including Somalia, CAR (Central African Republic) etc would become inevitable unless the U.N. corrects the false accusations made against Uganda, by bringing out the truth about Uganda’s role in the current regional efforts” (Biryabarema, 2012). “Ugandans lead a 5,000-soldier strong contingent of African Kony-hunters operating all over central Africa, and their presence in the CAR falls under a continental mandate” (…)”Paddy Ankunda, Seleka were targeted because they have somehow allied themselves with the LRA. “We know we don’t have that mandate but since [Seleka] are in bed with our enemy, we’ll treat them as such,” he said. “Seleka had never tasted our fire. I think it was important that they taste our fire so that they are careful.” (…)”in May, Ugandan foreign minister Sam Kutesa promised the United Nations that his country would contribute 400 peacekeepers to MISCA, the African Union-led peacekeeping force in CAR (in September to become the UN-led MINUSCA)” (…)”Given Uganda’s public description of Seleka as “the enemy”, can Uganda really be trusted to act as a guarantor for peace?” (Allison, 2014).
“President Museveni said that the issue of their remuneration was well appreciated by the Government. However, said that the NRM Government had decided to embark on national development through emphasizing building infrastructure, such as roads, so that they would be used by the population to get homestead income. He stressed that without roads and infrastructure in general, the country cannot grow.“Infrastructure such as roads and electricity were the foundation for development. Having it right in the economy would attract investments that would in turn increase employment opportunities and income generation in the country” (MediaCentre, 2014).
Now I have been beating every single point of the program. I just had to. Hope it was worth the time put in…I was thinking of adjusting the ten-point program versus Vision2040. But to address it properly would be too long and wouldn’t be sufficient in this form a blog. I sure have more evidence of how the NRM regime hasn’t lived up to the promises of the ten-point program. This is just a cup of tea. So hope it was sweat. Peace.