The President’s Wealth creation Engagements in Perspective

Friday, July 19, 2019

The opposition parties, particularly FDC, UPC and DP are angry, that President Yoweri Museveni is short-changing them by allegedly disguising his early re-election campaigns as mobilization for wealth creation especially in rural communities. But whether the opposition and their allies in the civil society accepts or not, the objective truth is that majority of Ugandans, about 68 percent still live in subsistence economy and need big direct help and intervention.

That intervention may be in form of seed capital cash, advise, pep talk, skills development, inputs, work space and equipment, entrepreneurial education and ethics, or general mobilization for mindset shift however small, all of which President Museveni is offering during these engagements especially to the sub-county and district leaders. And yes, the opposition may be annoyed that President Museveni has in all the regions, publicly received, accepted and signed endorsements by different groups urging him to stand as presidential candidate in 2021. The good thing though, they are not prevent other candidates from showing up, and there will be a public vote through universal adult suffrage.

Only up to that point, does the opposition, perhaps have some valid concerns, but they are fond of using the president’s incumbency as the main scapegoat for their miserable failure even to articulate an appealing political message both to citizens and their foreign audiences that fund them. They have in addition used isolated, although unfortunate incidents where police or some Resident District Commissioners (RDCs) have disrupted opposition public meetings in ways that appear irregular, highhanded, and unlawful, which should be examined. 

It is necessary to state that President Museveni has not directed RDCs to unlawfully stop or disrupt meetings of legal opposition groups, and in any case, law enforcement is police mandate. However, we also know that some cases, especially media blackouts, where the opposition, particularly FDC and Kizza Besigye have cried foul against RDCs have been false alarms intended to solicit public sympathy. The case a few months ago in Kabale district where a radio broadcast temporarily went off air was later established as having been caused by a general power shutdown throughout Western Uganda and not an act of political sabotage by the RDC Kabale as Besigye had claimed.

By Ofwono Opondo                                                                                                          

Indeed, where these allegations have made, as recently in Jinja, Kagadi, and Adjumani districts, investigations were conducted and established that they were precautionary measures taken by law enforcement agencies for fear that FDC leaders intended to use the radios to breach peace by inciting and spread hate speech. FDC leaders including Besigye have on numerous occasions publicly said they intend to call people on to the streets, roads and other public spaces in acts of civil disobedience to topple government, yet somehow expect the police to just look on.

As an incumbent, President Museveni has a running contract with the people of Uganda based on the NRM’s election manifesto 2016, committing to accomplish a number of tangible development programs for the majority of citizens. Any elected politician and governments world over, whatever they do on a daily basis impacts either positively or negatively on their future prospects including re-election if they are still interested and eligible.

And yes, President Museveni is indeed on a massive campaign trail and we should all be joining him to mobilize Ugandans still living below or just the poverty line to raise productivity, wealth and their personal living standards if we want to reach modernity. It is in our national collective interest to raise Uganda’s productivity, broaden the revenue base and increase revenues so as to stop depending on charity from developed countries whose citizens work so hard and get highly taxed for our benefit.

It is the promise of NRM and President Museveni to design and implement a broad range of economic packages to lift as many Ugandans as realistically possible, first, out of poverty, and then into productivity, wealth creation and higher standards.  While President’s Museveni’s massage of socio-economic may be taking long to sink, progress is visible across Uganda through increasing homestead incomes, growing number of small, media and large commercial enterprises, services, manufacturing industries, and infrastructure.  And the shares of locally made Ugandan products on shop shelves, and in the export markets, are increasing too.