It is now a culture that, come Christmas and New Year holidays, political and religious leaders go to the podiums and pulpits, respectively, to lecture the people about successes, resolutions and promises. The people respond to this with mass action, especially on the crossover night to the New Year, with massive attendances of worship services in churches and stadia; 2017 is no exception.
President Yoweri Museveni promised the people a host of things to remedy a drought that has hit the country and affected agricultural output of food crops. It has brought some sections of the people to their knees with famine. Museveni’s most relevant promise is the institution of water and irrigation schemes to reverse the effects of climate change for the pivotal seasons, to enable the growing and maturing of crops, to get good harvests.
Partnering such messages are those of the priests, pastors and prophets urging the people to practice morality and hard work. The hard work, to achieve economically beneficial results, is based on the premise that there will be adequate and responsive financing to help generate agricultural, services and industrial production to propel the people to the much-vaunted middle income status.
This talk is all very well; it has given rise to such high-sounding phrase like: Operation Wealth Creation, Hakuna Muchezo, and the like. One of the actions following this has been the attempt to re-institute the co-operatives – renamed SACCOS – apparently, without much success. Equally, other sectors have suffered because they were not carefully thought out, before the implementation of the said projects, were put in place. It is easy to put a finger on a number of them, but suffice it to add to the agricultural sectors, areas in education, power generation, transportation, tourism and the modern technology.
The functions in these, and other areas, are severely undercut by lack of seriousness and commitment, administrative inefficiency and outright theft of the Government resources meant to finance the sectors. There has been a great deal of lip-service utterances to the political will meant to lift this country out of the morass if finds itself in.
The messages the churchmen are advocating are pertinent to achieving this commitment. They are basically saying that prayers in Christmas and New Year seasons followed by those messages will amount to nothing without work. The Bible in the Book of James makes this abundantly clear. To paraphrase it: Faith without action is dead.
Another spiritual principle we should add to this without much ado; is that: Do unto others as you would want them do unto you. Without a limit to these and other precepts of responsibility, accountability and good practice, it is noteworthy to say that the politicians, who are the custodians of the people, as mandated by God, should at all levels “walk the talk”. If they did this, there would be no situation in Uganda, as is the case now, where there are people, who are recklessly rich posing among people, who are carelessly poor.