Uganda is today better off than it was 30 years ago when the National Resistance Movement assumed leadership of this country. The country has experienced economic growth. The government introduced primary and secondary universal education. A number of roads have been tarmacked, has been the role of the army, the UPDF, in ensuring peace and security.
In pursuit of power for self, we have been experiencing man-eat-man type of politics. And while the economy has been growing, the gap between the rich and the poor has been widening.
While universal education has helped put many Ugandans through schools, the quality of primary and secondary graduates has been abysmal. And because the economy has not been creating jobs, university graduates cannot get jobs leading to a lot of anger, frustration and hopelessness.
And while roads have been made, ordinary Ugandans who are mainly into agriculture, have nothing much to transport on the roads which have been made. This is because there hasn’t been a deliberate government plan to increase productivity- a strategy that would lead to wealth creation and poverty reduction.
As the country marks 30 years of NRM leadership, the government needs to pay more attention to the people because a government that does not put the interest of people first, then that government is doomed to fail. It can only be a matter of time.
It is because of the low degree of general happiness among the population that we may be seeing a yearning for change from a cross section of Ugandans during the ongoing political campaigns. Today, Ugandans seem to be judging President Museveni by the performance of his government’s management team. Unfortunately, many of his managers in the local governments and at the centre, have been very disappointing. Many of them have betrayed people’s faith in a government they had for many years put their faith for a better future. Instead, government representatives have been working for themselves instead of working for the people.
As we mark three decades under the NRM, and as President Museveni fights for another term in office, he will do well to listen more to the people while on the road campaigning for votes. Is he for example aware of the anger within his party?
President Museveni is lucky that Ugandans fear the unknown and shudder to imagine returning to a Uganda of the past. However, he would be wrong to take Ugandans for granted especially the youth who have known only one government since they were born.