The truth is that some Ugandans are doing very well or just well while many others are really struggling to live or to get by. Government knows the going is tough for many Ugandans but it has no quick fixes.
Now, there are many things the government has done over the last 28 years. It has constructed roads, it has introduced universal primary and secondary education, electricity output has increased although it is still not enough in towns and rural electrification is slow making rural development very slow.
The government has been successful in providing security almost nationally, and through regional cooperation efforts, Ugandans are beginning to economically benefit from inter-regional trade. The health sector, while there has been noted improvement, there is still urgent need for a well thought out, affordable or universal national health system.
While there has been some improvement in the quality of life of the farmers and, the peasants for lack of a decent word, the majority who happen to make the majority of our population, are still wallowing in abject poverty, waiting in hope, for a better life promised by politicians especially during the electioneering times.
Often times the government, especially the president, endeavors to remind us of where we have come from and how much the government has done during its tenure of office. Considering how far we have come and where we are today, it’s only fair to appreciate some work that the NRM government has dome for our country. Unfortunately, many Ugandans, educated or not educated, are living in poverty.
The development has not created enough jobs for the employable but unemployed, and the miserable and embarrassing investment in the ‘modernisation of agriculture’, has obviously not done much to improve the quality of the majority of our people. While they have not lost hope for a better life, they are very angry with the obscene official levels of corruption and open stealing, with impunity, of taxpayers’ money meant for development and for the delivery of dire services.
As we celebrate 28years, the NRM government will do well to be mindful of public discontent that is clearly visible unless it wants to pretend that it doesn’t exist, and then it plans to address those frustrations that make citizens hate government. it is important that the government addresses the root causes of public anger that regularly manifests in riotous confrontation with authority, and, the oozing hatred of government in various media outlets.
This 28-year-old government needs to seriously address itself on how to help grow small industries and other small business ventures because it is these that create jobs that make people happy who in turn reciprocate the beneficial relationship through their support of government.
As luck would have it, Uganda is projected to experience impressive growth which will benefit from ‘a rise in activity in construction, transport, telecommunications, as well as exploration and construction in the burgeoning oil industry in Uganda’.
Now, this should surely be good news to the ears of Ugandans. Unfortunately it isn’t for an obvious familiar reason: they have had this news before and all they have experienced is further widening of the gap between the rich few and The People.
And yet we all want this situation to change. But for this to happen, there is a serious need for the re-invention of our government. If the truth be told, our government needs rejuvenation, and urgently, because it looks really tired. But most importantly, it needs to start caring more about the people than the votes.
The biggest question is whether this is possible when we are entering the ELECTIONEERING PERIOD? If it isn’t possible, then we must prepare for a period of DISCONTENT especially among the unemployed youth.
Government may find it in its wisdom to want to wish this fact away as alarmism yet we all know this is the reality. It is the truth. If you don’t believe us look at all countries going through turmoil today and you will realise the significance of securing our economic growth and political stability by including as many Ugandans as possible in the development process.
At 28 years NRM is old enough to have wisened up. Happy Anniversary.