This week, the ruling National Resistance Movement Party is commemorating 34 years of leading Uganda. This makes it the longest serving political party since Uganda’s independence of 57 years.
Over the course of its rule, the party has seen one leader championing his vision. There’s no doubt that the country has recorded some progress over those years. However compared to other countries such as China, Vietnam, South Korea, Uganda has stagnated as other countries have taken off from previously agrarian economies, to becoming industrialised countries.
Uganda’s continuing lower ranking in the UNDP human development index, characterised by high maternal and child deaths, high levels of youth unemployment, high levels of child malnutrition, and dependency on donors, have cast a spell on Uganda’s progress.
It is generally agreed that one of Uganda’s problems is corruption. This vice has crippled the progress of the entire nation by diverting resources meant to benefit the masses into the pockets of only a few politicians and connected business people.
Billions of shillings that would have been directed towards ventures that lift the masses of Uganda’s out of poverty, have ended up building arcades, high rise office buildings in Kampala and palatial homes for the rich.
The danger with corruption however is that it does not only deepen poverty, it breeds anger and resentment among the population which translate into insecurity.
Sectarian sentiments that are being heard these days, the rise in robberies are signs that those that have amassed wealth through corruption, won’t enjoy their wealth as people start to get a piece of the pie.
Some in the party such as the NRM deputy Secretary General Richard Todwong, have spoken out against the amassing of wealth by the big fish. Last year, President Museveni joined an anti-corruption walk at which the Deputy Speaker of Parliament Jacob Oulanyah professed that he is not corrupt.
During the forthcoming NRM delegates conference, we wish to see more people take courage and demand for an end to corruption.