The real problem in Uganda ‘s President Museveni


Recently Museveni said that politicians are taking advantages of the present democracy in Uganda which he fixed together with security to frustrate his development and warned to give more attention on thieving politicians and civil servants who frustrate development. Museveni made the comments when passing out 430 cadet officers who underwent one year of training at the military Academy, Kabamba on Saturday.

Mr. Museveni in his speech said “Uganda has undergone a lot of changes. We went through liberation struggles and there is now peace. Democracy is now entrenched, we are building the country and therefore, the situation is good. However, the problems of Uganda are two: politicians and civil servants,”

“I want to use this function to appeal to them to repent because the kingdom of God is about to come and I cannot accept those who frustrate development because there is democracy.”

Although President Museveni continued the applause of the state of democracy in Uganda, evidence on his government’s continuous clamping down on legitimate opposition activity hangs his democracy claims on balance as critics say stumping on freedom of speech is hurting the country as it is taking us back in those old days of 1980s

Museveni’s speech angered many activists as it came at a time where Opposition politicians are being picked up daily and clobbered like criminals by his brutal Special Forces and police simply because they are exercising their democratic and constitutional rights. Many Ugandans have already tested the menu on Museveni’s military terror machine.

The world should know that Museveni doesn’t respect democracy as he continues to show citizens that he is a determiner of life and death in Uganda, his foremost interest is to keep power for its own sake and for purposes of enabling him pursue personal aspirations. In Uganda Innocent blood is being spilled every day, by the security forces on Museveni’s orders as he wrests with Ugandans who have openly come out to oppose his reign of terror and demanding that the regime be brought to account as witnessed in Northern Africa and in the Middle East.Its surprising that Museveni kills and no western governments raises a finger. Many innocent people have died trying to express their freedoms in Uganda. I request those in the diaspora Europe USA to show solidarity to our brothers and sisters in Uganda who get imprisoned, tear-gassed or gunned down every day.

Also Corruption in state house and public offices remains high with billions going unaccounted for or embezzled, according to government watchers and accounts from the Auditor General’s annual reports, Billions of shillings of taxpayers’ money is stolen every day and all culprits are always given protection the state house.In 2006, President Yoweri Museveni announced a policy of zero-tolerance for corruption but the situation is getting worse most governance, indicators in Uganda show that corruption is perceived as widespread and endemic at all levels in the country,all this is attributed to President Museveni everything in Uganda shows that the entire NRM system is corrupt. Those who continue to praise and defend NRM government have no basis for doing so unless they are using hidden criteria. NRM is corrupt to its neck.In Uganda Museveni’s corruption has become endemic and institutionalized making it the number one deterrent to economic and social development. Public money and much of it donations for development has not only disappeared into private pockets or used to bribe officials and opinion leaders but also most of it has found its way in foreign banks – back to where it came from. With a few illustrations, let us trace how corruption is accelerating decadence in the once pearl of Africa. The disappearance of funds for recurrent expenses including salaries and capital development has led to two immediate outcomes: massive brain drain and shortage of funds for investment in or maintenance of infrastructure such as roads and energy and institutions such as research and extension. Thus, Uganda’s acute shortage of funds and qualified and experienced personnel is mostly a function of corruption. In turn the shortage of funds and trained manpower has led to reduction in design and investment in capital and social infrastructure. Reduced investments in infrastructure such as roads and energy; schools and clinics or maintenance of existing infrastructure and institutions have discouraged private investment which NRM government had counted on as the engine of growth and job creation.

Museveni’s corruption has had an effect were now youth are dropping out of school and getting married in their teens and having many children they cannot afford and have no money for contraception. Population growth is getting out of control because poor people produce more children than rich ones. Because the poor cannot afford electricity they are resorting to charcoal and deforestation has followed with adverse impact on temperature and rain patterns as well as soil erosion. Exposed soils are losing fertility through wind and water erosion, temperatures are rising, rivers are drying up, lakes are shrinking, water tables are dropping and Uganda is turning into a desert (the Sahara was once covered in thick forests with abundant water bodies). A UN agency has already warned that Uganda could turn into a desert within 100 years if corrective measures are not instituted without delay.

According to information obtained from the daily monitor Uganda, a racket of senior NRM staff in the ministries of Public Service and Finance paid out at least million Sh63 billion to 1,000 ghost pensioners while the army lost Shs263 million last year in the same scandal, its hurting because this money is more than enough on the amount of cash needed by ministry of health and that’s wanted to treat Nodding disease children in northern Uganda.Corruption goes beyond merely taking public money for private use. It includes using public money to corrupt officials to take or ignore certain actions that are harmful to the economy and society. It means relying on relatives or ‘yes’ men and women who will not point a finger at a problem when they see it. So dealing with corruption needs a comprehensive framework. Many Uganda elites have tolerated corruption because they see it as the quickest way to accumulate wealth. Instead of fighting it they scramble to be part of it. But they forget that they are creating serious problems down the road that will affect them directly or indirectly. For example when they fall sick, they do not get good healthcare because the money to buy medicine disappeared into private pockets. Or when their wives go to the clinic to deliver, there is no midwife or doctor because they were not paid and left the profession or the country or they charge a fee that may be too high. Some are even defending corruption as an integral part of rapid economic development. Yet others are arguing that corruption is universal but two wrongs do not make a right. We need to have a long term view of how corruption is destroying Uganda and take appropriate corrective measures.

Museveni should understand that as far as state house continue to fail to account for the 300 million Ugandan shillings they took for poverty alleviation, Ugandans will not take his statements on corruption seriously , Our problems in the country, starts with Museveni’s as person and Museveni’s head of state. He is found of blaming others while he is the main architecture in all Ugandan problems.
The obvious solution is to get rid of President Museveni and uproot the NRM system that has caused too much suffering. Since much of Uganda’s revenue comes from foreign donations, we appeal to the donors to recast their policies significantly reducing money going directly to the government in the first instance. The argument that reducing donations will hurt the poor is not convincing because the money through government never gets to them anyway – directly or indirectly. And that is why despite massive donations absolute poverty has remained unacceptably high: over 50 percent. Through corruption, much donor money has gone to a few rich families skewing income distribution, the rest has been squandered through mismanagement due to hiring relatives who are not qualified much less experienced. In circumstances like these anything is possible including a breeding ground for all sorts of evils. And guns, torture chambers, air force, military, police, intelligence and prisons won’t solve the problem. NRM is largely responsible but has no will or capacity to reverse course. Someone else with clean hands will have to do it. Ongoing peaceful and legitimate demonstrations are part of that solution. This is a democratic process which the government should not frustrate through intimidation, arrest and shooting peaceful demonstrators. To succeed, development partners will need to extend a helping hand to those seeking a peaceful resolution of Uganda’s current political, economic, social and ecological challenges.