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Go out in large numbers and demonstrate peacefully and oust a corrupt NRM regime

Since its founding in July 2011, UDU has consistently called on all Ugandans including all branches of security forces to demonstrate peacefully against the corrupt, sectarian and incompetent NRM regime. Uganda is a dictatorial and failed state. Museveni is a military dictator in civilian clothes.

NRM has lost direction in all areas of human endeavor, witness nominating corrupt and sectarian Sam Kutesa to become president of the United Nations General Assembly starting in September 2014 for twelve months.

NRM abandoned structural adjustment program (SAP) in 2009 after a miserable performance since 1987 against advice of experts at home and abroad and replaced it with a five year development plan purely for the sake of winning presidential and parliamentary elections in 2011. The plan has not been implemented as reported by the prime minister not too long ago.

To save face against the credible UDU’s National Recovery Plan, Museveni came up with a so-called Vision 2040 the final copy of which he hadn’t seen and which had been cleared in principle by parliament the night before it was launched. In short, the vision was not ready. The barrage of criticisms killed and buried the vision on the very day it was launched. So, Uganda has no development blue print.

Although structural adjustment program was abandoned, Museveni and his team has continued to implement its elements such as inflation control at the expense of employment and promotion of small and medium-scale enterprises that create jobs and promote equitable growth. Export-oriented economic growth of raw materials has also continued including foodstuffs traditionally available for domestic consumption thereby depriving Ugandans of adequate and nutritious diet.

Exchange rate has continued to favor exports and raise the price of imports to consumers and producers with all the adverse implications.

The Uganda market is still wide open to imports of all kinds that have severely undermined local manufacturing enterprises long after it was recognized that the process of market liberalization had proceeded very fast.

Agriculture that forms Uganda’s economic fulcrum has been neglected in favor of Kampala city as the growth pole model whose benefits have not trickled to the 34 million out of 35 million Ugandans that live outside Kampala.

Rampant corruption, sectarianism, cronyism and mismanagement of public funds have continued and possibly got worse as Museveni and his family fear they might be overthrown in a democratic process.

Cabinet and military reshuffle took place recently and Museveni kicked out the individuals he fears or marginalized them in preparation for crowning his son Muhoozi as the next president of Uganda.

That Museveni has no regard for the welfare of ordinary citizens is reflected in the recent budget that has heaped the burden of taxation on the poorest of the poor. This is a regressive taxation that parliament should reject.

Unlike other leaders in developed and developing countries, Museveni has rejected NEPAD’s lunch program for primary school children. He has also refused to launch a stimulus package to ease the unemployment situation especially of the youth which would also accelerate economic growth and equitable distribution of growth benefits.

NRM has been warned that if not checked immediately, environmental degradation will turn 80 percent of Uganda into a desert within 100 years which is a very short time by historical standards. Museveni hasn’t implemented policies to stop and reverse environmental degradation. Museveni is good at talking about what needs to be done but little follow-up action is taken if at all.

All in all as UDU has been arguing Museveni and his NRM government has failed. The longer it stays in power the more damage that will be done to humans and fauna and flora. The result will be severe ecological degradation, climate change characterized by frequent and severe droughts and floods.

Thankfully the donors have now realized the damage and wrong direction and have scaled back technical and financial assistance to send a message of disapproval of what is happening in Uganda. The rest is largely up to us.

Museveni is now vulnerable but he could be dangerous in the final hours of his misrule. We Ugandans should move fast to unseat him. However, we should not give him an opportunity to use the military equipment he has accumulated over almost three decades. Museveni should be removed by peaceful, coordinated and democratic means.

We should oppose his nomination for president of the United Nations General Assembly. Many members of the United Nations know that Kutesa is corrupt, sectarian and a poor manager as exhibited, for instance, in the poor state of Uganda house in New York City next to the United States embassy and opposite the South Korean embassy building. It will be difficult for Kutesa to preside over meetings on democracy including free and fair elections given his record in his constituency and good governance. Not only will Kutesa be uncomfortable but Uganda and the entire African continent that nominated him will be embarrassed. Let Africa look for a credible candidate. There is enough time to do so.

UDU calls on all Ugandans to go out in large numbers and in all corners of the country and simultaneously demonstrate against Museveni for the whole world to see that he has lost control and must go.

Ugandans must also demand that stolen public money and properties by NRM officials like land should be returned with interest to the rightful owners.

Eric Kashambuzi

Secretary General, UDU

© 2011 United Democratic Ugandans. All Rights Reserved.