Sunday, July 4, 2010

UPC Economic Policies can help bail out Uganda

When the UPC Government was in office there were chances of seeing the welfare of Ugandans a reality. The differences in the Uganda society were not the magnitude they are today where the gap between the have's and have nots is beyond imagination. Today we are witnessing the NRM Government favour a few well to do farmers at the expense of the majority poor! When UPC was in Government we witnessed policies which were geared to seeing the welfare of all in practice. We saw many people benefit from the Cooperative infrastructure and it was well tailored from the rural areas to the apex organisations. Many policies of the time were positive and practical in seeing to the welfare of the poor. They were driven by the technical people not the head of state.
It is clear that the future of Uganda can be bright if the powers that be borrow rightly the UPC models. Unfortunately, the NRM gambles have been successful in increasing the country's indebtedness but the impact on ground is just a few who are reaping the fruits as majority find it difficult to make ends meet. The taxes are one area in point where the Government has failed to get a balance between reasonable taxing in line with the competitiveness that has to be enhanced in the economy if sustainable development is to be a reality.
William Kituuka

Milton Obote 1925-2005 on 500 Shillings 1983 Banknote from Uganda Political leader who led Uganda towards independence from the British colonial administration in 1962 He became Prime Minister during 1962-1966 and President during 1966-1971 and 1980-1985

UPC ideology and national policy objectives unequalled - Source:
Wednesday, 19 May 2010 05:48 By Okello Lucima
In his *Where is the opposition plan?*, The Independent’s Andrew Mwenda, raised pertinent questions of responsive policy and governance (The Independent, 04 May 2010).
I agree with the general drift of Mwenda’s article. However, he seems fooled by the fractured, ad-hoc way the NRM have ruled this country. This blinds him from seeing the bigger picture; the crucial missing link, which is a coherent legal-political framework that must organize a government’s policies in a predictable manner.
In the preface to the *Second Five Year Plan *of the *Perspective Programme*, former UPC President A. Milton Obote remarked that government policy must ‘adopt an overall Plan rather than lists of fragmented departmental programmes’.
On this score, the NRM have been glaringly, painfully eclectic. Nothing more clearly illustrates this than the land policy, and its specific provisions on the squatters and landlords questions, which inherently derogate private property rights. Yet private property rights are the holy grail of a market economy such as we pretend to pursue.
Mwenda admits much of what Museveni has decreed as policies in one area or another have largely been retrogressive. I would have expected him to go further and recognize that such policies have often been contradictory in their overarching national implications. These are distinctly different than their retrogressive characteristics. Were Mwenda able to see this, he should have no difficulty separating retrogression and contradiction between policy provisions in one socioeconomic sector and another. Such conflicts, he would have understood, arise from lack of NRM commitments to identifiable, consistent, enduring sociopolitical values that ought to guide policies, describe beneficiaries, and prescribe objectives of policy outputs.
Therefore, Mwenda fails to appreciate the haphazard nature of the public policy process since the NRM came to power. This failure places the fundamental question of fidelity to, and clarity on, ideological values, in his analytical blind spots. Consequently, he settles for mere exhortatory statements, not for their brilliance but simply because they are made at all! He is apparently undisturbed by this absence of the necessary normative preconditions to undergird policies; what he calls ‘organic linkages’ to social groups for which he faults the opposition for lacking. If anything, it is the NRM and Museveni, who have no principled relationship with any Ugandan social structure other than the army. It is this NRM opportunistic eclecticism which UPC President Olara Otunnu has been hammering in his assertions that the NRM government abandoned the ordinary people.
What responsive policy pronouncements Mwenda applauds the NRM, and specifically Museveni for, are instrumentalist pragmatism undertaken less for the greater good of society than to purchase a lease of life for the regime to survive another day. This is done through disaggregating group interests, setting one against the other, and posing as the defender of one from the oppression or exploitation of the other.
The UPC for its part comes from a tradition of preoccupation with social justice, equity and fairness. It believes our aspirations for a just society is achievable through comprehensive planning and meticulous policies guided by clear normative principles that define goals and objectives. These were clearly the case with the *Perspective Programme*, UPC’s first fifteen year (1966-1981) National Development Plan, which spawned *Work For Progress,*the first of three five year plans renowned for bringing us the 22 hospitals, expanded primary and secondary schools, as well as increased higher and university education places and enrollments.
The plan had envisaged Universal Primary Education (*UPE*) by 1972! UPC considers education a right, and a social mobility vehicle, not a privilege available only to the rich and powerful as it has become under the NRM.
The perversion of education policy and objectives under the NRM has turned the majority of poor urban and rural youths into boda-boda riders, virtual indentured labourers who use motorcycles owned by powerful people in government. These are the same robber barons whose economic and social policies have rigged children of the urban underclass out of a meaningful life and a future worth talking about by putting education out of their reach.
Check out The Observer’s Wednesday 12 May 2010 table of university admissions to prized faculties and courses. None of the schools from which high achieving students are drawn are USE schools! This means NRM education policy aims are the reproduction of generation after generation of inequalities between the children of the rural poor and urban underclass on the one hand, and those of the wealthy who can afford to send their children to high fee-paying private schools and UPE and USE exempted elite government schools on the other. Under UPC, what stood between any bright Ugandan youth and Budo, Mwiri, Ntare, Nabisunsa, Gayaza, Bweranyangi, Kisubi, Makerere College and Makerere University, was not the size of their parent’s bank account, but academic performance and promise!
Being a Social Democratic party, UPC take seriously the broad questions of social justice, equality and equity. For UPC, what sociopolitical values inscribe policy outcomes were and are never in doubt for one social group or another, depending on their locations on the relations of production grid. As a matter of principle, UPC believes the state has a role to play in fulfilling our aspirations to achieve development with equity, between and among individuals, social structures and regions. Something the NRM is learning 25 years late with its recently launched National Development Plan (NDP), after trying to re-invent the wheel for a quarter century to no avail!
For these reasons, I disagree with Mwenda, when he lumps all the opposition together and generalizes that they all have no alternative plans. UPC’s unequivocal preoccupation with the welfare of marginalized groups, the ordinary person-workers, peasants, women and youths-cannot be missed. The party has long-standing commitments to equal opportunities, and the fight against poverty, ignorance and disease.
UPC has a solid record in governing with progressive education, social and economic policies that have provided the foundation on which the last several years of our socioeconomic progress have rested.
Current UPC President Olara A. Otunnu has identified several party and national priority policy areas –the unity of the party, the unity of the country, reconciling UPC with Buganda, and return to concerns with the plight of the ordinary person-as preconditions to a stable polity and necessary environment for re-building a just, fair and equitable society.
Undoubtedly, these are major policy forests that put UPC above the crowd. Unfortunately, Mwenda misses all in his search for individual trees and undergrowths.
Okello Lucima is an aide in the UPC President’s Office and a prospective Parliamentary candidate for Lamwo County, Lamwo District.

Museveni Tours Nakaseke NAADS Projects - Source:
By Phionah Kesaasi
President Yoweri Museveni has commended Nakaseke farmers for using modern farming methods.
Speaking during his first rally at Ngoma Sub County grounds in Nakaseke district on Wednesday, 10TH March 2010 Museveni said: "you have started earning money even with few cows; that is the right path to take”. You should have diary cows but at the same time have more ways of generating income like bee keeping, which is something very easy to do".
During his tour, the President visited a model farm belonging to Mr. John Kavuma. Kavuma has 40 exotic goats and 150 local breeds, 120 Frisian cows and 150 local breeds, and grows oranges. He said he earns shs52m per year from his farm. The president praised him for this achievement.
The president said that the last time he was in Nakaseke, the locals had pestered him for a tarmac road, but the he explained that a tarmac road had nothing to do with their household incomes. He added that in his home area in Rwakitura Kiruhura district he has no tarmac road, but he is still able to sell his milk in Kampala.
Also present was the LC5 chairman of Nakaseke district Mr. Ignatius Kiwanuka Koomu who said that UPE was not yet universal due to the few numbers of teachers followed by the few numbers of classrooms. He asked the president to take up church schools and turn them into government schools so that Universal Primary Education can be universal.
Museveni also warned teachers who still charge extra fees in UPE schools. “I am told the head teachers force pupils to pay money for exams, free education doesn’t mean a small amount of fees, I do not want to hear such stories again”. The president charged.
The Ngoma LC 1 chairman, Godfrey Mbalire complained about what he called forceful evictions from forest reserves and called for laws that protect them. He also lamented the continued loss of lives due to the crocodiles in River Kafu that continued to feast on residents crossing to Masindi.
Also present was the Minister of Finance, Planning and Economic Development Hajjatti Syda Bumba and Nakaseke county MP who thanked the president for accepting the split of Nakaseke District into four town councils.
“This means that piped water, seed schools, health centre IV, money for NAADS will be brought to each of these town councils which will enhance service delivery”, she said.
She also revealed that her ministry had enough money for SACCOs but people have failed to fulfill the requirements before they can access it.
“There is so much money in ministry of Finance but we are yet to divert it into something else”.
She thanked the management of Kiwoko Hospital for their efficiency and avoiding corruption. “Kiwoko Hospital has 120 beds and it is not one of those hospitals that runs out of drugs”.
She noted that the construction of rivers Kafu and Mayanja bridges will start in August 2010 as feasibility studies have been made.

President Museveni addressing Kalisizo residents on his tour of Rakai district

By Henry Mukasa
and Ali Mambule
'NAADS money is not for the rich'
THE National Agricultural Advisory Services (NAADS) support is not for the rich, but the poor, the President has said.
Addressing a rally at Kasasa sub-county, Rakai district yesterday, President Yoweri Museveni wondered why rich people went for NAADS money.
The residents had complained that the rich were also getting NAADS inputs.
“What type of rich people are these? May be you call them rich basing on village standards,” Museveni said.
He argued that a rich man like himself could easily obtain a bank loan. NAADS, he said, was meant to create role models for the rural poor to emulate.
Despite this, he urged the poor to learn the skills which the rich use to accumulate wealth.
Addressing a rally in Kakuuto town in Rakai district, Museveni explained, however, that the rich remained “our local brothers and sisters”.
“If they became rich before NAADS, what skill did they use? Learn from them,” Museveni advised.
Illustrating his point, Museveni said although he did not get a free ranch from colonialists, he learnt how to manage one. This, he added, had made him wealthy and his bank account was now his granary.
The President is on a four-day tour of southern Uganda to promote the Prosperity-for-All programme.
In Kalisizo town, Museveni toured Dr. Martin Kasirye’s poultry farm of 7,000 birds. He earns about sh156m annually from the sale of eggs.
On Wednesday, Museveni toured various farms in Rakai and donated sh3m and a shelter to coffee farmer Specioza Nanyonga.
At Mityebiri, he toured the livestock farm of Edward Sempijja and donated a feeds mixer to him. The President also promised a tractor to the district. Sempijja, in turn, gave Museveni a cow and two goats.
Museveni also promised the farmers fertilisers and food relief for widows and orphans suffering the effects of a severe drought.
The President said the impact of the drought would have been less if the people had engaged in income-generation activities instead of living “on the edge”.
Local leaders asked for an ambulance for Kakuuto hospital, milk cooling plants, prisons land and electricity.
Rakai chairman Vincent Semakula in addition asked the President to help revive Sango-bay sugar factory.
At Mutukula, residents said Tanzanians enjoy free entry to Uganda, but Ugandans do not have the same privileges. Museveni requested to speak to a Tanzanian official but no one turned up.

Museveni tours Kiboga

Museveni (with umbrella) chats with Kato, a farmer, during his tour of Kiboga

By Cyprian Musoke
PRESIDENT Yoweri Museveni has warned to take action against NAADS officials who select only rich farmers to benefit from the Prosperity-for-All programme.
Speaking during his second rally at Boma grounds in Kiboga on Thursday, Museveni said: “I got a compliant that those big farmers get more, while others (officials) give themselves some of the inputs. “The Movement is still around. Support it, so that we sort out these hitches.”
The President, emphasised that people must learn from those who have already benefited from NAADS.
“Form Savings and Cooperative Societies (SACCOs) and use them at every sub-county to save and access credit,” he advised.
He said the last time he was in the area, the people had pestered him for a tarmac road, but the President explained that tarmac had nothing to do with their household incomes. He added that in his home area in Rwakitura he has no tarmac road, but he is still able to sell his milk in Kampala.
Museveni also warned teachers who still charge extra fees in UPE schools.
During his tour, the President visited the model farm of Charles Kato. He has four acres of pineapples, mangoes, bananas, 500 chicken and 20 cows and earns sh45m per year, and Museveni praised him for his achievement.
The Bukomero LC 1 chairman, Edward Nkoyooyo, complained about what he called forceful evictions from forest reserves and poverty. He also asked for the speedy payment of pension for retired soldiers.

Museveni cautions NAADS on Bonabagagawale implementation - Source:
Ultimate Media
The president of Uganda Yoweri Kaguta Museveni has cautioned National Agricultural Advisory Services (NAADS) officials to avoid favoritism when implementing the new Bonabagagawale model of eradicating poverty.
The new model involves choosing 6 families from each Parish, which are supported using NAADS to engage in income generating activities like poultry, bee-keeping, dairy cattle farming and piggery, among others.
The selected households act as role models to the other members of the community.
While addressing the people of Koboko district, in Kuluba Sub-County on his 2nd day of Prosperity for All mobilization tour of West Nile Region President Museveni said NAADS should call people and ask them to choose for themselves the names of the 6 disciplined homesteads.
He says transparency will reduce corruption and favoritism which is hindering development in the country.
Museveni says, the government is planning to also support promotion of agro-processing. He says the ministry of finance is working on a programme where farmer’s groups will be availed with machinery to process their agro-products.
He says processing adds value to their products which fetches more prices on the market hence improving on their household incomes.
The president advised the people of Uganda to engage in activities that earn them daily income such as keeping chicken layers for eggs and dairy cows for milk together with activities which generate seasonal, medium and long-term incomes so as to ensure food security and sustainable livelihoods.
The president is on a countrywide tour of the country to asses the achievements of the Prosperity for all programme in eradicating poverty in the rural areas.

Museveni Tours Pallisa As He Fights Poverty - Source:
Henry Mukasa And Paul Watala
21 June 2010
Kampala — The Tirinyi-Pallisa-Kumi and the Pallisa-Kamonkoli roads will be tarmacked, President Yoweri Museveni told the people of Pallisa yesterday.Electricity will also be extended across the district, he said.
He made the promises at a rally at Kibale Secondary School grounds in Butebo county. The President is promoting the Prosperity-for-All programme in the district.
Asked to declare Butebo county a district, the President said he was hearing the request for first time. He promised to study it.
On the request to split Pallisa County into two constituencies, Museveni said he needed justification.
Museveni urged the people to vote for NRM in the elections next year given its long list of achievements, unlike the opposition parties.
"The Movement brought you development. We have been in power for 24 years because the Movement is strong. Support us and we continue in power. You will get more," Museveni said.
NRM got 51% of the votes in the last presidential election. The President described the 40% votes given to FDC as "wasted."
"There are votes you wasted and cast for FDC. What has FDC done for you?" he asked.
He said the Movement had transformed schools from mud-and-wattle huts to permanent buildings.
He also said it was because of the Movement that each sub-county has a health centre.
"Polio used to cripple people. Do you see any more crippled people? Where did polio go? It was eradicated because the Movement implemented immunisation programmes. Nick-name NRM the mugoba-polio (the polio eradicator)," he said.
The President noted that the Government had provided social services and infrastructure and urged residents to take advantage of this to fight poverty.
He called for farmer groups and urged residents to join SACCOS to benefit from the NAADs programme.
He threatened to arrest NAADS officials. He said he had a report showing that the programme was mismanaged.
"The people who steal NAADs money will pay dearly. They will be chased like thieving dogs. They inflate costs of inputs and a goat that should cost sh20,000 is billed at sh100,000. We have to find a cure to that. You will hear that I have taken them to the university of understanding in Luzira," Museveni warned as residents applauded him.
Residents cheered when health minister Stephen Mallinga said the Government would secure a $100m (sh200b) to rehabilitate district hospitals and the one in Pallisa will benefit first. Mallinga is the MP for Butebo.
Mallinga warned shop owners of arrest if they stole government drugs.
"The President is doing everything possible to stop theft of drugs in hospitals. If you are found selling drugs you are not supposed to sell, you will be in trouble," Mallinga said.
The district chairman, Bantalib Issa Taligola, thanked Museveni for NAADs, NUSAF and PRDP programmes plus budget support of sh21b to Pallisa.
"These people have said one good turn deserves another. They are adding you kisanja," Taligola said.
Later, during a well-attended rally at Kibuku Primary School, Museveni again reminded the residents to vote for the NRM because of what he said the party had done for the district.
"You give whoever gives you. You voted for NRM, I gave you a district. Your role is one, vote for NRM. You don't need a gun to do that, just your vote. Where you see a hat, tick. Where you see a bus on the ballot paper, tick," the President said. The hat is Museveni's trademark, while the bus is the party symbol.
He also visited a farm of Alex Okoboi in Kibale village in Butebo and Kataka Farmers' Group in Kibuku.

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