Friday, August 27, 2010
An Appeal for Moral Support &Funding
An Appeal for Moral Support &Funding
SUBJECT: PROSPECT INDEPENDENT PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE FOR 2011 GENERAL ELECTIONS
“…I do not know what your destiny will be, but one thing I know, the only one among you who will be really happy are those who will have thought and found how to serve, how to show compassion and a will to help others…,” ALBERT SHWEITZER, one of the greatest Christians of his time who was bestowed with a Noble Prize in 1952.
BIO – DATA
My name: William Kituuka Kiwanuka
District of Birth: Wakiso
Parents: The Late Besuel Kiwanuka and Penina Kiwanuka of Ssisa Busiro – Wakiso district.
Grand Parent: Late Lazalo Ssebayizzi of Ssisa Busiro.
Qualifications: B. A. (Hons) Economics/Rural Economy degree of Makerere University; Banking; Good Governance Training; Computer Literacy.
Working Experience: Commercial Banking; Teaching; Writing for public consumption; publishing; Career Guidance; Project writing; Restructuring undertakings; Website designing; General Innovative Consultancy Service Provision
Residence: A Children’s Home
Box No: 33917, Kampala.
Email: email@example.com /firstname.lastname@example.org
« Time is now to change the rich men syndrome which makes poor people poorer and they end up losing morale. A rich man can fool you the way he wants. You can dig for him and he tells you to collect the money the following day yet when he has the money, instead telling you to call on him the following day. As a poor man you will have nothing to say but to follow what he tells you. The poor are under looked and despised. I am offering myself to see sanity return to the poor of Uganda.”
WHY INDEPENDENT CANDIDATE?
1) I have all along been an advocate of the opposition party coalition arrangement with a clear agenda under the Inter Party Cooperation (IPC), however, when nominations for the Presidential candidates were made, it is when my eyes were opened to what I think is a wrong way forward. I advocate for such cooperation where the IPC and not individual party comes out in the final picture; which is equated to one party absorbing others. My belief is that before nomination, the parties under the arrangement would have first convened a conference where members would agree on the way forward including a joint manifesto, what I see is a diffuse arrangement that may be worse than the one popularly known as the Moshi spirit.
2) There are currently no clear ideas that the IPC is fronting which are going to be different from the current Government’s arrangement. This position would be clear as of now, instead each Party President has own party or personal ideologies as reflected at nomination.
3) Given number 1 and 2 above, I see it best an opportunity to offer myself as an Independent Presidential Candidate for 2011 General Elections for I think I have a Vision for the way forward for Uganda which we can jointly build on to see our country to prosperity. Work: “… if a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep even as Michaelangelo painted, Beethoven composed music or Shakespeare wrote poetry, he should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say – here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well. Martin Luther King. Jr. “I equally wish to offer myself for a good job for my country, William Kituuka Kiwanuka.
4) Sir Winston Churchill visited Uganda in 1908. He was overwhelmed with her beauty, hence baptizing the country, “The Pearl of Africa.” What frustrates the people of Uganda and the - would be beauty of the country are politicians who are treacherous. They hide their agendas and Ugandans end up being taken for a ride, and the final position is what we reap: underdevelopment, continued poverty, deprivation of the majority by a minority hence an increasing income gap and death of the poor victims as a frustrated lot after being used!
5) Despite several decades of economic growth and huge development aid disbursements, the number of countries called “least developed” (with per capita income less than US $900 a year has in - fact doubled since 1971, from 25 to 49 in the last decade (1990 – 2000) and despite all development efforts – not even one country was able to graduate from this group to a higher income level, with the exception of Botswana. Source: Why Poverty Reduction Programmes did not work – (Resistance to change) By Hans. U. Luther ; An Article in Development Cooperation No.3/2002 (May/June)
6) Based on No. 4 above, it is true that some of our failures as a country coming from accepting to be on the receiving end of ideas as conceived from donors; be they countries and/or bi – lateral or multi – lateral organizations, instead of coming up with our own agenda and convincing them to help fund it as a basis of our cooperation with them, it is this experimentation and or trial coupled with lack of commitment to implement projects/programmes as stipulated in agreements (not forgetting diversion of funds) that is responsible for our under development and constant beggar mentality.
7) A few years ago, I had opportunity of calling at jinja and what I saw I would hardly believe. I had lived in Jinja from 1984 to early 1987. I was working with a banking institution. That time, the exodus to banks by customers was great and the sector was very encouraging. This time around, when I passed around Busoga Square banking area, I was not impressed. It was as if a banking holiday though the bank doors were a jar. One could not see a soul of a bank customer around! This reminded me of the Cooperative Societies which used to be a vehicle for credit and marketing of farmer produce, which are long dead! The future of the Ugandan farmer and businessmen lies in cooperative pooling of resources. With sound capital invested into business entities, there is hope for competitive production of goods and services, and this is the key for the future of Uganda which should target agro – based industrialization. Given this experience, I am committed to seeing a vibrant competitive business climate a reality and the resurrection of cooperative infrastructure as a necessary vehicle in the undertaking.
8) It is also clear that as part of the way forward for Uganda, there is need to build consensus, we should stop this winner takes all mentality and have a win win position for all Ugandans if we are to see ourselves as a united people in diversity. It is against this background that I wish to advocate for a Government of National Unity and Reconciliation where all parties will play a role and have a feeling of belonging. “So, let it be said of us then that we are thinking not only of our time, that we have reached as high as our ideals, that we put aside our divisions and found a new hour of healing and hopefulness, that we joined together to serve and strengthen the land we love – the pearl of Africa: Uganda.”
9) It is unfortunate that there has developed a culture in Uganda where able bodied people who would make serious investments in the country are looking to politics as a life long career and the only means to survive. This has been witnessed in the on going NRM party elections for positions. It is absurd to see people exchange bitter words to the extent of involving fire arms in mere party. The elective offices are seen as the cheaper way to accumulate wealth as compared to agricultural production or undertaking serious business. This conviction among the public induces corruption. This culture has to be reversed so that politics is seen as a sacrifice for one’s country and not a means to milk the taxpayer for one’s welfare irrespective of his/her qualifications which would call for rendering one’s energies elsewhere.
THE INNOVATIONS I AM FRONTING FOR THE POSITION OF PRESIDENT OF UGANDA
1) A VIRTUAL CLEARING HOUSE
2) EMPLOYMENT OF ALL PEOPLE OF UGANDA (SKILLED & UNSKILLED)
3) FREE MEDICAL TREATMENT FOR ALL
4) QUALITATIVE ; PRACTICAL EDUCATION FOR ALL
5) UNIFORM FEDERAL GOVERNANCE IN UGANDA
6) ENSURING A LIVING WAGE
7) ENSURING A BALANCED DIET FOR ALL
8) CONTROL OF BIRTH THROUGH EDUCATION & FAMILY PLANNING
9) PUTTING IN PLACE MEASURES TO MINIMISE CORRUPTION
10) BOOSTING AGRO – PROCESSING INDUSTRIALISATION
11) BOOSTING OUR EXPORT BASE
12) FIGHTING ENVIRONMENTAL DEGRADATION
13) ENSURING REGIONAL POLES OF GROWTH
14) IMPLEMENTING VOCATIONAL EDUCATION FROM PRIMARY SCHOOLS
15) CATERING FOR THE ELDERLY
16) IMPLEMENTING A STUDENT LOAN SCHEME FOR HIGHER INSTITUTIONS OF LEARNING
17) SCRAPPING GOVERNMENT SPONSORSHIP
18) PROMOTION OF INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY IN ALL AREAS POSSIBLE.
19) ENSURING LITERACY FOR ALL AND TEACHING OF RIGHTS
20) ENSURING THAT GOVERNMENT OBSERVES HUMAN RIGHTS
21) THE WILL OF THE PEOPLE PREVAILS.
22) PROMOTION OF A SAVING AND INVESTMENT CULTURE
23) REDUCTION OF VAT RATE AND TAXATION RATES WHICH ARE ON THE HIGH HENCE MAKE BUSINESS UNCOMPETITIVE INTERNATIONALLY; FOR EXAMPLE ON FUEL
24) ABOLISHING TAXATION ON GOVERNMENT
NB It is important to note that the 24 listed are representing major policy areas which will be different from the way the NRM conducts its business. What is not touched here has intentionally been left out and may be streamlining may be required but not a major policy objective as many of the listed portray. These (24) are what bring out the distinctiveness between the two, that is the NRM and the proposed Government set up. For instance, it is wrong to discuss matters of the East African Community here apart from ensuring that agreements are implemented to ensure its sustained existence for the benefit of all the peoples of the member countries. It is also true that the outlined are the areas I would have to try hard to see that Parliament when it is the relevant organ to handle does in conformity with my conviction for the welfare of the people of Uganda, more so the poor who more often are impoverished the more due to policy in place over which they remain enslaved and victims.
WHEN SHALL I LAUNCH MY CANDIDACY?
I am offering my ideas to the people of Uganda as an Independent candidate who has a wish to work with all the elected people’s representative who believe that we need a common destiny for Uganda which is peace and prosperity as well as unity in diversity. We should out grow that fear that once such a Government is out of power, then for us as a group or tribe we shall be in danger. This peaceful co - existence and brotherhood is what I am advocating for and would wish to nurture given opportunity. I can therefore only launch my candidacy if I get the endorsement by a group of Ugandans who should be willing to help with financial resources to see to implementation hence the launch.
The strategies that will help my campaign given support are reflected in my proposals that aim at delivering to the people of Uganda given opportunity as is in a satisfactory customer service. These among others are:
1) Knowing that it costs six times more to attract a new customer than it does to keep an old one;
2) A typical dissatisfied customer will tell between 8 – 10 people about his/her problem;
3) Seven out of ten customers will do business with you again …. If you resolve the complaint in their favour;
4) If you resolve the complaint on spot, 95% will do business with you again;
5) Of the customers who quit, 68% do so because of an attitude of indifference by the company or a specific individual;
6) As far as I am concerned, the voters of Uganda and those who reside in Uganda are my customers; they are the boss, I promise quality work, and value for their votes – just trust me and we get moving; Victory is our goal come the 2011 General Elections.
7) I promise to religiously solve the ills of the peoples of Uganda, and Ugandans getting to know about it (publicity of my plans/intentions for their well being, should equal to success come the 2011 General elections. For I have all along been an active advocate of the welfare of Ugandans, my works/writings are testimony to the effect, no bribe can get me off the belief and conviction that good living conditions can be enjoyed by all of us if only our leaders can have that vision for the country. And, trust me; I have it as reflected in my plegdes below. I look forward to success.
ERABORATING ON THE INNOVATIONS I AM FRONTING FOR THE POSITION OF PRESIDENTOF UGANDA
1. A VIRTUAL CLEARING HOUSE
I. There are many Ugandans who live in social exclusion. They have little or no access to social and economic protection and basic social services. Herein lies the problem: with limited access to secure income, basic education, health care, clean water and food security, they are caught in a continuing cycle of poverty and vulnerability. This leads to their exclusion from the mainstream of both social and economic activity. It is this sad development that is the drive to have the innovation of the Virtual Clearing House.
II. The biggest investment challenge by the Government I have in picture is managing the innovation of a Virtual Clearing House. This will be an arrangement where all people previously unemployed will fit when work is thought for them. The 1st beneficiaries here should be those who hold qualifications in Business Administration and Management; those trained in information technology and those with accounting/auditing /banking and financial management skills. These will form the basic staff in the Virtual Clearing House.
III. This arrangement is to have branches from the village level to the National Clearing House. This arrangement is to be installed with the equivalent of cards where each beneficiary will have information concerning him/her as is with bank ATM cards.
IV. The arrangement is to open up equivalent of Grocery shops in each village where the beneficiaries with the Virtual Clearing House will do most of the shopping for the basics of life.
V. The Virtual Clearing House will operate like credit cards do. Someone will offer a service, for which credit will go to his or her card, and this person will be able to get goods and services basic with the use of this card.
VI. Because Government will be employing people who other wise would not be in employment, special rates will be implemented and upgraded as the economy is boosted by the activities taking place nation wide.
Projected Source of Funding for the Virtual Clearing House:
1) Sale proceeds of the Presidential Jet – at least some shs 65bn can be expected from this source;
2) Sale of Government Securities 9to fund raise from the general public);
3) Seeking Local and International partners in the undertaking:
i. Companies which may extend to us capacity for agro – processing industrialization so that we pay after;
ii. Look for countries which may be ready to donate to us things like drugs and medical equipment;
iii. Get individuals locally in Uganda who have the capacity to extend to us some facilities so that we pay afterwards say after 6 months;
4) Borrow from IDA of the World Bank (though this could take a bit of time to sanction;
5) Seek consent of the members of Uganda Social Security Fund to see whether they can allow the Government to borrow a small percentage of their savings;
6) Appeal to generous Ugandans to donate to the cause;
7) Look at the possibility of selling of some Government Stores to realize some funds;
8) Seek a hand by local commercial banks as well as insurance companies;
9) Negotiate with donors to re 0- schedule some of the loan repayments so that the saving realized is injected into the Virtual Clearing House.
2. EMPLOYMENT OF ALL PEOPLE OF UGANDA (SKILLED & UNSKILLED)
I. All people with qualifications should get employment, while the unskilled should be communally mobilized for gainful communal tasks for which they should get payment. This arrangement is to be organized under the Virtual Clearing House.
II. When this is implemented for instance, it will not be necessary to have a carer for a patient admitted to a government health unit.
III. Those who can train in literacy will be recruited to see that all people who don’t know how to read or right are taught.
IV. Government shall get into understanding with people who have land and are not able as of now to utilize it. This under the community scheme in the Virtual Clearing House arrangement will have members of the community cultivate these areas in line with the guidance of agricultural personnel with a dual objective of increasing agricultural production mostly for processing and eventual export as well as increase food availability to cater for the balanced diet needs of the people.
V. Those with equipment that can be hired including vehicles shall also be employed in the communal scheme under the Virtual Clearing House arrangement so that they provide services as shall be needed; for instance, if members of the community are to construct school blocks under education for all, the locally available vehicles shall be utilized for the services.
3. FREE MEDICAL TREATMENT FOR ALL
I. The Budget Speech read on 12 June 2003, regarding Health: “Mr, Speaker Sir, despite substantial Government investment in the promotion of primary health care, the health outcome indicators of infant and maternal mortality have remained low. Reproductive health remains a key priority for the health sector …” “To further improve health outcomes, I have allocated to primary health care next year by shs 9bn, to shs 105bn.” It remains questionable whether value for money is realized for the amount involved is not small, but service delivery still appalling.
II. Most women in Uganda say that they face serious problems in accessing health care for themselves when they are sick. Overall, 86% of women say they encounter at least one serious problem in gaining access. The most common problems mentioned are getting money for treatment (65%), living too far from a health facility (55%), and obtaining transportation (49%). 17% of women express concern that no female health provider is available, while 8% say they face problems getting permission for treatment.
III. Almost two – thirds of pregnant women in Uganda (64%) are Anaemic. Anaemia can be an underlying cause of maternal deaths and illness and may contribute to premature births and low birth weight. Among the important measures to reduce Aneamia among women are iron and folic acid supplementation, preventive treatment of Malaria, and use of insecticide - treated mosquito nets during pregnancy.
IV. Uganda demographic and health Survey (UDHS)data shows that most Ugandan women are giving birth under unsafe conditions:
a) Only 42% of births in Uganda are assisted by a skilled provider. One possible explanation for this low percentage is that many more births occur at home (58%) than in a health facility (41%);
b) 63% of women in rural areas gave birth at home, compared to only 20% of women in urban areas;
c) 10% of all births were completely unassisted!
d) Women with secondary education or more education are three times more likely to give birth in a health facility than women with no education;
e) Delivery in a health facility varies by region; only 30% of women in Western Uganda and Northern Uganda gave birth in a health facility compared to 90% of women in Kampala.
V. Men are more likely than women to engage in risky sexual behaviour, such that as sex with someone who is not a spouse or sex with multiple partners. Because many married men have multiple partners and engage in higher – risk sex, married women often may not be able to avoid the risk of exposure to HIV and other STIs. In the 2006 UDHS, 80% of women and 87% of men say that if a husband has a sexually transmitted infection; his wife is justified in refusing to have sex with him. Nevertheless, many married women say that in fact they cannot refuse sex with their husbands and many say that they cannot ask their husbands to use a condom.
VI. Uganda wastes a lot of resources which would go into free treatment of her people. By 1974, it was possible to go for example to Grade B Entebbe Hospital without someone to care for you and without a coin and leave having got satisfactory service and cured without getting a coin from your pocket. This service shall be rejuvenated. You can only have a productive population when the people are healthy. This however will be in Government establishments.
VII. “In Moving Out of Poverty by Participatory poverty Assessment Process a Community Synthesis Report of Bamba Village, Bukimbiri Sub – County, Kisoro District. A respondent talked about Persistent sickness: “Ill heath featured prominently as responsible for individuals remaining trapped into poverty. Those who were persistently sick or households that had a patient for a long time spent a lot of their time and resources treating the patient. They reportedly sold their animals and land to meet the medical costs and as a result remained trapped in poverty.”
VIII. There are cases of resignation: “Some individuals or households that got stuck in poverty were argued to have a psychological belief that their conditions were attributed to fate. In such circumstances, they never made any efforts to improve their well being and therefore their status never improved. When they decline (get to lower economic status) they become frustrated, stop working and believe that they are what they are because of God’s will!” In such circumstances, advocating for free medical will get people’s hope and energy back, hence productive thereafter.
IX. Capacity to be catered for through the Virtual Clearing House where people from the community near to the establishment shall offer their labour including brick making, fetching water, labour to build to have enough capacity for the projected users of the facility.
X. My idea is to have a more comprehensive strategy which can help the country in dealing with the monster: “That Uganda which constitutes 0.4% of the world’s population accounts for 2.4% of the World’s HIV/AIDS cases, six times its proportionate share, said the Uganda Human Development Report (UHDR) 2002 published by UNDP.
XI. Many times professionals complain about what a government is to do for the better health of their sectors. It can be unfortunate that even when tools for their work are acquired, some pay lip service to them and or just waste away opportunities. For the People in Uganda who are living with HIV/AIDS, it will be difficult to forgive those players who led to the termination of the Global Fund, hereafter referred to as ‘the Global Fund Saga.’ In August 2005, the global Fund suspended all five of its grants to Uganda citing management issues. The Global fund was created in 2002 to facilitate the global efforts to fight HIV/AIDS, Malaria, and Tuberculosis. It was aimed at raising funds and pooling money from Governments, businesses, and individuals around the world, and channeling it to the grant. Uganda’s target was to have 60,000 people on treatment by the end of 2004. According to UNAIDS, this target was missed, and between 40,000 and 50,000 people were receiving drugs. By the end of 2005 the number had risen to between 71,000 and 79,000 representing half those in need. On August 24th 2004, the global Fund decided to suspend grants to Uganda following an independent audit by PricewaterhouseCoopers which revealed evidence of serious mismanagement. Around US $ 280,000 was fraudulently siphoned off when the American dollar grants were converted into Uganda shillings using false exchange rates. The portfolio of grants to Uganda was worth US$ 367million, by the time of suspension, only $4million had been released equivalent to 1.089%!
XII. The government in perspective to come up with tangible solutions to complacency and the ‘normalization’ of AIDS, which are believed to be responsible for the increase in the risky behaviour that early HIV prevention campaigns sought to reverse. It is said that, “people now think that because HIV has been around for so many years, it is a normal condition among the population.” It will be necessary to set up an HIV/AIDS fund as is currently with the road fund. This to help generate own capacity to develop own capacity in form of national savings out of which funds to buy HIV drugs will be got. And, for other medical cases, specialized units for the purpose and coordinated efforts with organization in HIV/AIDS will help in scaling down the infections. It is absolutely important to note that increasing poverty levels in the countryside have positively contributed to increased spread of HIV. With the proposed policy to employ all able bodied persons, new infections induced by absolute poverty will be greatly reduced.
XIII. There will be scaling up of the home visits when people not in the capacity of volunteers but those employed for the purpose get to the field and do it as routine gainful employment.
XIV. Trained personnel in own practice will be taken on board and experts working outside the country will be encouraged to come back with good incentives.
XV. A formula to be thought in handling complex cases where cost sharing may be necessary.
4. QUALITATIVE; PRACTICAL EDUCATION FOR ALL
I. In order for people to understand and appreciate their opportunities and responsibilities as democratic citizens, they must receive a sound education. Such an education seeks not only to familiarize people with the precepts and principles of democracy, but also to produce citizens who are principled, independent, inquisitive, and analytic in their outlook.
II. Efforts to be made to ensure that all who don’t know how to read and write are taught. This may be at existing Universal Primary Education (UPE) schools or other area deemed convenient. This is an initiative where all the illiterates will be mobilized to ensure that they get functional literacy as a pre requisite for development.
III. Through the community initiative, the people will get involved in building school blocks and as such, shortly there will be no problems of having many children/students but little capacity. These will still have to be cleared for their services by the Virtual Clearing House.
IV. It will be a strategy to see that teacher incentives are put back to the levels before the income was watered down by inflation. Refresher courses to be enhanced and regular.
V. All Government primary schools shall ensure that they teach practical gardening and capacity shall be enhanced for vocationalisation.
VI. Quality teaching shall be enhanced and regular inspection effected.
5. UNIFORM FEDERAL GOVERNANCE IN UGANDA
I. It is not news that at least 60% of interviewed Ugandans wish for a federal system of governance. Time is ripe to see regional governments take shape in Uganda and use this as an avenue to see that poles of growth are seen throughout the country instead of a few places like ear Kampala and that people of which ever area of the country benefit through retaining a potion of the government revenue generated in their areas.
II. There is need to lessen pressure on people eying joining the National Parliament, and this is possible when the regional parliaments take off under the federal arrangement which is the wish of many people as of now.
III. Come up with Parliamentary Legislation of a uniform federal arrangement for Uganda federal regions.
6. ENSURING A LIVING WAGE
I. Corruption has been given a chance because many earn pea nuts given the cost of living, and it is one reason why many skilled and unskilled people have looked for greener pastures elsewhere.
II. A living wage is possible using a strategy to see reduced taxation (that is VAT and on fuel) among other things, and the free medical services.
III. When agro – processing takes off, this is one area where it is hoped that the country will base its increased export base hence income to boost the welfare of the people.
IV. Reducing on wastage and duplication can be a big saving to the country as well as increasing production to work at full capacity as more consumption of goods and services is enhanced.
V. Checking the leakages of about shs 500bn which annually goes to corruption and have this to productive use.
7. ENSURING A BALANCED DIET FOR ALL
I. Poverty is largely a rural phenomenon, with 96% of the country’s poor living in the countryside. 42% of the rural populations live below the absolute poverty line compared with 12% of urban dwellers Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBOS, 2003). Women make up the majority of the rural poor while female - headed households, that are becoming increasingly common, are poorer than male – headed households. One manifestation of poverty is the finding of 1988 Survey carried out in 14 districts which showed that, at any time, about 40% of the population is food insecure. Source: Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry & Fisheries Dev. Strategy & investment Plan (2005/06 – 2007/08) Page 2.
II. There is a global dimension to the Right of Adequate Food. The international sources of the Right to Food include the International Bill of Rights and the Vienna Convention on Human Rights the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), 1989, and others. These instruments state that every person has a right to adequate food and a fundamental right to be from hunger. The elaboration of the Right to Adequate Food is spelled out in the UN General Comment No. 12 developed by the UN Committee on Economics, Social and Cultural Rights. The primary responsibility for ensuring the Right to Adequate Food lies with the State. The duty of the State includes; taking positive steps to ensure the realization of the right such as development of rights based national plans and strategies in a participatory, non discriminative way, and developing a legislative agenda for implementation of the right to food.
III. Uganda lacks an appropriate framework law on the right to Food encompassing both food and nutrition and its laws do not meet the international obligations on States to respect, protect and fulfill the right to adequate food.
IV. While Uganda is party to the relevant international treaty (ICESCR) on the right to food, the food situation is not optimal being characterized in some cases by food shortages and malnutrition, despite the favourable geographical location. It thus does not satisfy General Comment No. 12 which States that the Right to Food is realized when every person in a community has physical and economic access at all times to adequate food and means for its procurement. Each State is expected to make its own strategy on meeting its obligations on the right to food. These obligations are to respect, protect and fulfill the right to food.
V. A Case where the Right to Food was violated by the State in Uganda: In August 2001, Government of Uganda deployed the army, Uganda People’s Defense Forces (UPDF) to evict over 400 families with a population of over 2000 people to create a 9.6 square mile space for a German investor Newmanna Kaffe Groupe locally registered as Kaweri Coffee Plantation Ltd. The eviction was abrupt, brutal and without compensation. People were whipped and kicked, their houses either demolished or set on fire, property either looted or destroyed, and they were forced to settle in forests surrounding the demarcated land, which was allocated to the investor. The heavy rains destroyed the meager property they ran away with since it was a wet season and people were then sleeping in the open. People were reduced to paupers! All the family livelihood systems were destroyed without any alternative provided. They were overwhelmingly overworked to be able to feed and provide for their families in this difficult situation. They had to move long distances to sell labour for food. There was wide spread ill health due to the harsh living conditions and malnutrition. Children in post primary education had to stop their education abruptly as a result of the devastation of their parents’ economic base. (Source: Towards the Implementation of the right to adequate Food in Uganda - Report of the Human Rights Commission (UHRC), 2004).
VI. The health and nutritional status of mothers and children are intimately linked. Improved infant and young child feeding begins with ensuring the health and nutritional status of women, in their own right, throughout all stages of life and continues with women as providers for their children and families. Mothers and infants form a biological and social unit; they also share problems of malnutrition and ill – health. Whatever is done to solve these problems concerns both mothers and children together.
VII. One simply gets to appreciate the problems in Uganda’s agricultural sector, say sorry to the farmers. When you read responses made by people during a Community Synthesis Report of Butanga Village, Butanga Sub – County of Masaka District as made by Uganda Participatory Poverty Assessment Process – a November 2006 Publication by the Ministry of Finance, Planning & Economic Development:
a. “In this village there were very powerful people who used to load a lorry of Coffee (300 bags) from their own plantations, but at the moment no one harvests even 10 bags of Coffee in the village.”
b. “If you go through the garden where everything has dried up, your enthusiasm to work disappears. If one does not get what to eat, then he can never be energetic to cultivate the land which explains why people work for less hours, since they no longer have food reserves of Cassava and Bananas which was destroyed by the Cassava mosaic and Banana weevils respectively.”
c. “Even the cassava which we used to grow and was doing very well in our village cannot yield as expected due to soil exhaustion, and as a result, there is no food security in the village. Food security is becoming worse every other day.”
d. “Even compost manure cannot be successfully made and used because it needs water to rot, and without rainfall, nothing much can be done because we do not have the energy to fetch and pour water on the compost manure due to poor feeding.”
e. There is no better testimony than from the horse’s mouth. People in many parts of Uganda are in similar situation; hence the need for Government to rectify the situation before it is too late. I promise to help farmers through this mess, there is no big deal about it with commitment so that they regain energy to work and also get a smile on their faces.
f. Memories of the Coffee boom: “About the mid – 1990s, the price of Coffee rose to its highest ever. This was the turning point in the history of the village. Most of the residents who had built grass – thatched houses used the coffee money to build permanent houses of bricks, cement and iron sheets. The people who traded in the coffee (middle men) got the bigger profits. These middlemen were able to invest the profits further in construction of Coffee processing plants, building houses for renting out in the nearby trading centre, buying fishing nets and establishing themselves as investors in the fishing industry.
VIII. When the Virtual Clearing House takes off, many currently unemployed will have some income, with the income, improved diet will be priority.
IX. When the Virtual Clearing House takes off, communities will be involved in communal gardening and part of the produce will go to enhance improved nutrition; and the people shall be taught the advantages of eating a balanced diet.
X. It is a fact that many of the medical cases we have today are due to poor nutrition; hence the balanced diet is extremely important in being incorporated in the national programme priorities.
8. CONTROL OF BIRTH THROUGH EDUCATION & FAMILY PLANNING
I. Women in Uganda are at an educational disadvantage compared to men. Women’s comparative lack of schooling limits their opportunities and constrains their choices. Education is crucial to gaining the knowledge, skills, and confidence that women need to improve their status and health. Studies show that a woman’s educational level is strongly associated with health status, contraceptive use, fertility rates, and the health of her children. Several indicators from the 2006 Uganda Demographic and health Survey (UDHS) shows a large gender gap in education:
a) 39% of Ugandan Women age 15 – 49 cannot read and write at all, compared to 16% of men;
b) About one – fifth of women (19%) have no formal education, compared to just 5% of men;
c) Three in ten men (30%) have some secondary or higher education, compared to one in five women (21%).
II. Current population growth figures in Uganda are a real cause of worry. Fertility levels in Uganda are among the highest in the world. On average, a Ugandan woman will have 6.7 children in her lifetime. High fertility rates can make it more difficult to provide housing, education, services, health care, and jobs and to achieve development goals.
III. Modern contraceptive use is low in Uganda. The figures in line with contraceptive use are:
a) Only 18% of married women currently use a modern method of family planning; 6% use a traditional method;
b) Injectables are the most common method, and this is used by 10% of married women;
c) Sexually active unmarried women are more likely than married women to use a modern contraceptive method (47%). Among sexually active unmarried women, more than one – quarter (27%) rely on the male condom, while 13% use injectables.
d) Urban married women are more than twice likely to use modern contraception as rural women (375 to 15%);
e) Additionally, modern contraceptive use is two times hgher among married women with secondary education than among women with only primary education (35% to 15%). Only 9% of women with no education use a modern method of family planning.
IV. A lot of effort has to be made to make parents appreciate the need to embrace family planning.
V. There is need for women to take more responsibility in the support of their children hence this will make them realize that they ought to have a smaller number of children whom they can cater for.
VI. Family planning services should be offered free of charge to the poor.
9. PUTTING IN PLACE MEASURES TO MINIMISE CORRUPTION
I. Dr. Ezra Suruma; Former Minister of Finance, Planning & Economic Development is quoted in “Sustainable Wealth Creation a publication of the Institute of Corporate Governance of Uganda, I quote: “Government is concerned that the standards of societal and business ethics in the country have declined over the years. We have seen the emergence of a “quick – gain” mentality that focuses almost entirely on short term gains, at whatever cost. Our children are growing up in an environment where the dividing line between right and wrong is growing dim as society continues to grant heroic status to those who have been involved in unethical acts. Regrettably, the ‘tried and tested’ values of hard work and decency have been lost to many. The question we must answer in affirmative is whether we can recapture these values and focus on developing long term success based on sound ethical principles. Only then shall we expect our businesses to survive in the long run, and compete effectively in the ever – changing global market for the benefit of all stakeholders.” The message is from the horse’s mouth. It is a challenge which has to be taken on squarely if we are to get to zero tolerance on corruption and boost our ruined repute.
II. Corruption equals monopoly plus discretion minus accountability. Corruption tends to develop when someone has monopoly power over a good or service, has the discretion to decide over distribution and quantify it, and is not accountable.
III. While opening Celtel House which cost Ug. Shs 4bn on October 7, 1997, the then Vice President Hon. (Dr) Specioza Wandira Kazibwe amused guests when she said that if CelTel had been a Parastatal, it would have cost Government US $20million and ten years to complete! Source: The Quarterly Newsletter of Celtel Vol. 4 March 1998.
IV. The Auditor General’s report on the Public accounts of the Republic of Uganda for the year ended 30th June 1999, reveals startling losses as a result of procurement leading to loss of astronomical sums. The Ministry of defense entered into a contract with a foreign firm to supply 4 helicopters at a total of US$12,908,550. According to the contract, on being paid half of the contract figure of US$6,454,275 by promissory notes, the supplier would dispatch all the helicopters by charter flight within 45 days of the receipt of the promissory notes. Promissory notes worth US$6,454,275 were issued on 4th April 1997 but two helicopters were delivered a year later! The advance payment was covered by a performance bond executed by a local bank and guaranteed by a foreign bank, but this bond expired in June 1997. It was later discovered that the helicopters were not overhauled and were not air worthy. A controversy arose and the supplier to have taken them back for repairs.
V. The Auditor General’s report for the year ended 30th June, 1999, under “Theft of stores at the AIDS Control Programme.” An audit inspection revealed that a theft of shs 49,090,534 had occurred in the stores. The theft occurred on two different occasions in the space of 17 days, and the stores had not been broken into indicating insider dealing.
VI. Corruption is one of the rampant evils facing Uganda today. This is manifested in various forms including abuse of office, fraud and embezzlement, falsification of documents, nepotism, over – invoicing, tax evasion, gross misappropriation of public funds, false budgeting and many others. Due to the devastating effects of corruption, people are denied basic social services. Although there are laws and institutions to fight corruption, the laws are marred by poor enforcement and the institutions suffer vast constraints including lack of adequate and skilled manpower, poor remuneration of staff, lack of incentives and lack of logistical support. While it is true that corruption is a world wide phenomenon, it is worrying the dimension it is taking in Uganda. It is not only institutionalized today, but also threatens to tear the whole economy a part.
VII. On corruption, President Festus Mogae of Botswana told the 9th International Anti – Corruption Conference of 10 – 15 October 1999 that, it exacerbates poverty in that it effectively transfers real resources from official state coffers to the few rich and powerful. It also distorts factor prices in that those who benefit from corruption are rewarded for little or no work done and the cost of projects turns out higher than it would be. It likewise distorts economic decision – making, sometimes giving priority to development projects that may have little or no national benefit.” In the same conference, Mr. Joseph Warioba of Tanzania’s Presidential Commission on Corruption attributed its prevalence mainly to greed and poverty. The greed of those with wealth and power, leading to ‘grand corruption,’ and the poverty of ordinary civil servants, policemen and other public employees who feel driven to supplement their meager incomes through bribes and exortion, known as petty corruption.
VIII. I wish to quote just one report which appeared in the Monitor newspaper, “Shs 7bn UPE money stolen: The minister of State for Planning and Economic Development in charge of Investments, Gabriel Opio has said shs 7bn meant for construction of Universal Primary Education (UPE) classroom blocks has been stolen by several district officials. Minister Opio was January 21, 2000 officiating at the close of a two week business course for religious leaders and district Private Sector Development Centres at Lions Hotel in Kampala. He said the shs 7bn is 25% of shs 31bn which was to be spent on the UPE classroom project in the 1999 – 2000 financial year. Opio further explained that accounting officers concerned connive with headmasters and local councilors to embezzle UPE funds and have failed to produce accountability on how the money was spent!
IX. Delay in providing services which leads to queuing is partly responsible for corruption where clients end up paying for services for which Government employees are duly paid to execute (though merge salaries induce the evil).
X. Offices which don’t display the various official charges which clients have to pay to benefit from the services give employees opportunity to cheat clients.
XI. The use of junior officers to push for bribes for the senior officers is also common in some offices more so where a signature of the senior is needed.
XII. Paying one’s way when in the wrong where the official penalty is on the high and the culprit opts to pay a bribe.
XIII. In decentralized units what is most significant is not individuals being corrupt per se, but it is a collective decision by a group of influential counselors to strike a deal and then share.
XIV. Measures to counter the above are a MUST and if necessary appropriate prosecution of culprits. South Africa’s Minister of Justice Penuella Maduna while in 10 - 15 October 1999 Conference on Anti – Corruption said, “there is lack of political will. For success in fighting corruption, there must be a clear commitment on the part of political leaders to combat the evil and to take decisive action against corrupt officials. The leaders themselves must be prepared to submit to scrutiny.”
10. BOOSTING AGRO – PROCESSING INDUSTRIALISATION
I. “Commodity prices rose and more than doubled between July and December 2006 overshooting the target of 5% per annum, the Parliamentary Committee on the National Economy said. The Chairperson of the Committee, Hon. Ibrahim Kaddunabbi (Butambala, NRM), who presented the report to parliament on March 13, 2007 said that the increase in prices was wide spread across all consumer groups including food, beverages, tobacco, clothing, footwear, rent fuel and utilities. He said that the price increase was attributed to shortages in the goods and services leading to excess demand pressures. The report highlighted the key economic issues that affected the economy during the 1st six months of 2006/07. “The position in people’s pockets is clear from the report. Ugandans deserve sympathy given their circumstances. This calls for a Government with a sympathetic heart.
II. Uganda is an agricultural country and the way to maximize from agriculture is to invest in agro – processing industrialization.
III. Government has to realize that creating a conducive environment for business is not enough, in this respect Government has to put in money to ensure this industrialization a reality.
IV. Attract investors into agro – processing more so after making favourable the various factors which make such investments unattractive to prospect investors. “Getting an investor who encourages the people to grow produce which he is ready such investor is ready to buy. In dangala village, Adekokwa Sub – county, Lira District, there is Mukwano group of Companies. This company invested in some parts of Lango region and Sunflower is grown in Dangala. Community members who are engaged in growing Sunflower have improved in their livelihoods and a number of them are enjoying better living.” This model should be used countrywide where locals can cultivate their land to grow what an investor can readily buy from them.
V. Put the right manpower into research for markets for agro processed products in export markets.
However, it is important to note the following observations regarding gainful agricultural undertaking in Uganda since it is supposed to be the engine of growth:
In Uganda more than 75% or about 19million hectares of land is available for cultivation and pasture. Overall, agriculture accounts for around 40% of GDP and 90% of export earnings (mostly commodity based). However:
a. Majority of agricultural land is (still) not irrigated;
b. Yields are consistently too low;
c. Down – stream food processing is very modest in scale, and
d. The country is a net importer of value added products from neighbouring countries.
Uganda has an underdeveloped food chain and little or no food processing capacity and relies on exporting fresh produce.
Some of the constraints to Agricultural Development in Uganda are:
1) Continued high input costs;
2) Poor transport infrastructure within the rural hinterland ;
3) Lack of consistent energy supply with frequent power cuts;
4) Uncompetitive interest rates, limited funding and poor financial infrastructure to encourage and underpin private sector investment in value - added food production;
5) Capacity utilization remains very low;
6) Low productivity;
7) High (post harvest) wastage;
8) Inconsistent quality (due to lack of monitoring and policing food standards);
9) Continued (over) reliance on donor funding;
10) Low per capita GDP, hence an inadequate domestic market to encourage supplementary export activity in value added sub sectors.
Uganda’s Competitive Advantages
I. Traditional Agriculture is an ‘extensive’ natural operation free of pollutants;
II. Minimal use of fertilizers and pesticides and providing a natural farming environment;
III. Variety of novel fruits – pineapples, mangoes, bananas, peppers, spices, okra;
IV. Agriculture recognized as engine of economic growth;
Essentials of Export Infrastructure
The following are some of the constraints to further development of agri-exports from Uganda to which solutions have to be got:
Lack of consistent water supply and very limited irrigation
a. Lack of grading and packaging facilities – on farm and centralized regional consolidation facilities;
b. Limited or non – existent traceability systems;
c. Lack of chilled storage throughout the country;
d. Lack of modern, durable packaging materials – an expensive imported input cost;
e. Lack of large refrigeration transport.
There are too many middlemen and lack of coordinated supply networks.
The above are significant gaps in the country’s farm and food infrastructures which have to be addressed to avoid continued constraining of food exports. However, it is clear that one significant aspect of the agriculture infrastructure is now clearly recognized as the issue that must be addressed if Uganda is to have any meaningful success in the export market – “Quality in the food chain.”
It is clearly understood by the export minded entrepreneurial farmers that quality and the need for traceability is an imperative and has to reflect internationally recognized standards. There is need for emphasis on healthy and safe production methods as ‘the selling proposition.’
The above will require that all production is accredited to international standards and that the sector has in place all the following:
1. In line management responsibility;
2. Accredited quality systems;
3. Contract and sub – contract due diligence procedures;
4. Clear and traceable quality systems and related document controls
5. Total quality management in all aspects of cultivation, processing and distribution;
6. Rigorous inspection and monitoring systems.
The major observation is that although the quality issue is and in some cases has been recognized, there remains a critical lack of technical infrastructure throughout Uganda, especially in terms of physical infrastructure, the availability of relevant technical skills and services and, a lack of internationally approved services and technical providers.
11. BOOSTING OUR EXPORT BASE
I. It is not news that increasing the export base and value of these exports is crucial in boosting the export revenue.
II. Need to get technical manpower to help boost strategies for increased exports.
III. Get a variety of other products which have traditionally not been for export including crafts, herbal medicine to mention a few. According to statistics published about 10 years ago, “The sale of drugs based on traditional medicines alone amounted to over US$ 32bn, a year! Why can’t Uganda benefit from 0.5% of this trade? This is an area to immediately exploit.
IV. Do you know that Moringa Oil is one of the best vegetable oils to use? How come Uganda is not exploiting this opportunity to extra the oil and sell in international markets?
12. FIGHTING ENVIRONMENTAL DEGRADATION
I. Environment is often disobeyed and assaulted in the name of economic development. The truth that environment itself must be developed is either ignored or not known. Yet without environment there can be no real development. Talk of stability or security will be just a myth, so will be talk of respect for human rights or democracy.
II. Those who are lucky to occupy positions of leadership must know that it is in their interest to respect the environment. If there is no environmental security, there will be perturbations all the time in the social and economic dimensions of development. Anarchy and chaos will be a constant aspect of life. No amount of spending fortunes on military security in the hope that there will be national security will save the rulers or leaders from being the ultimate victims of their own actions against the environment.
III. It is a big disappointment that those who are well educated and have got financial resources have ended up big sinners in the environment degradation.
IV. Reclaiming of swamps must be fought.
V. Local efforts to see that forest trees are planted must be a reality throughout the country.
VI. Gazetted forest areas must remain so
VII. Soil erosion should be checked not only at garden level but also elsewhere countrywide.
VIII. Encroachment on swamps and forests must be prosecuted.
IX. Promoting renewable energy is in line with the Kyoto Agreement and will set our country in good stead for an environmentally sensible, as well as self – sufficient future.
X. Developing renewable sources of energy including bio-fuels, solar development are critical in fighting environment degradation. The Jatropha plant is readily available in Uganda (that plant which was greatly on demand during the Vanilla boom as it was used in supporting Vanilla).
XI. Promotion of Light Emitting Diodes (LED): For the poor families, the significantly high expenditures on Kerosene (Paraffin) and wax candles for meeting their night lighting needs affects their ability to pay for other day to day necessities, such as children’s education, family health care and nutrition. Fuel based lighting also produces Greenhouse gases (GHGs), leads to increased indoor air pollution and associated health risks, inhibits productivity and jeopardizes human safety. A Kerosene lantern used for 4 hours per day is estimated to release more than 100kg of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere over the course of a year. Our people can neither afford to wait for electrification access rates to rise to the level of other regions which are better off, nor continue relying on expensive, inefficient, and unsafe fuel – based products to meet their lighting needs. The way forward therefore is the promotion of Light – Emitting Diodes (LED) which use modern lighting technologies, and it is true that people can be given these diodes and they pay in installments, more over this may cost about shs 60,000 and the beneficiary can use it for quite a long time and forget about paying for Kerosene (paraffin) and other inefficient substitutes.
XII. It is important to note that lack of income also induces degradation to provide lighting.
13. ENSURING REGIONAL POLES OF GROWTH
I. A lot of pressure has been put on land in the centre of the country because of lack of balanced growth strategies throughout the country.
II. Realizing regional potential which may be on both natural resources exploitation and agriculture are possible strategies to boost regional potential.
III. Investments in other undertakings as identified by the region can go a long way in attracting people around those investments instead of having them migrate to other areas for employment opportunities.
IV. The tourism industry has a lot of potential of growth and hence generating revenue to the country, and when strategies are put in place to boost tourist potential in each region of Uganda, it will be no miracle, but a reality that the country will gun a lot of dollars from this avenue.
14. IMPLEMENTING VOCATIONAL EDUCATION FROM PRIMARY SCHOOLS
I. The Budget Speech read on June 15, 2000; I quote: “Government is considering including Secondary and Vocational Education under the Poverty Action Fund within the constraint of the Medium Term Expenditure Framework so as to address adequately the needs of these two sub – sectors. By 2002/03, we expect to have established 850 Community Polytechnics as a strategy for promoting technical and Vocational Education and training. In 2000/01, I have provided shs 1.4bn for the establishment of the first 40 centres.” The question: Were the 40 centres put up anyway?
II. Youth have employment problems; needs and aspirations to fulfill; access to resources (like land and capital). To help youth develop their physical, mental, social and spiritual capacities so that they can grow to full maturity as independent individuals and productive members of society; empowering them to become leaders of character, vision and action in their communities by challenging their creativity and equipping them with practical, confidence – building and marketing skills.
III. Schools are emphasizing academics; time is now to ensure that children leave school with some skills which are employable.
IV. Schools should have gardens where the children can practice scientific gardening.
V. Poultry. Cattle and goat management as well as fish farming where possible should be undertaken.
VI. Vocational training including carpentry should gradually take off in schools.
VII. Art and craft are areas which are neglected in most of our schools
VIII. Computer appreciation and learning of basic packages should take off in primary schools not forgetting Internet appreciation.
IX. After primary school, appropriate vocational training should be implemented including technical drawing, foods and nutrition, art and crafts at more advanced level.
Vocational Training and Technical Education Strategy
1) Expand the number of vocational and technical institutes and centers, and set up the major institutes and centres proximate to the industrial areas, whereby they should include centers for serving and meeting the needs of the nearby areas.
2) Develop and modernize the existing institutes and centers and increase their absorption capacities to meet the current and future needs of the labour market quantitatively and qualitatively.
3) Set up incentives to motivate male and female students to enroll in vocational and technical fields, especially the children coming from poor families, the poverty pockets and the remote districts and to address some of the social causes which hinder the enthusiasm for vocational training and technical education.
4) Prepare flexible financial regulations to enable the vocational and technical training institutes and centres to take advantage of any income they can generate towards self – advancement.
5) Ensure that all vocational and technical institutes get involved in generation of income to help boost their budgets.
6) Start National Vocational Qualifications with specific grades so that trainees can upgrade their vocational management skills accordingly.
Priority Programmes and Projects
1) Completion of Vocational Training Centres – Rehabilitate centers and equip them. Set up new specialized fields taking into consideration specialty of women. Improve curricula and upgrade staff to have qualified technical staff that can meet the needs of the labour market and the requirements of development.
2) Set up vocational and technical training centre institutes – Construct and equip centers and institutes for vocational training to meet the market for qualified technical staff.
3) Establish hand craft institutes and centres
15. CATERING FOR THE ELDERLY
I. The New Vision, Monday, July 5, 2004, I quote, “Malnutrition among the elderly alarming – survey: More than one – fifth of elderly Ugandans are underweight, a Nutritional Survey by the Ministry of health has shown. The study says this is worrying and deserves immediate intervention. The survey suggests that the old need to feed well to avert poor health, which is directly related to food intake and as such may result into malnutritional complications. “Because of the varying diets, the elderly suffer from diseases ranging from poor eye sight (58.8%), arthritis (57.8%), bark and abdominal pain (54.5% and 39.9%), poor chewing (39.3%), fever (47.1%), and coughing (38.7%) as leading diseases,” said the report. Other notable complications include ulcers, hypertension, headache, constipation, and scabies. The study was conducted among 362 respondents aged above 50 years in Kampala and Soroti. It shows that 40% of the respondents had health related complications. The Housing and population census of 2002 showed that older persons in Uganda comprised 6.1% (about 1.5 million) of the total population and the number was growing at an annual rate of 7.4%.
II. Given the picture in one, it is clear that Uganda needs to open up homes for the elderly where people specially trained can cater for them.
III. The elderly more often than not lack company and appropriate care so it is appropriate to have them into homes for better care and nutrition as well as leisure.
IV. The homes for the elderly to be constructed in their communities through a community arrangement.
16. IMPLEMENTING A STUDENT LOAN SCHEME FOR HIGHER INSTITUTIONS OF LEARNING
I. It is unfortunate that A Student Loan Scheme is yet to be realized in Uganda.
II. Serious mobilization to be done to get sound funding given the demand
III. There is enough work done by myself (basing on my banking knowledge and performance of similar schemes) on how the scheme can be implemented. It is only finances to be procured and it takes off.
17. SCRAPPING GOVERNMENT SPONSORSHIP
I. There is enough evidence that the want to get Government sponsorship is highly responsible for the drive to cheat in national examinations.
II. Many of those who qualify for the Government sponsorship eventually prove incompetent or average performers in courses they offer.
III. Many beneficiaries to the government sponsorship are those from the well to do families hence those who need assistance end up disadvantaged.
IV. If Government sponsorship is scrapped and the funds instead put on the welfare of the teaching staff and facilities, it is possible to reduce the tuition being paid by students in public universities. Instead, it is possible to create avenues to help the orphaned (including benefiting from the loan scheme).
18. PROMOTION OF INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY IN ALL AREAS POSSIBLE
I. In this millennium, it is the nations that will be able to quickly gather process and use information in the most efficient way which will gain and sustain prosperity. The information revolution has diminished the constraints of distance in the manufacturing industry and many services, and offers new tools in the form of administrative capabilities, long distance learning, tele – medicine, the more effective management of micro – credit systems, and agricultural production, and for a variety of other applications. Hence major efforts must be undertaken to support greater acquisition and utilization of information technologies.
II. The power of information is a dynamic force for education, for promotion of freedom, democratization and broader participation by people in the decisions affecting their lives. Its great potential must be harnessed. When people have ample information on health, education, they learn to make educated and safe choices, a huge advantage in any society.
III. Developments in information technologies are revolutionizing both the global economy and enterprises around the world regardless of their size, product and geographical coverage. At the macro economic level, Information technologies are increasingly seen as instrumental in regional development and the long term prosperity of regions.
IV. There is therefore an emerging need to enhance the competitiveness of both enterprises and regions, based on new information society and the knowledge based economic powers. The competitiveness of regional economies and enterprises will, to a great extent, depend both on the conditions of utilization and on the development and application of these technologies.
V. For any enterprise to survive today and keep afloat in the current liberalized environment characterized by stiff competitive market conditions, information availability is number one pre-condition for successful business venture.
VI. Today, there is a lot of information world wide on markets, various product brands, technology, name it. It is extremely important that as our relatively young enterprises enter the market, both local and international, they do so on good information background, on markets where their products are to compete.
VII. The advantages of Information Technologies are multiplied when they are available to all. So, their take up has to be supported across society, throughout the Private and public sectors. The value of the network increases with the square of the number of participants. The biggest value is obtained when it reaches everyone, and not a part of the population.
VIII. The 1st prerequisite for the development of an information society is widespread access to the network infrastructure. This needs a truly competitive environment, which will in turn guarantee affordable prices and encourage the take – up of new innovative services. This requires a proper regulatory framework. There is need for an action plan which may target: i) Cheaper, faster and secure Internet; ii) Investing in people and skills; iii) Stimulating use of the Internet.
IX. One reason why some people are able to cheat/steal Government funds is because we are yet to fully appreciate and incorporate information technology in our undertakings, why should we have collection accounts for Government revenue in commercial banks; this is a loophole which gives some people chance to cheat/steal this money. All money when collected and balanced, at the end of the business day should be remitted to the consolidated account there and then.
X. When we better appreciate information and communication technology in our undertakings, then we shall be set on the real journey for sustainable development.
XI. We should establish ICT centres in close proximity to where people are, these should include Internet centres incorporated with library facilities and newspapers.
XII. Training in basic ICT should be at primary and secondary school level.
XIII. All Government operations to be computerized.
XIV. Part of our lagging behind is because we are yet to appreciate the use of ICT in our undertakings.
19. ENSURING LITERACY FOR ALL AND TEACHING OF RIGHTS
I. The Budget Speech delivered on June 15, 2000, Under Functional Adult Literacy (FAL): “Government recognizes that for farmers to be able to effectively receive, use and further disseminate extension messages, a minimum level of literacy is required. In addition, adult literacy will enhance the quality of life and build self sufficiency and confidence. Therefore, I have provided shs 1bn from the Poverty Action Fund to support the Adult Literacy Programme in 2000/01.” I am not satisfied with this position. FAL instructors work either 2 or 3 days a week, and are paid shs 30,000 a month. I am wondering where the shs 1bn would have been put, and what the impact was. An evaluation of this is called for to establish value for money if the allocation was made..
II. Ugandan women are at a substantial educational disadvantage to men. This disadvantage contributes to economic disadvantages, earlier marriages, and roles centred on fertility, despite what women themselves might prefer. The statistics:
a) 19% of women have no formal schooling versus 5% of men;
b) 34% of girls are still in school at age 18 versus 52% of boys;
c) 19% of employed women are paid in cash versus 34% of men;
d) 30% of employed women receive no payment for their work versus 13% of men.
III. Most Ugandans have experienced interpersonal violence in their lives, whether physical, sexual, or emotional. Violence can be gender – based and is commonly directed against women. Gender – based violence is an obvious violation of human rights, with serious consequences for women’s health and well being. Although both women and men experience violence in Uganda, women are likely to suffer every form of violence.
IV. According to the 2006 UDHS, 6 in 10 Ugandan women have experienced physical violence at least once since they were 15 years old. Among women, marriage appears to be a risk factor for violence. Never married women are less likely to experience physical violence. 16% of women reported having experienced physical violence during pregnancy.
V. Sexual violence is common among Ugandan women and happens much more frequently to women than men. Statistics are:
a) Almost four in ten women (39%) age 15 – 49 have ever experienced sexual violence;
b) Women in rural areas are much more likely than women in urban areas to have experienced sexual violence;
c) Sexual violence against women is most common among women who are divorced, separated, or widowed (55%), followed by women currently married or living together (43%) and never – married women (18%);
d) Overall, 44% of women who have experienced sexual violence say their current husband was responsible, while another 22% cite a former husband or partner;
e) Sexual violence often begins the first time a woman has sexual intercourse. One quarter of women age 15 – 49 (24%) say their 1st sexual intercourse was forced against their will.
VI. Almost half of the women interviewed (48%) have experienced physical violence - most often being slapped, punched, pushed, or kicked.
VII. The above is evidence enough to advocate for the teaching of literacy skills should be a right for all the illiterate as well as the teaching of ones rights as enshrined in Uganda’s Constitution. .
VIII. Literacy skills to go hand in hand with skills in various aspects including business.
IX. All the people should be taught their rights and this will help check abuse.
X. Knowing rights is positive in boosting local economic development as people become players in matters that affect their well being.
XI. It is a fact that due to the level of literacy. Women have bigger families, they are greatly abused and many seek non professional medical services. Boosting literacy and specifically having it Functional for the women can greatly boost welfare of the Uganda population.
XII. Education is essential to human development and to gender equality. Providing more educational opportunities for young women can do much to improve the health of their families.
XIII. The Government proposed will ensure the teaching of Human rights at two different levels; namely the formal and informal. At the formal level, human rights education to be introduced into the school curriculum from primary school to secondary/tertiary schools and higher institutions of learning. At the informal level, human rights education to be extended to police; the army; local councils; civil society.
XIV. There will also be the evolution of “Good Governance School Clubs,” as additional school clubs to foster good governance among the children/students as they are prepared for the roles to be played when they take up roles as responsible citizens in their communities.
XV. The government in picture shall take on the Human Rights issues of People Living with Disability, and measures shall be put in place to ease life for them including: Accessibility; The disabling environment; poverty; Mainstreaming; Healthcare; Education; Employment; Sports; and the general protection of the rights of People with Disability. Indeed the disability slogan will be observed: “Nothing for us without us.”
20. ENSURING THAT GOVERNMENT OBSERVES HUMAN RIGHTS AND THE CONSTITUTION “THE WILL OF THE PEOPLE PREVAILS”
I. “Human Rights and fundamental freedoms are the birth rights of all human beings and should be treated as mutually re – enforcing.” Vienna Declaration, World Conference on Human Rights, 1993.
II. The Uganda Human Rights’ Commission (UHRC) 9th Report stated that 38% of the 243 complaints referred to the Tribunal for Hearing were related to violation of the freedom from torture. At the same time, 54% of the 82 complaints which were heard and concluded by the Tribunal related to torture. Consequently, the Tribunal was able to successfully prove torture in 29 complaints, which is 66% of all the 44 torture complaints concluded by the Tribunal. For the complaints successfully proven, the Commission awarded Ug. Shs 260,541,600. Although the total amount of awards by the Commission Tribunal for all proven violations in 2006 amounted to Ug. Shs 368,081,600, the awards specifically against torture constituted 71%, amounting to Ug. Shs 260,541,600. UHRC has consistently pointed out in its annual reports the menace of torture. The Commission continues to appeal and urge Parliament to enact effective legislation specifically prohibiting acts of torture, cruel inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment and to ratify the Optional Protocol to the Convection Against Torture (OPCAT) with the aim of bolstering independent monitoring of places of detention.
III. Government to ensure that individual officers, men and women who commit human rights violations are personally bought to justice; held personally liable and prosecuted. This is against the background that International Human Rights Standards as well as Article 44 of the Constitution of Uganda recognize freedom from torture, cruel, inhuman treatment or punishment as a non – derogable right, that is; there is no justification whatsoever, for violating this particular right which is their right.
IV. Given i & ii above, Government ought to ensure more Lawyers on its pay role to assist those poor clients whose rights to justice are hampered by their inability to meet the high costs to get justice, unaffordable legal charges in Uganda are major factors in restricting the enjoyment of the rights enshrined in the African Charter.
V. Uganda scored below average on the state of freedom of expression, press freedom and freedom of the media, as well as the right to information, according to the African Media Barometer 2007; Uganda’s overall country score in 2007 was rated as 2.3 out of a maximum of 5. The Government in perspective will enhance media freedoms compatible with the freedoms as enshrined in Uganda’s Constitution.
VI. The independence of the Judiciary is a must by the Government being advocated. It can be remembered that in a space of 16 months (November 2005 and March 2007), Uganda was left agape with shock following events at the High Court in Kampala that left the independence of the Judiciary shaken. Sections of the Executive comprising both uniformed and plain clothed security agents invaded the High Court and forcefully prevented treason suspects that had just been granted bail from gaining their freedom. The two incidents smelt of Uganda’s past turbulent history, which was largely characterized by State excesses that culminated into outright violation of the national Constitution. True democracy demands that the three arms of the State: Executive, Parliament, and the Judiciary be independent of each other, but perform as complementary parts of the same government. Justice George Kanyeihamba said, “These are very serious matters and it seems that people don’t appreciate what is happening in this country. There is near breakdown in the rule of law and it is unthinkable that this can happen under the NRM government.” Oscar Kihika, former President of the Uganda Law Society said, “The manner in which organs of the state under the executive arm of government have defied court orders, and even gone ahead to arrest suspects that have been granted bail on court premises, is very frustrating.”
VII. I am advocating for a Government where the independence of the judiciary is critical for fair dispute resolution and arbitration; justice delivery and ultimate protection of Human Rights.
VIII. It is increasingly recognized that good governance is an essential building block for meeting the objectives of sustainable development, prosperity and peace. Good governance comprises the rule of law, effective state institutions, transparency and accountability in the management of public affairs, respect for human rights, and the meaningful participation of all citizens in the political process and in decisions affecting their lives.
IX. Government in Uganda needs to cultivate a culture of democracy – otherwise it tends to operating as a totalitarian authority; that is, a system in which those in power have complete control and do not allow people to freely oppose them, a culture of passivity and apathy. These regimes seek to mold an obedient and docile citizenry. These regimes seek to inculcate an attitude of passive acceptance.
X. Government must promote and practice the pillars of democracy which include: Sovereignty of the people; Government based upon consent of the governed; Majority rule; Minority rights; Guarantee of basic human rights; Free and fair elections; Equality before the law; Constitutional limits on Government; Social, economic and political pluralism; and values of tolerance, pragmatism, cooperation and compromise.
XI. The World Bank’s Development Report, “Attacking Poverty” 2000/2001 puts great emphasis on “Insisting on the rule of law, people’s participation in the development process, transparency and accountability. The report states that, “good political and administrative institutions go hand in hand with economic growth.” The potential of economic development is quite limited if it works in a framework of social underdevelopment and official indifference. Looking at the political systems of the 49 least developed countries, it is obvious that most of these countries are “more democratic in principle than in practice.” Many of them are ruled by military or civilian authoritarian regimes which are used to giving orders than to listening to the grievances of the poor.
XII. Ugandans should graduate from the ranks where Government operatives take it as a right to abuse the rights of the people. We must develop a culture of peace and tolerance.
XIII. There is therefore the need to have a more civilized Government which respects the rights of the people but not dictating to them.
XIV. Listening to the pleas of the people. We would like to see a Government of the people by the people for the people whereby if a situation arises as of now where many sections of the population are not happy/contented with the existing Electoral Commission’s ability to deliver a free and fair election, it is simply fair to disband it, and that is the type of Government I would love Ugandans to see in place.
XV. The Government I have in picture has to avoid using the Police to diffuse people’s rights like the right to freedom to assemble and demonstrate together with others peacefully and unarmed (Article 29 (1) (d) of Uganda’s Constitution. Abusing of police powers through refusing people to assemble and demonstrate should become part of Uganda’s history as long as the Police is duly informed about it to offer guidance and the routes to be taken or the place of assembly so as not to encroach/inconvenience other people whose rights may be violated when they suffer inconvenience due to the demonstration. Police powers to regulate and direct demonstrations must meet stipulated standards which are: Legality; Proportionality; necessity; Accountability; and before a group demonstrates, it must ensure that operates within the Guidelines for Public demonstrations and processions in Uganda; and in case some unfairness is sighted, the matter to be raised for the attention of relevant authority so that the Government is seen to offer a conducive environment to prospect demonstrators within the confines of the law.
XVI. The Government I have in picture has the challenge to put in place clear workable refugee policy. People are complaining about “the current governments’ “Open Door Policy” the refugees.
XVII. There is concern about prisoners whose trial is so much delayed yet it is their right to have speedy trial for justice to be seen done, for these are not guilty until proven beyond reasonable doubt by the courts of law and then sentenced accordingly. Manpower should cease being the excuse.
XVIII. It is also a violation of rights to see a pensioner move day in and day out to the Ministry of public service trying to see whether his/her pay cheque is ready. This is injustice for which appropriate remedy should be sought as some pensioners’ actual die before realizing their dues.
XIX. Given the congested nature of our prisons, it is unfortunate to have these as death sentences for the prisoners who go there. The way forward is to come up with appropriate strategy where some of the Prison services can be privatized to cater for the better off who may be kept in comfortable custody at their own cost (meeting the expenses as if were in a hotel).
XX. The legality of security organizations in place should be clearly spelt out and the distinctiveness of their roles to avoid conflict, and there should be assurance to the people that safe houses are a matter of history.
XXI. The revision of the constitution to return the Presidential term limits; and also cut on the Presidential powers and ensure that the Constitution clearly empowers the government organs to operate without the external influence of State House and the business of by-passing the rightful organs to seek State House intervention or reversal of lawful orders should be clearly declared unconstitutional.
21. PROMOTION OF A SAVINGS AND INVESTMENT CULTURE
I. It is not news that Ugandans need to boost their savings and hence investment culture. This will be easier more so when the Virtual Clearing House takes shape.
II. More education to avoid waste where people earn but spend instead of saving.
22. REDUCTION OF VAT RATE AND TAXATION RATES WHICH ARE ON THE HIGH HENCE MAKING BUSINESS UNCOMPETITIVE INTERNATIONALLY; FOR EXAMPLE ON FUEL
I. Many in the business undertakings have time and again told tells of unfavourable business climate due to high taxes in place among other factors.
II. It is against this that many Invoices provided to Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) by importers are manufactured in Kampala. If one ventures to import similar goods; he would not make a sale given the price.
III. It is therefore a matter of priority to overhaul the taxation structure to ensure that local businesses can be competitive and don’t have to cut corners.
IV. Tax on Fuel to be reduced as it greatly contributes to high production costs and uncompetitive ness of locally produced products in the local and foreign markets.
V. With the evolution of the east African Community, tax regimes must be seriously revisited if our people are not to have a raw deal.
VI. The payment of ledger fees as a compulsory deposit on each deposit slip as students pay school dues must be stopped. It is the owner of a bank account who has to be charged ledger fees on the operation of the account in the bank. It defeats understanding to see school accounts having a mandatory additional shs 2,000 as ledger fee per deposit made. This is criminal. A bank cannot charge shs 2,000 merely on one deposit on a school account. It surprises that authorities have not bothered this development for the years’ it has existed.
VII. An excerpt from an address to the UN Economic Commission for Africa by James Wolfensohn, then World Bank President in Addis Ababa, January 27, 1998, “out of $300bn in total foreign private capital flows, sub – Saharan Africa received about $12bn. And of that, only $2.6bn to the size and potential of this continent. Africa needs to set itself up to attract private investment and that means a clean regulatory environment; it means a judicial system that works; it means property rights, corporate law, predictability in taxes. In relation to governments, it means capacity building, healthcare and the infrastructure necessary to go along with it. And it means corruption must be stamped out. Without these, private investors simply will not invest.” We are challenged by this statement, and given chance, all must be done to fight the negatives mentioned for the sake of attracting ‘serious’ foreign direct investors to Uganda.
23. ABOLISHING TAXATION ON GOVERNMENT
I. It is not clear why there is need to pay tax on government undertakings nor the logic, hence the need to see the practice stopped.
I am advocating for a Government to which the people can bank and actually have trust in. Below is a small story to reflect on an unhealthy development which I swear not to see happen given opportunity to get to Government:
There were once two intimate friends. One was called Omwanda and the other was Amakum. One day Omwanda, bearing in mind that a friend in need is a friend indeed, went to his friend Amakum to ask for help. I beg you to lend me a “small animal – a small goat; for I‘ve to pay a debt. When heavens blesses me, I will certainly pay it back.” “Oh my friend Omwanda there is nothing difficult in what you have suggested to me. You know my friend, problems are for everybody to face. Now I shall lend you the animal which you should replace shortly because I too have some pressing need which I need to solve,” said Amakum. He then rushed and came out, pulling a big he – goat. Omwanda was very pleased and had that inward feeling of paying back the debt immediately.
“But despite reminders, two years passed without Omwanda paying back the debt. I really hate stubborn debtors who know about the debts and yet won’t pay,” Amakum said to himself.
Very early, Amakum appeared at Omwanda’s home to ask for his goat. Because of shock, Omwanda’s heart lept high. He didn’t have any animal to pay back. “My friend, I have come for the thing I gave to you. Today I am not ready to go back with promises,” Amakum said. Omwanda humbly explained that, “my dear friend, just be patient with me for today, I promise to bring it tomorrow evening.”
Because of his friendly feelings, he accepted to return; but Omwanda was not sure of how and where to get the he – goat from. Instead, he decided to go hunting by making a trap along where the hyena’s pass which he was happy to carry to his house. As soon as he reached home, he met his son at the gate who asked: “Daddy your he – goat looks like a hyena.” Omwanda explained to him that the animal was actually a hyena and he was taking it to Amakum’s home to pay for the he – goat. “But my dear son, we must take it at night so that they don’t discover the truth. You better come and join me so that it becomes easy to deceive him. While I converse with him; you will be busy tying the hyena in the midst of the goats.
They set off to Amakum’s home and knocked saying, “my friend Amakum, please open the door. I am your friend Omwanda. I’ve brought something to pay the long awaited debt.” When Amakum opened the door, Omwanda rushed inside the house and sat at the far end of the house while his son tied the hyena. Amakum ofcourse thanked his friend for paying back.
Hyena’s and goats are naturally enemies, so as soon as they left the house, obviously, the hyena started eating the goats. By the time Amakum rose to check and find out what the problem was, he found that it was a hyena that was standing there with its teath barely out. Amakum felt extremely dismayed, cursed Omwanda and declared their friendship ended immediately. From that day Amakum decided never to lend anybody!
I see myself as one person who can offer himself as an Independent candidate for the sake of forging national Unity and Reconcilliation where all ideas would be welcome.
I am very serious and therefore kindly appeal for support to get moving. My strategy is among other things to use Information and Communication Technology.
Those who have been through Makerere University have known about Makerere University Private Students' Parents' Association (MUPRISPA) which has been in existence since 2001. because of my efforts, fees remained unchanged till 2009 when our pleas failed as the University is badly in debt and private students were seen as the avenue to raise the funds.
I have been an advocate for the Students' Loan Scheme since 2001; and actually have work to the effect, evidence at Minisrty of Education and Sports. Unfortunately, up to now, the scheme has not taken off!
My writings are self explanatory, I have always offered another view to Government positions in news papers and other fora.
Some of my works are accessible on:
I KINDLY APPEAL TO YOU TO HELP IN SPONSORING MY PRE – NOMINATION STAGE.
Need funds are to be spent on among other things the following:
1. Purchase of a 4 wheel drive vehicle to facilitate travel country wide in collecting the required signatures around the various districts of Uganda.
2. Purchase of fuel for vehicle.
3. Repairs and maintenance costs of the vehicle.
4. Running adverts both in the print and electronic media.
5. Printing out literature for distribution.
6. Printing Posters to be distributed countrywide.
7. Printing the manifesto copies for distribution after nomination.
8. Paying allowances to helpers.
9. Rent for office space countrywide.
10. Paying for mobile phone airtime.
11. Paying for accommodation.
12. Purchase some computers, a printer and UPS.
13. Purchase a Public Address system and a generator.
14. Paying for airtime for talk shows
Given strategies that will utilize Information and Communication Technology, I am quite sure that I will be able to reach the people and have them appreciate the strategy I have to see them a happy and prosperous people in a Country Gifted by nature in the name of Uganda.
I thank you.
William Kituuka Kiwanuka
Uganda for God
“We cannot glorify death, whether in the battlefield or otherwise. We, on the other hand, must celebrate life, and are fiercely committed to protecting and securing the sanctity of life, which is the fundamental value without which all other rights and freedoms become meaningless.”
Dr. Neelan Tiruchelvam’s last address to the Sri – Lankan Parliament on 15th June 1999
(He was brutally assassinated on 29th July, 1999)
FOR GOD AND MY COUNTRY
QUESTIONS TO THE EXECUTIVE OF THE REPUBLIC OF UGANDA
1) What is the position of the Non – Performing Assets Recovery Trust (NPART) given the amount sank into the capitalization of Uganda Commercial Bank? Quoting from the Budget Speech delivered on June 15, 1996, “Significant progress was made in the area of financial sector reforms in 1995/6. The Non – Performing Assets Recovery Trust (NPART) for Uganda Commercial Bank commenced operations during the financial year. A total of 1885 non – performing loans amounting to Ushs 66.9bn were transferred to NPART by end of April 1996. This includes the 100 largest loans amounting to Ushs 32bn. As of May 15. 1996, NPART had made collections amounting to Ushs 2.3bn and hence advertised several properties for sale.
2) The Budget Speech read on June 12, 1997 by the then Minister of Finance Hon. Mayanja Nkangi disclosed the position of Uganda Commercial Bank. However, it is clear that the people of Uganda need a proper balance sheet of this bank. The Minister said, “The major outstanding privatization is that of the Uganda Commercial Bank (UCB). At the beginning of this fiscal year UCB had a negative network of over shs 100bn. In order to bring UCB back into solvency the Government this year has injected capital of shs 72bn and waived repayment of shs 26bn of Government lending to UCB.
3) What is the picture regarding the Parastatals which were privatized? “The budget read on June 15, 1996 I quote: “The privatization process has proceeded as scheduled and in many cases exceed targets. Key industries such as Hima, Tororo cement and, very shortly, NYTIL – Jinja are in production under new ownership and management. During FY 1995/96, 17 public enterprises and subsidiary units were divested giving total gross proceeds of Ushs 39.43bn, culminating to 42 public enterprises and subsidiary units with total gross proceeds of Ushs 131bn to-date.”
4) The Budget Speech, 15 June 1995, under Road Toll: “With effect from midnight tonight, the road tolls on Masaka and Jinja roads are being abolished. I would therefore like to take this opportunity to stress that all road tolls are now illegal.” Why is it that road tolls managed by Local Government still exist?
5) The Budget Speech for Financial Year 2006/07, I quote, “Mr. Speaker Sir, Government will complete and begin implementation of the National Industrialization Policy. The Namanve Industrial Park and other spatial schemes have been prioritized for completion. Government has allocated shs 5bn for the development of the pack and a credit of US$30m has been obtained from the World Bank for its completion. The amount involved is substantial; it is not clear whether this value is reflected on what is on ground now.