By William Kituuka Kiwanuka
When time comes for Museveni to match out of State House, there will be a number of questions asked. The balance sheet for his administration will be done at ease; those who feel insecure to spill beans will find it easy to tell the truth regarding the non performance of Museveni’s time. It is absurd a number of developments during Museveni’s time, leading among these is the environment degradation. The key players in degrading the environment may be exposed when it is safe; however, when you go to the countryside, you are told that it is those who have accumulated during Museveni’s administration more so the NRM supporters and political leaders that have led the crusade to destroy the environment. I am saddened by what used to be a wet land towards the airstrip at Kajjansi turned to a rice growing field. One wonders whether there are any serious people in Uganda who are in leadership positions and understand the issues at stake. How do you leave a person to plant eucalyptus tree along a route which is used by so many and no one bothers? The Museveni administration has surely messed up the environment, but that is not all, it has mastered the art of unemployment of the youth. One should surely take on the leadership of the country with a clear vision of creating employment, what has surely been done during Museveni’s time is to sing about the unemployment of the youth. The regime will be remembered for involvement in foreign missions where manpower has been lost as well as assets on which substantial amount of money was sunk, which money would have been put to uses like employment creation. It is sad to see Museveni cry to have investors more so those from out of the country to come and bail the country, mean while he has mastered the art of wasting valuable resources into uncalled for administrative expenditures, which by any logic don’t generate more value.
In an effort to deal with environment degradation, the Museveni administration has to be concerned about the non performance of the local Leadership beginning at village level. I am disturbed to see garbage dumped anywhere around Kajjansi Trading centre as if there is no local leadership. There is need for Museveni administration to be focused at a better future in Uganda a part from seeing the leaders as just instruments to see the regime hold on power. The administration will be completely rubbished in future when hundreds on would be avoided developments are blamed on it. As the country expects to get local leaders at what is known as LC I, it will make a lot of sense if the law is changed to appoint Chairpersons who can deliver and then elect the councilors. The problem we have now is that those who are in the LC I chair and are still interested in retaining the seats don’t have the muscle to move things because they see such strategies as the way they will easily be voted out. We need people who are knowledgeable as well as focused and such people can be appointed to perform. Such people can help save the country and see sustainable development a reality.
I have traveled through Wakiso district, as urbanization increases given the increasing economic prospects; the forest cover continues to be cut. You find trees that are by the road side awaiting transport to where the brick bakers need them. The vehicles carrying charcoal are all the time badly loaded and many travel at the safe time which is night. The population can hardly afford the cost of electric power such that exploitation of the forests has to be on the increase. There are no serious strategies to see the planting of trees more so the fruit type out of which families can have a better diet as well as surplus for marketing. It is equally true that even the would be investors may not locate in Uganda to undertake agro-based processing simply because the cost of production is generally on the high with proof of some industrialists doing their processing out of Uganda.
The other area which NRM has messed is the capital city which is much more of a slum than anything else. When Hon. Nsibambi was still Prime Minister, a cry and call were made up to Government to organize and have the capital to some other place. But trust the NRM, may be they saw that some of their businesses were bound to be disorganized. Strategies where we see some people seriously interested in getting city markets to be run by local people are all a pointer to vested interest which know quite well that they can fool a tomato seller to make him or her as if part owner of such market, but when in actial fact, there are a few interests that are exploiting the people as UTODA was doing in the transport industry before their deal was sabotaged. What those in leadership during the NRM time have to understand is that people cannot be taken for granted for so long. There was a time when a few people were identified as owners of the so-called PLAZA’s in the city, soon it became knowledge of the public that the actual owners of those PLAZA’s are just disguised. The reason they are disguised is common sense.
Much as the subject matter of this argument is continued on, it is important for the NRM Government to address the land issue. The poverty and malnutrition will continue on in Uganda if the land ownership and re-distribution is not well addressed. It is absurd that many who have had opportunity to benefit from the National treasury look at acquiring large expenses of land. Whether this calls for mass evictions, such people are not bothered, and it surprises that some have the courtesy to imagine they are patriotic.
To sound the alarm bells, common sense should prevail among our leaders to see to it that environment degradation is addressed. Short of that their leadership will be remembered in history for putting the country into a sorry state it is already heading for.
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