Sunday, August 19, 2012


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. Uganda’s population is projected to increase from 33 million to a whopping 55 million in 2025! If we do not plan now to turn this population into a productive force, the rate at which the population is increasing (3.2% annually) will make it unsustainable because the resources at our disposal are not increasing at the same rate. For instance, the demand for land is projected to reach 23 million hectares by 2025 yet Uganda’s geographical size remains 20.5 million hectares excluding water bodies.
The efforts of a poor quality population are already visible in Uganda. People are increasingly encroaching on wetlands, forests and water resources as they struggle to find land for agriculture, settlement and sources of fuel. Between 1990 and 2005 alone, Uganda lost about 26% of its forest cover. The increased pressure on the already merger environmental resources has led to adverse climatic conditions such as landslides, floods and drought in several parts of the country. We cannot fold our hands and let things continue the way they are going. 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 trees along a route which is used by so many and no one bothers in what is clearly a wetland? 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 with least tangible solutions. 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, improving social service delivery among others. It is sad to see Museveni cry to have investors more so those from out of the country to come and bail the country, meanwhile, he has mastered the art of wasting valuable resources into uncalled for administrative expenditures, which by any logic don’t generate more value, but to him, what seems to matter are strategies to see continued tenure in state house which is unfortunate for a person at the whelm of the country and is at liberty to allocate resources as he wishes from State House.
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 Local Council I (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 interested in retaining the seats don’t have the muscle to move things because they see such strategies that reach out to people to give instructions and direction 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 say by the district authorities, yet many of the LC I infrastructures can earn money which can pay such chair persons, as is raised from identity cards, letters of introduction among the many interventions the LC I’s is involved in not forgetting charges to those in need of travel documents. People properly appointed for LC I chair can save the image in many areas where it looks like there are no responsible leaders as everything is in a mess. These can help save the country and see sustainable development a reality. I have travelled through Wakiso district, as urbanization increases given the increasing economic prospects; the forest cover continues to be cut. You find fire wood by the road side awaiting transport to where the brick bakers need it among end users. The vehicles carrying charcoal are all the time badly loaded or dangerously and many travel at the safe time which is at night! The population can hardly afford the cost of electric power such that exploitation of the forests has to be on the increase, as currently there is no relatively cheaper alternative. 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, there is all the proof of some industrialists doing their processing out of Uganda given costs more so of electric power! 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. These can fool a tomato seller to make him or her feel as if part owner of such market, but when in actual fact there are a few interests that are exploiting the opportunity as was the case of UTODA when 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 or call it all the time. There was a time when a few people were identified as owners of the so-called PLAZA’s in the city; soon it became common knowledge to the public that the actual owners of those PLAZA’s are just disguised. The reason they are disguised is common sense. It is important for the NRM Government to address the land issue at the same time. 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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