Uganda Peoples Congress
Uganda Peoples Congress
Plot 8-10 Kampala Road, Uganda House,
P. O. Box 9206, Kampala
ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS
(Embargoed for release at 11.00 am, 13TH June, 2007)
- On Thursday 7th June, 2007 President Museveni delivered his mandatory state of the nation address. In that address, he gave a largely positive assessment and prospect of Uganda's political economic and social performance. He spoke in glowing terms about how Uganda belongs to all Ugandans irrespective of their political or religious inclinations, the NRM'S determination to "continue to adhere to Constitutionalism and the rule of law", press freedom, increased Security, bright economic prospects, a comprehensive legal framework to stop over exploitation of workers, achievements of the Universal Primary Education (UPE), continued government focus on primary health care and the fight against malaria, zero tolerance to corruption and a host of other successes.
- The Uganda People's Congress wishes to caution the people and friends of Uganda not to take President Museveni's words for granted or indeed seriously. President Museveni has been around Uganda's political scene since the early 1970's. He has been in power since 1986, a legendary 21 years. He has a well known track record, at least for those like UPC who care to trace it. His actions speak much more loudly than speeches. It is his actions especially in the past one year and two decades that should guide us in reflecting on his latest state of the nation address.
- President Museveni is not known for adhering to constitutionalism and the rule of law. No amount of written speeches will erase his blatant violation of the Constitution and the law. A few examples of Constitutional and legal violation will suffice:
- Continued land allocation (land bonanza) by himself when the Constitutional mandate lies with the independent Uganda Land Commission.
- Continued operation of illegal intelligence agencies and safe houses where torture of suspects is routine practice.
- Continued disrespect of Court decision and orders including orders to release of persons granted bail.
- Continued intermeddling in appointments by the Public Services Commission.
- Continued violation of civil rights and liberties. The latest was on Saturday 9th June,2007 when the police and other Para military forces blocked a planned Democratic Party rally. The Government has illegally declared the City Square in Kampala out of bounds for public rallies by the opposition political parties.
- Continued violent break up of public gatherings and demonstrations
- Continued use of violence and bribery in elections, the latest being the by-elections of Kamuli District Chairman.
- Continued interference in the work of the judiciary and under finding of its activities including failure to appoint judicial officers to fill existing vacancies
- On the social services scene no manipulation of statistics and figures can cure the glaring inadequate and falling standards in social services delivery.
- The UPE continues to be a third rate education facility where the majority of Uganda are treated to substandard educational while a super class of Ugandans enjoy quality education in private schools or expensive government schools.
- Similarly the USE has a false start with no resources including teachers, Laboratories, libraries and other necessary materials. It is set to be a breeding ground for illiterate products.
- Public Universities have not been spared either. The once prestigious Makerere University has been reduced to the status of an advanced secondary school, overwhelmed by explosive students numbers and funding at starvation levels.
- The Corruption ridden health sector is nothing to write home about. There is no evidence of any success in the fight against the curable but deadly malaria. No wonder that no senior government officer ever attends any public health facility in Uganda.
- The record on the fight against corruption is very dismal and bleak. President Yoweri Museveni's own constituency, the military is the very bastion of corruption and graft. The circus of the trial of senior military officers on charges of embezzlementof salaries and other funds of the military is the clearest evidence of President Museveni standards of "Zero tolerance to corruption". Let President Museveni tell the world which of the suspects in this scam in the military has been convicted before he promises to prosecute offenders in other sections. Corruption is the very first pillar of governance, Museveni style.
- On bona - bagagawale , there is no credible scheme to transform Uganda's peasant economy into a productive and competitive one. The proposal to start with 30 families as models in each sub - county is laughable. How will these 30 families out of possibly 10,000 families in a sub-county be selected? How will a mere 30 families be assisted to transform a sub-county? What training, financing, support services and marketing arrangements have been put in place? The whole enterprise is doomed to fail along the lines of the rural farmers scheme entandikwa, plan for modernisation of agriculture and poverty eradication programme. Simply stated the NRM is bankrupt of ideas on economic management.
- The record on security is equally pathetic and the people of Uganda especially those in the Northern , Western and North Eastern (especially Karamoja ) regions have no faith in the NRM delivering security which it has failed to do in two decades. What they know are massacres and devastations, rapes and other human rights abuses. The government has squandered the opportunity of the Juba peace talks to work for genuine national reconciliation and peace by treating the talks as a forum for the LR to surrender. No lasting peace can come out of such an arrangement.
- Tomorrow the national budget will be read. It will be the real test whether President Museveni is concerned about the plight of the long suffering people of Uganda. We shall see whether he will reduce his expenditure on state house,President's office, security, defence and public administration which are parasitic sectors of the economy and put more resources to the sectors like agriculture, education health and public works that have real impact on productivity and development.
- Given Museveni's track record, his future actions to drag this once beautiful republic down with him are not difficult to anticipate. He is beyond redemption and the UPC call is for the people of Uganda to continue to organise and wrest power from him before the NRM under his leadership destroys what remains of this country.
For God and my Country
Mama Miria Kalule Obote
President, Uganda Peoples Congress