On Wednesday, January 26, the National Resistance Movement celebrated 36 years in power.
I have heard many opposition leaders and other unpatriotic Ugandans claiming that NRM under the able leadership of Museveni, hasn’t achieved what it promised Ugandans. I know, NRM’s achievements are so subtle that I should try to prove those opposition politicians who don’t love their country wrong.
NRM promised to restore constitutionalism in Uganda and it has greatly achieved that. At least, we’ve not seen very important constitutional amendments done against people’s will. Term limits and age limits, are still intact. Our constitution isn’t a mere paper for we follow it to the letter.
Past regimes were very intolerant to dissent. Our president promised to restore freedom of speech when he assumed power. Indeed, Kakwenza Rukirabashaija, a critic of the Museveni administration, has been at his home dining with his wife and children since he made his tweets. When he criticizes Museveni, good men from the Special Forces Command pay a courtesy visit to him and debate him to prove him wrong.
Extrajudicial killings were a mainstream way of solving political misunderstandings. Today, they are no more. Zebra Ssenyange aka Mando, when he politically sinned against the regime, was summoned by the CID to answer some questions. He wasn’t shot dead like it was in the days of the bad Amin and Obote. Muslim clerics don’t die mysteriously. Our president was actually right when he called those ex-presidents swine.
You should be blind not to see that our economy has substantially transformed from being an agrarian economy to an industrial one. Just a little 70% of Uganda’s population are peasants. The majority — 30% of our population — are outside the peasantry. Our economy is largely owned by locals, not foreigners. Our tax base is substantially financed by natives not Asians. Indigenous banks far outnumber foreign banks. Do you know that I have an active bank account in Teefe Bank, Greenland Bank, Gold Trust Bank etc.?
Corruption, corruption! Our able leader has decisively dealt with this. All corrupt officials have been arrested, arraigned before court and convicted of the same. For others, their property has been auctioned. You can’t be corrupt with impunity in our beautiful NRM government. Even if you fought for its coming into power. Those things of arguing that corrupt officials can be corrupt so long as they are building five star hotels here were arguments of the past. I think it was Obote who made such arguments.
About democracy, Uganda is indisputably one of the leading democracies on the African continent. We’ve had regular transitions of power with elections being held freely and fair. The last free and fair election happened last year when we got a new a president with a new name that the population had never heard of before.
On the scale of 1-10, our dear government has scored 11 for establishing national unity. Obote used tribal cards to ensure that the army paid allegiance to him. Today, it’s not the case. We don’t see high army ranks dominated by people from the same region. The Independent Magazine — which existed during Obote’s regime and was owned by Andrew Mwenda who has since passed on — published an article entitled: Family Rule. In the article, 13 family members of Obote including his wife, son, brother and other in laws were employed in government. Today, we don’t see such things being repeated.
36 years ago, governments largely survived on patronage. Leaders ensured that parliament and cabinet were bloated, controversial constituencies were made through gerrymandering because it helped them maintain their grip on power. The cost of public administration was so high but that was secondary to them. Under the visionary NRM, we have a very lean government, brown envelopes are not exchanged for democracy and the cost of public administration is so admirable. Are we choking on high debts? No please!
Leaders of the past, didn’t see the importance in separating powers of the three arms of government. When Obote wished, he overruled the judiciary and parliament. Our current president has instead proved to be a champion of institutionalism. You can bet so heavily ( even with your life) that court will freely give bail to a suspect and that suspect doesn’t get abducted by gun wielding men in a numberless vehicle shortly after. You can trust parliament to make an important decision independently, without interference of the executive.
Patriotic Ugandans, if I labour to exhaust achievements of our NRM government, I can narrate from dawn till when the chickens come back home to roost. Don’t listen to those unpatriotic opposition politicians. They forget that the air they are breathing was brought by the NRM government. Ignore them for they are hypocrites!