OPINION: What happened to the steady progress NRM promised?

OPINION: What happened to the steady progress NRM promised?
A car manoeuvres through potholes in Kampala.

Those gallant NRM honchos and ideologues who coined the slogan Steady Progress as a theme statement of the NRM Manifesto in the run up to the general elections in 2016 must have burnt several midnight candles. When the slogan was unveiled at the launch of the 2016-2021 NRM campaign Manifesto, it was euphorically received.

Party diehards were elated and enthusiastically received the slogan with the belief that this time round the implementation of the party manifesto is going to usher in real steady progress.

It was envisaged and hoped that government actions in the next five years of 2016-2021 would be building on the progress that had been registered in the previous kisanja.

This simply meant that if the roads both within Kampala city, upcountry and other national infrastructure had been worked on in the previous kisanja of 2011-2016, the next kisanja was going to see that such infrascture is upgraded and even made better.

The wananchi were elated about the slogan because they believed that if some work had been done to improve on the health facilities and the delivery of the essential supplies to these health facilities in the previous kisanja of akuna muchezo, the next one of steady progress, government would be just building on that achievement and things would be taken to another higher level of effective delivery of government service delivery.

The wananchi were jubilant about the slogan because many actually expected to see government commitment to the Uganda farmers who hadn't yet realized the full potential of their efforts in the gardens due to the absence of many vital government interventions like the provision of easily accessible and affordable agricultural extension services, quality planting materials, genuine quality pesticides and acaricides, that this time around things would be different and would steadily be improving.

Particularly the residents of Kampala who attended the steady progress manifesto launch were elated in the belief that their Kampala city this time around in the coming kisanja was going not only to stop as being touted as a vision for a Smart city, but one which will cease to be a city of water floods, a city of potholes, a city of dust and mud, a city of garbage and stench, a city of disorganization and chaos, a city of crime and anarchy.

The city residents of all walks of life, residents of whatever category and of whatever class, all expected to see their city's profile raised.

They expected that if Madam Jennifer Musisi the past ED at KCCA had been able to bring some sanity in the city during her short reign, many residents hoped that more sanity, more cleanliness, more street lighting, more water fountain points, more trees and greening would be done that would underscore the steady progress ecstasy.

That is what the people of Kampala, whether the NRM Party enthusiasts or not, expected and is what they saw in the campaign slogan of 2016-2021.

Actually, they are still waiting on this slogan to become realized and displayed in real demonstrable achievements. It shouldn't be for anyone to be laboring to explain and try to make the city goers to see what has been achieved.

The achievements should be self-displaying even to those ever ungrateful lots of the opposition. These achievements should be bright and loud enough to be putting the ever disgruntled opposition to shame and embarrassment.

The achievements should be the basis for all our NRM party supporters, ideologues, enthusiasts and foot soldiers to be walking around in the city with utmost pride and joy that would act as automatic magnetic force to attract scores to the party. Attracting the youths to our party shouldn't be such a hassle at all as it is turning out to be today. The achievements from our kisanja of steady progress should be doing the magic.

Unfortunately, as we enter the second half of yet another kisanja of 2021 - 2026, Kampala city is failing to see where it is heading let alone knowing where exactly it is today! Kampala sounds to be on the move yet it is still at a standstill.

When it is a rainy season, Kampala city roads are flooded even with a slight shower of short interval. It is common to hear from the different parts of Kampala that some human life has been lost due to the flooding of water channels or simply a person having fallen into an open sewer manhole on the street.

When it is a dry season, Kampala city is covered in dust and with incredible air pollution. As if to make it look that dust is a preferred beauty veneer of sorts, the KCCA has now been very busy and frantically filling all potholes and gullies in the city roads with red murram.

The city has now been turned into one of red dust clouds that hover over the city constantly as a result of the vehicles and our usual nonsensical Boda Bodas that ply on the roads that have been filled with the murram.

Things get a little bit worse when dust and pollution get mixed with the stench that oozes from the roadside garbage piles and broken open sewage pipes of NSWC in the city.

As our party ideologues and strategists plan on the next kisanja as yet another feather to be added to our hat of many years of superintending over Uganda, they should be crafting a manifesto slogan that should truly speak to the situation on the ground. It should be a slogan that seeks to whip and awaken the policy makers, the technocrats and the implementing agencies of government programs to rise up to the occasion  in order to make the aspirations of all Ugandans come true. Our Kampala city in the current state doesn’t pass that litmus test!


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