We have offended the people of this country, ‘’we have left undone those things which we ought to have done; and we have done those things which we ought not to have done.’’ President Yoweri Museveni borrowed these words from the Book of Common Prayer while giving his opening remarks to us during the NRM MPs elect Kyankwanzi retreat on 13th March 2016. He quoted Mathew 23:23 to emphasise the fact that over the year’s leaders in Uganda and Africa had concentrated on peripheral issues but neglected more fundamental issues.
The Loyal NRM MPs caucus retreat that was set out to discuss progress on industrialisation for job creation in the country, ended up with resolutions with nothing to do with job creation but rather those entrenching Life Presidency of a man that has been in power for 34 years. Are we rebel MPs not right to say that the above description of leaders by president Museveni suits you very well our colleagues who went to Kyankwanzi? We think you left undone what you ought to have done….and did what you ought not to have done.
With unemployment rate at 84% in our country and an increasing numbers of young people exported as slaves to Arab countries, with many youth resorting to drugs, idleness and crime, indeed our colleagues you concentrated on peripheral issues and did nothing about fundamental issues to address the country’s biggest question from majority (85%) of Ugandans below 40 years.
This retreat having been premised on industrialisation for job creation, at least we expected resolutions around the need to review the strategy on labour export and plight of Young People who sell off properties of their parents in Uganda to become slaves in Arab Countries like Oman, Yemen Qatar and Saudi Arabia. We expected resolutions around incentives to industrialists and investors who gainfully employ Ugandans and penalties to industrialists and investors who employ foreigners and continue to exploit Ugandans by giving them only petty jobs.
Ugandans expected resolutions around how much funds in the next budget will be allocated to increase access to cheap capital especially for local investors desiring to invest in agricultural value addition where most Ugandans earn a leaving. They further expected resolutions around how much funds will be allocated by NRM MPS in the budget to actualise the NRM manifesto promise of establishing vocational training institutions in every constituency and establishing industrial parks with facilities and amenities to support industrialisation in the country. Many Ugandans hold the opinion that you should have cautioned the old man’s strategies of cash handouts to the youths and you should have taken clear resolutions on more inclusive programs that will enhance the youth’s meaningful participation in the money economy. The old man’s insatiable desire to run our country on financing by expensive borrowing a significant percentage of which end up in the pockets of his corrupt officials should have been resolved about.
As rebel MPs we expected the resolutions presented in Ngoma on 19th March 2016 to have been reviewed first in 2019 and progress and challenges discussed to inform the new resolutions. Progress on strategies of propelling the 68% to the money economy as discussed in 2016 like the four acre model, investing in agro industry and agro processing, promoting cottage industry growth, investing in assembly plants, investment in ICT and tourism among others. Our colleagues the Loyal NRM MPs we were disappointed that three years down the road, you failed to put the old man to task to give you a solid progress report on the 68% Ugandans since 2016. You instead allowed him to rush you to make resolutions which are almost disconnected from the core needs of our people!
Should we take it that you the loyal members of the party thought by granting President Museveni green light to have no competition in 2021 and beyond this assures industrialists confidence to come and set up in the country? Or you thought the money that would have been used in campaigns will be used to create jobs for young people? Was there any assurance that 2021 and beyond President Museveni will create more jobs for young people or it was the usual chorus of ‘aye’ without any assurance on new strategies and real jobs to be created?
Your number one resolution was about appreciating and saluting President Museveni for his visionary, bold, courageous, steadfast and consistent Leadership in a struggle against dictatorship and for democracy and freedom. This was the other disappointment especially to many Ugandans who are still nursing the pain of you allowing the old man to use you to change the country’s constitution in 2017. Remember we insisted that you were changing the constitution for him and you denied, now the sole candidature project has closed out even the young people you so claimed you were opening age limit to allow them stand for President.
We the Rebel MPs we hold the Opinion that President Museveni has failed the NRM and the Country to transit to democracy for 34 years, he has entrenched a one man’s rule in the party and the country, his vision your appreciating has failed majority of youths who are unemployed due to entrenched Corruption and has created a middle class of bourgeoisie who depend on government projects and public funds and over the years created an economy that benefits these bourgeoisie but excludes majority of Ugandans. Supporting him to continue with this kind of vision after 35 years will be insensitive and a total lack of vision about the Uganda we want to build for us our children and our grand Children.
We want a Uganda free of corruption, with opportunities for us all; young and old, whether from Central, East, West, North, North east or West Nile, those who went to the bush and those that stayed home, those in urban areas and those in rural areas. Uganda is for us all.
We want a Uganda where we can make life meaningful and sustainable. We long to build a Uganda where good governance and constitutionalism is assured, and where peaceful transfer of power is a value respected by all individuals that are put in positions of Leadership. A Uganda free from Impunity, where the leaders are accountable to the People. Yes this dream is achievable.
– NRM Rebel MPs –
1. Theodre Ssekikubo – Lwemiyaga Ssembabule
2. Acidri James – Maracha
3. Monica Amoding -Kumi District
4. Patrick Nsamba Oshabe -Kassanda North
5. Sam Lyomoki -Workers
6. Bernerbas Tinkasimire -Buyaga
7. Adome Bildad -Kotido
8. Kibalya Morison -Kamuli
9. Akello Sylivia -Otuke District
10. Mbwatekamwa Gafa -Kassambya County Mubende
11. John Baptist Nambeshe -Manjiya Bududa
12. Amero Susan -Amuria District
The views expressed in this article are the authors’ own and do not necessarily reflect Africa Tembelea’s editorial stance.