Uganda Peoples Congress

Uganda Peoples Congress
National Secretariat
Plot 8-10 Kampala Road, Uganda House,
P. O. Box 9206, Kampala

Militarism, Patronage And Lawlessness Deter Development

Press Release

01 July 2006

  1. On 1st July, the new financial year will commence with the implementation of the 2006/2007 budget proposals assuming, as is routine under the NRM dominated parliament, that they are approved. As part of the package, five (5) new districts and regional governments will start functioning.
  2. The framework under which the budget, itself a poor construct, will be implemented cannot provide for any serious focus on improving on production and value addition.
  3. In the first instance it is still part of the NRM's ideology that society is better governed or subdued under a state of war. It is thus not surprising that it is only the war industry in terms of military and paramilitary recruitment, purchases (including purchase of junk of all sorts) and continuous involvement in internal and external wars, that has grown in the last twenty years in real per capita terms. While employment in productive sectors like agriculture and industry declines every year, the only jobs available even to graduates are in the military.
  4. It is because of the NRM's philosophy of war and predatory dependency for political and personal survival on the war industry that the Government has backtracked on talking peace with the LRA in spite of all efforts by the Government of Southern Sudan to convince the LRA to pursue peace to the extent of naming a negotiating team. The NRM is scared of peace because once peace reigns in Uganda, the personal dividends and political clout that the NRM enjoys at great cost to the suffering people of Uganda will come to an end. The end of war would spell doom to the fortunes of the NRM leaders.
  5. The UPC calls upon the NRM leaders to abandon the selfish pursuit of war and embrace peace as the only viable means of ensuring that budgetary resources are utilized for national development.
  6. The philosophy of the NRM is political expediency where patronage is the basis of political decision. Instead of allocating resources in the budget to the productive sectors of the economy including health and education that improve on the quality of the nations work force. the NRM is pre-occupied by creating new districts and regions where unemployed and in most cases unemployable NRM functionaries can be absorbed as part of a blotted public administration. Small counties and sometimes sub-counties have been elevated to District status and positions of Resident District Commissioners, District Internal Security Officers and other functionaries established instead of revamping the economy to employ productive officers.
  7. The third strand of the NRM philosophy which underpins the budgetary implementation is total disregard for the law. Instead of attracting serious investors on a competitive basis, fronts of NRM leaders are illegally allocated free public land and given tax exemptions. The real investors are then disadvantaged by the impunity of lawlessness and patronage. Every empty space in the city is daily being invaded by NRM veterans giving no chance to orderly land development. The evidence, at least from Zimbabwe, is that land seizures drive away real investers.
  8. The combination of militarism, political patronage and lawlessness has resulted into a distorted budget and economic patch work that portends further economic downturn for the country. Unemployment, poverty, disease and ignorance (under universal primary and now secondary education) will continue to sore as the personal fortunes of the NRM leaders multiply hundredfold.
  9. The UPC has consistently warned the people of Uganda and all its friends not to trust the NRM. We have been vindicated by the last budget and recent events. We continue to demand that the NRM that no longer has moral authority to govern steps down. We continue to call upon the people of Uganda to reject the NRM governance by campaigning for its lawful removal from office now.

For God and my Country

Miria Kalule Obote

Party President