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Museveni, don’t you see you are suffocating us

In 2016, Mr. Museveni’s government adopted what it called Economic and Commercial Diplomacy policy.

It aimed at using the now 36 Ugandan missions to promote Uganda as a good destination for vacation, investment and source of quality produce.

Being a poor with chronic financial stress, the policy was piloted at the beginning with about four embassies, including Berlin and Abu Dhabi. More than Shs 4 billion was sank in. This policy has become of age and is supposed to be rolled out at all the 36 missions next financial year that begins in July.

And ministry of Foreign Affairs has requisitioned for Shs 16 billion to finance it. Each embassy will spend at least Shs 355 million on commercial diplomacy. Embassies are required to participate in tourism expos organized in countries of their service and trade shows. It is one of the many initiatives by the regime to market Uganda.

There are other initiatives by for example export promotions board, tourism promotions board and I think Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA). Tourism is now Uganda’s number one foreign exchange earner bringing in about $1.4 billion annually.

According to information contained in the National Budget Framework Paper 2019/20, the tourism sector, when everything including money paid directly to hotels is counted, generates about Shs 6.8 trillion annually. The sector also employs about 600,000 people.

Persuading a tourist to spend one additional night in Uganda according to World Bank, would add 7 per cent to our exports and 1 per cent to our GDP. Tourism contributed about 3% to the GDP in 2017. Government reports that tourism generated about 229,000 jobs directly in 2017.

I have singled out one sector to show you the cost of a bad leader to a country and its population. After spending billions to market Uganda, we are now at square one as they say. Images of the brutal arrest of Kyadondo East MP Robert Kyagulanyi have been splashed all over the world for everybody including the tourists we want to attract to see.

Images of Police brutalizing citizens supporting Kyagulanyi/Bobi Wine are stuck with us. What about Police and Special Forces Command (SFC) unleashing terror in Kasese just because Dr. Kizza Besigye is in town. You all probably have seen Residential District Commissioners equivalent of DCs under former President Milton Obote invading radio stations and switching off transmitters because of Besigye.

Opposition politicians cannot address public rallies; they can’t sing in the case of Bobi Wine and can’t speak to people even through the airwaves. The military stationed almost in every village in Kampala; and Wakiso can’t allow us to breath. In truth, we are suffocating.

But as all these things are happening, the Electoral Commission has released what it calls a roadmap to 2021. Even Museveni’s party released theirs.

Museveni has been meeting his agents who now have resolved that he will permanently rule Uganda. There are some naïve people who will ask: “Why don’t you just defeat the man?” Defeating him, we have done, but the man captured all of us and wants to continue dominating us.

If you can’t meet elected FDC leaders, can’t meet or speak to potential supporters (public), what remains for you to do as a politician? That is the situation that we must fight before we even think of elections. Certainly, when these elections come, we will use them to continue mobilizing until these hurdles are overcome, using elections to dislodge the dictator is still a remote chance.

Unfortunately for Uganda, religious and traditional leaders have refused to play their part. I think they have decided to position themselves to benefit from squandered wealth before the dictator finally falls. Maybe they are praying! Therefore, looking at one violation is the simple way to deal with our situation.

At 74, I think Mr. Museveni has thrown away all the pretense. He won’t allow any competition even for the sake of legitimacy. We were supposed to hold elections in about seven districts including Kassanda and Bugweri.

Those ones he stopped. We were supposed to have elections in hundreds of town councils and sub-counties, even those ones he stopped. The man is afraid of any political gathering. Instead of quarrelling over who should be the next joint opposition presidential candidate, I think, and I might be wrong, our focus should be on galvanizing the population to squeeze the man out of power.

I feel bad that people I thought were more subservient than us, such as Ethiopians and Sudanese, have been able to do it. I know the state structures there are different but the people have picked courage at the right time.

Of course here we are dealing with a tribal or clan militia, largely recruited and trained by the man. But we really must have a cut off.

semugs@yahoo.com

The author is Kira Municipality MP and opposition chief whip in parliament.

Comments

+1 #81 Remase 2019-05-15 19:22
Socrates, "Seruganda Ramase don't waste time trying to debate with someone absolutely alienated to the monarchy, otherwise you will bring him to his senses."

You are right. On one hand Wooden K tell us that M7 a problem. On the other, Wooden defends M7. Why? Because Mayiga says that M7 is better! How could that be?

Well, that is why we, Ugandans, have failed to get rid of the scambarg/scumbag! What is left for M7 to do to impress upon us that he is the worst president Uganda has ever had? Imposing himself on us for 33 years is enough to show us who he is. M7 doesn't need to do anything else.

Those who are waiting for more, like the triple M, are the one why M7 is stll in power. That is the truth and nothing but the truth.

It's not out of ignorence but selfishness. I mean because the are protected by the army/SFC!

M7 captured the nation and the triple M7 are part of the captured. We need to unite to be free from captivity. I love you all, Observer commentators. Akot, keep it up.
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+1 #82 Remase 2019-05-15 19:49
Wooden, "I am not going to go childish and bother asking you why you do not say that Amin`s economy was "bad " instead of "better"

Why ? because I can grasp and consider "context" Have you seen videos on Facebook of Ugandans who are crying and being abused in Arab nations?

That means that Ugandans are being forces to go and look for odd job, because of the worst economy of M7's regime.

That was not the case during Amin. Boda Bodas are the public transport and employment of most of the people. During Amin's regime we had UTC and Uganda railways. We had coffee marketing board, UCB, I could go on and on. All that means economically better.

Wooden K, what is really wrong with you? You can't have it both ways. Either M7 is the worst of better, which is which?
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+1 #83 Remase 2019-05-16 16:03
Wooden K, give me 1 name of Amin's family or relative who was in govt.

One of M7's relatives, the life foreign minister, Sam Kutesa, is the mother of all crooks! You name any corrupt saga in Uganda, Kutesa's name is one of them.

A brother of mine, Kigozi Hopeless, used to go out and get a chick but was living with my other brother, the own of the house. So Kigozi was smart. He always got tow chicks.

So when he knocked on the door, he used to say, "Mzee, I'm loaded." And Mzee quickly opened for Kigozi because he knew that there was something for him. So, Kutesa recently went hunting for another dishonest deal as usual.

This time he was a chair of a committee in the UN in NY. He made the deal with a Chines minister worthy $ 500,000 and also brought $ 500, 000 for his boss, M7!

Wooden, when M7 captured power, he took 2 zeros from our legal tender. Then 30% of. We now have a Sh. 50,000 tender. Yet it was only Sh. 100 on Amin's regime. Mayiga says M7 is better, right?
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