President Museveni, use your diplomatic channels to prevail on the fuel prices crisis in Uganda. The timing and impact on people’s pockets is severe with potentially dire and far-reaching consequence.
A drop in price below Shs 4,000 at least for diesel is what Ugandans have been expecting, only to suddenly wake up to prices soaring back to more than Shs 5,000. The increase is attributed to the war in Ukraine! Your experts are advising against government intervention probably because they underrate the capacity of citizens to hit back.
Each living organism has its own self-defence mechanisms when trapped between a rock and a hard place. Citizens are struggling to recover from the devastating impact of Covid-19 lockdowns, which were utter nonsensical and completely unnecessary.
There are people whose livelihoods were completely devastated and have not been able to recover, a number of them have run mad. Taxes are injuring and stifling small businesses. Mental cases are on the increase. Emotions are running high and citizens are getting emboldened by these hard realities every day, outraged by the lavish lifestyles of their leaders.
If civilian dictatorship is worse than democracy, no leader will want to leave any triggers of revolt to chance as being witnessed in West and Central Africa. The fuel industry is tightly under the control of a mafia cartel that is manipulating prices to the detriment of citizens.
Any leader who thinks that the only way they can keep in power is by impoverishing citizens is miscalculative. The worst liberation war to be fought whose fruits we are already witnessing will pit those with everything to lose against those with nothing to lose. East Africa, and Uganda in particular, cannot blind itself to the reality of the hungry forces of regime change, both internal and abroad.
Let soaring fuel prices engineered by mafia in the fuel business cartel not be the reason for precipitating regime change.
Africa needs African solutions
It is crucial to shed light on an often overlooked aspect on the discussion of climate change - African countries paying for the environmental consequences caused by developed nations.
The industrialization and urbanization of these developed countries, built upon the exploitation of Africa’s natural resources, have led to high levels of degradation and climate change. While promoting sustainability is essential, it is equally important to question how African countries, with their own resources, can survive and address the pressing issues of poverty, hunger, calamities, and poor education that plague the continent.
For far too long, Africa has borne the burden of environmental degradation caused by industrialized nations. The poisonous fumes and gases emitted during the development of these countries have contributed significantly to climate change and environmental crisis.
As a result, there has been a growing resistance toward industrialization and the utilization of oil resources, despite the potential for economic growth and development. However, it is crucial to acknowledge that African countries have the right to utilize their resources to uplift their underdeveloped communities.
Africa faces immense challenges, with high levels of poverty threatening the lives of its people, particularly children. The continent struggles with hunger, calamities, and inadequate education, among other issues, all of which demand urgent attention. It is disheartening to witness the same entities responsible for these challenges advocating for the closure of projects within African countries without providing viable alternatives.
After benefiting from Africa’s resources at the expense of its development, expecting African nations to halt their progress is an unfair proposition. While acknowledging the need for sustainable development measures to protect our planet, it is crucial for African countries to advocate for a multifaceted approach that considers the grievances of the African people.
It is time for Africa to take control of its destiny and develop its own solutions and alternatives to safeguard its future. By actively participating in shaping the discourse on climate change, African nations can ensure that their voices are heard and their unique challenges and priorities are taken into account.
Creating a sustainable future requires collaboration and empowerment. African nations should seek partnerships that promote knowledge transfer, technology sharing, and capacity building. By leveraging their own resources and collaborating with international stakeholders, African countries can develop sustainable solutions tailored to their specific circumstances.
Empowering local communities and investing in education, healthcare, and infrastructure are crucial steps towards achieving a prosperous and sustainable Africa.
The African Climate Summit provides an opportunity to address the environmental injustices faced by African countries. While it is essential to advocate for global sustainability, it is equally important to ensure that African nations are not left behind or burdened with the consequences of historical exploitation. African countries must take the lead in shaping their own destinies, developing their own solutions, and safeguarding the future of their people.
Jemimah Babirye Kasibbo
Let’s promote politics of tolerance
Since the 2021 elections, we have not healed from the toxic narratives and pain inflicted on players. It is barely two years to the next general election but we have not fully healed from the past.
A number of people are still missing and some incarcerated because they chose to support a certain candidate and, of course, although different charges were preferred against them, their trial seems to be in abeyance. There are Ugandans who are still demanding to see their mother, wife, sister, brother, father, husband who went missing during elections.
To them, elections are now a nightmare because they took their own! We pretend that we have moved on, which is not the case; different individuals have underlying pain they are dealing with and unfortunately the politics of the day does not take a break to reflect on these issues. Rather, it is interested in winning the next elections.
The political temperatures are rising each day as we head to the 2026 general polls and this is the time where we need to exhibit the highest level of tolerance to avoid circumstances that could lead to violence.
In a mature political setting, every opinion and decision must be respected regardless of who says it. It is not a must that every individual must follow a particular ideology, movement or party as there exists freedom of choice. The amount of intolerance and hatred being exhibited by various camps is unfortunate.
What kind of politics are we building? Our Constitution emphasizes the principles of pluralism; that each one has a right to choose where to belong and who to support. And that while at it, people’s choices must be respected, including those who choose to stay away.
I have noted increasing violation of the right to dissent and critique. A certain group presents their choice as mighty and holier than thou, who should not be questioned at all. This is not the kind of politics that Uganda should harbour.
We must do all it takes to promote pluralism, respect of opinions however divergent they are, and that one’s choice of political shade or opinion must be respected.
Tolerance is key to building national cohesion. All leaders, be it political, religious or whatever manner, must ensure that they promote free speech, free choice and that no one should be punished for holding a different opinion. We must transcend beyond our tribes, languages, social differences and work towards a peaceful Uganda that respects everyone.
We must ensure that the culture of politics we are building for our posterity is one which promotes unity, peace and cohesion; that it shouldn’t matter where one comes from or what language they speak but the values and principles they carry; that is the Uganda we want. It is our duty to ensure that Uganda does not break simply because of selfish interests dressed in politics.