Why Xi Jinping’s (Airbrushed) Face Is Plastered All Over China - https://t.co/KxdssIi0g9
Age limit: MP Gerald Karuhanga returns cash https://www.newvision.co.ug/…/age-limit-gerald-karuhanga-re…
“In 1966, Milton Obote used guns to remove Sir Edward Mutesa from power. In 1971, Idi Amin used guns to remove Obote from power. In 1979, guns were used to remove Amin. In 1979, the military commission removed Yusuf Lule and Godfrey Binaisa in 1980. In 1985, Tito Okello used guns to remove Obote. And in 1986, Museveni used guns to remove Okello. This cycle must end. The age limit gives us the opportunity to end it,” Karuhanga said.
My Response to Andrew M Mwenda's reply to my letter.
Dear Andrew Mwenda,
I have no doubt, just as I had while writing my first letter, that you would think of... me, after reading this letter, as appallingly unpleasant and I feel a great sense of pain that you feel this way and that I have to reply, but I feel the same weight of responsibility to point out a few things.
First of all, I have read your reply to my letter. I however noticed you must have read it in haste. You fail to get the moral of the letter. Secondly, you call me a one 'Mutebi'. As an economist, you ought to be surgically accurate in observing and remembering facts. Just for clarity my name is Henry Mutebe. I hope you dont make these mistakes when advising the president.
You call me a sympathiser of Bobi Wine. I am not a sympathizer of Bobi Wine. I am a sympathizer of social justice no matter who benefits from my sympathy, all Ugandans in NRM, FDC, UPC, et cetera. Bobi Wine happens to be my Member of Parliament and I find myself under obligation to stand up for him whenever I feel he is being belittled. I may not agree with him on all issues he raises but I think that every person by virtue of being human deserves some portion of respect. I am a sympathizer of everyone including yourself and I am on record on my wall for defending some of your arguments not so long ago, when the world wanted to skin you alive. On logical grounds, I have continued to follow you and am always open to your articles and ideas but there is no compelling reason to argue that others who don’t subscribe to your school of thought ‘don’t understand’, are emotional and should be belittled. I also did not call you ‘mentally ill.’ I would appreciate if you find my letter and extract that word as you have quoted it. Playing victim doesn’t help you around the issues.
Just for clarity, I don’t consider myself ‘opposition’, but a Ugandan concerned just about everybody. I have never seen anyone who is born opposition. I only know that when people feel left behind, it becomes natural for them to inform those who are responsible for their welfare that there is a duty they are not fulfilling. I actually like it that people express themselves than if they kept quiet so you never tell what they are boiling underground. You are able to do what you can to address their grievances. I therefore find no problem with people you call opposition and likewise I find no problem with anyone calling themselves NRM. Even if government changed today, I would want Uganda to have a vibrant opposition so that those in leadership benefit from the wealth of alternatives and insight often offered by the opposition. I have families, friends and colleagues across the divide and I like them as human beings first, before other ideological orientations.
The issues I write about worry me a great deal and it is sad that you do not interest yourself in understanding the heart of the matter. I worry because I love my country and I know we can do better. I worry because I want people close to the president to be genuine and sound and not merely looking for something to eat. I have been oscillating between two decisions; whether to inform you of some of the flaws in your arguments (which may be seen as an attack and emotional outburst) or to remain silent and become an uncritical consumer of your information. The further I have reflected on what to do, the more I have been convinced you deserve a response.
You indicate in your reply that I sound intelligent but quickly add that you regret I am a waste of Brains. I concede Andrew. I have not invested my brain in belittling and attacking citizens who cry out for the president to listen to them because I think that the president should indeed hear these voices and find ways to respond. To that end, I agree with you, that I am a waste. I understand, Andrew, that yours is a big industry. A wealthy and deep industry where one can earn millions from twisting facts, attacking those they consider disagreeable and earn by dehumanizing others. I find myself totally unable to join that industry nor do I wish to use my brain towards such ends. I am happy to remain a waste if the definition of utilizing a brain is becoming a bully, disrespecting and belittling others. When social agents like yourself that occupy spaces of responsibility construct discursive spaces where you create binaries amongst people, powerfully labeling them as opposition, bobi wine radicals, et cetera, you develop trenches of social wars between innocent Ugandans in which they hate one another when in fact they face the same problems and challenges, share dreams and aspirations.
For me, everyone matters and I can respectfully disagree. I think that in the same vein, the president may not necessarily be achieving everything Ugandans want but he deserves respect and credit where it is due. I am for respect and dialogue from both sides. You have however created the impression that for one to be clever or smart, one has to constantly belittle and abuse people who give different views from yours or those of government. I like to think that you actually fail the president by blocking him from hearing alternative arguments and views. Instead of listening, he is likely to be dismissive since you live each day to dehumanize and bedevil those alternative voices. I respectfully disagree with this mode of serving a nation.
The president of Uganda benefits from having alternative views, policy insights and hearing differing voices to refine his own decisions. In the earlier years when you abused him, he did not label you as you label people today. Are not able to learn from this basic lesson? What you call the opposition is healthy for a democracy as it provides alternative views that increase the alternative space from which the pool of decisions can be drawn by Government. As a matter of fact, the views of what you call opposition are what has made the president even more wiser because they help him make bigger and better steps. If the president does not consider them plausible, he has always ignored them and that is fine. He has every right to dismiss them. Nobody doubts that he is very intelligent and he likes facts. My quarrel with you is not how much President is right, my contention is your nature of engagement and your obsession with economic growth as the mirror of Uganda’s health and wealth.
You often give suggestions of what they should do which is a good idea. If those ideas work, why would you not start your own party or mobilize people around your cause, since time and again, you also criticize president museveni as inefficient? You are the only person I know on this earth who has what works but doesn’t use it. I think what we should promote is continuous dialogue and connecting of people to find shared views and how to make our country better. We all have a contribution to make to this country; from the farmer in Nakapiripit who doesn’t understand Economics like Mwenda, but grows crops for you to feed, to the professor in Makerere teaching economics. We are all soldiers on different frontlines in our country’s journey to development. No matter the political ideology, every Ugandan helps make the country better and they should be accorded some space to be heard. This way, even highly angry people are able to cool down.
I will now turn to economics and Development of Uganda, in which you are the expert. I think that you do raise good points and offer some insight into economic issues in Uganda and that is highly appreciated. It’s just that sometimes, you lie and it is unsettling for some of us to remain silent in the face such blatant lies and reductionist arguments.
You are brilliantly schooled in economics, you have always reminded us. What I am not sure though is whether your propositions arise from a good understanding of both theoretical and applied economic research. I am inclined to think you have invested a good amount of time and attention on the former and not taken time to appreciate the later. If it were the reverse, you would not explain Uganda’s situation by economic growth indicators per se. I must add here, that I am not an economist, and I will not delve into complicated economic or Development theories. I believe though, that a man who must put food on the table for his family, does not have to study economics; He practices it and lives it. A poor farmer does not need a professor to define for him poverty or Development; He or knows it when they look at their family and does not see where the food for tomorrow’s lunch will come from. He knows poverty when he wakes up in the middle of the night and is not sure where the school fees for his children will come. The young unemployed youth knows if the economy is growing or not when he turns 25, has no job, has a good degree, needs to start a family but cannot even find lunch. Nobody needs to be taught what economics or growth is. We all have a basic understanding of what development is and how economic growth shapes it. However, we also know that economic growth is only one measure of development. This is where I take issue with your analyses.
I will highlight some of the problematic arguments you make and the problem with your obsession with economic growth as a measure of our progress. In your view, Uganda is doing extremely well and Ugandans just ‘don’t understand’. It is true that Uganda is doing well. However, one has to move further than that and ask, for whom, is it doing well? I do not want to discount or even deny the impressive performance of this government and the able leadership of the president in animating economic growth but I think that your arguments need to be examined further.
While you paint a very rosy picture and will brutally attack anyone who gives a different view, those statistics must be given faces. Economic growth is not the start or end of Development as you have christened it. It is, in my view, only one of the three pillars on which development stands. Since you love statistics, we can use some here.
It is true as several research has indicated that Uganda has reduced the number of people living on less than US$1.90 by about 2.7% annually since 1993, making it the second fastest percentage point reduction in extreme poverty per year in Sub-Saharan Africa for that period. I also know as World Bank indicated that the national poverty rate fell by 1.6 percentage points per year. These are statistics you deeply love to use. I am also aware that according to World Bank 2016, the proportion of the population living below the national poverty line declined from 56.4 percent in 1993 to 19.7 percent in 2013.
However, if you were honest, you would also be truthful enough to note that the National poverty line of US 1.9 was set in 1993. The inflation over the years renders these figures ineffective in determining the real conditions of people. On the surface, reading from these statistics, it appears as though many people are now floating above the poverty line, but in real sense, many are still poor. If you also consider that our population is growing at an average of over 3% during this period, it becomes even problematic. Between you and me, we know that if you are to talk of real progress, the economic growth rate must be double the population growth rate or more for you to talk about growth in real terms. This is where I find your reliance on economic growth figures and GDP as a measure of our wealth and health as a nation problematic. You selectively pick our figures without providing context to them. It is for this reason; the inefficiency of GDP and economic growth indices as a true reflection of a nation’s condition, that many development programmers and institutions are increasingly developing new indices and relying on Human development indicators to measure standards and human welfare than GDP indices.
I do want to want to blame President Museveni for everything that has not gone well because we know that our population growth without increased efficiency in factors of production like labour is creating more dependents than producers hence rendering economic growth gains problematic. However, these facts must be put straight and not twisted. You rarely talk about the different dimensions like the status of health and nutrition, employment, housing utilities and the environment, public safety and justice, social mobility among others. You have invested most of your time in fronting figures largely seen from an income and consumption side, disregarding the distribution of those incomes, equity and social justice.
You know for sure that it is possible to have economic growth in the short run while preparing ourselves for a nose dive in the future. For example, we can accelerate economic growth rate by logging all our forests. The incomes can give a great picture in the short run but have you considered the effects of cutting down those forests in the rain belts and what the droughts will cause to agricultural productivity. If we have increased incomes happening at the top 10% of the population, who are not investing that money in the country because many are acquiring the incomes illegally, what kind of development does the country achieve?
At the height of corruption allegations, you shamelessly argued that corruption is good for the country. Using statistics and twisted arguments, you conveniently ignored the effect medicine being stolen has on a poor child in a village in Gulu or Isingiro. Your explanation was that if government is tight on releasing monies or if there are no loopholes for people to steal government money and invest in the economy, then consumption will be limited hence slowing economic growth! What a fallacy! There is sufficient evidence to suggest that in fact, when there was a lot of corruption, with people looting government and trying to bury their money in the economy, through real estate, the market was adversely affected. Inflation increased hence increasing pressure on people real incomes. People with big loot bought properties at colossal sums of money, leading to skyrocketing of land prices, construction materials et cetera. They created an unsustainable situation that eventually over heated the economy.
You unfortunately simply concentrate on the misleading indicators of wellbeing in a country like Uganda whose structures are still fragile and developing. With a marginal middle class and real income increasing within a small cycle of the population, how do you comfortably rely on economic growth as an mirror of our situation? I have listened to you to explain how those indices talk about the equitable sharing of the production in vain. There is very limited vertical equity (in this case the poor) nor horizontal equity. Some regions are increasingly becoming better while other sink further in poverty, nor are we even fair to the future generations when we cut down forests to plant sugar cane.
To further discount your focus on economic growth, the World Bank report of 2016 on Uganda stressed that poverty reduction which you passionately talk about was largely driven by increased incomes in agriculture at household level, Peace in northern Uganda, improved regional crop markets, and good weather.
Andrew here is the problem. As we continue cutting down trees to increase land available for sugar cane planation, we create catastrophic weather conditions for the poor farmers that rely on natural whether to produce. Remember your growth is relying on good weather. The second problem with this kind of growth is that we largely benefited from the conflict in South Sudan, Democratic Republic of Congo and drought in Kenya. We were able to supply our Maize and other produce at very good prices because our neighbours had problems. However, as South Sudan settles, as the farmers there start to grow and as Kenya pump money in irrigation agriculture, the potential future markets for our farmers become depleted. The misfortunes of our neighbours shall not be there forever. We need to find sustainable solutions to spur growth than relying on misfortune from our neighbours. Understanding the sensitivity of these drivers of poverty reduction is key to developing sustainable solutions. If the good rains and prices due to conflicts in Sudan and drought in Kenya were the reason for two-thirds of the growth in crop income of the bottom 40 percent from 2006 to 2012, how do we celebrate when none of the two factors is anywhere near within our means of control?
The same report pointed out that we made modest gains from investment in education. I have not heard you talk about the fact that our children are faring very poorly compared to other children in the region. These are matters that ought to be addressed instead of giving the president only glossy statistics to give him the impression everything is fine when he can possibly do more to improve the situation. Ministers should be thinking and supporting the president to make better and sound decisions. Even if I disagree with the way some of the things are done, I want our government to do well. I want every Ugandan to be happy in their country.
Mwenda, you need to start talking about the equity instead of focusing on inflows and outflows only. People don’t eat statistics. They don’t eat good buildings that are cropping up in town. They believe that things will be okay against all odds. For them to complain should not be seen as evil. But I understand that in your position, walking in the corridors of state house and big companies, it is hard for you to appreciate the conditions of many Ugandans. Therefore when others stand up and speak for them, you think they ‘don’t understand anything.’
No matter how much the statistics appear good, people are struggling, companies are struggling and the economy needs further effort. We don’t have to demonize each other to move forward, we can put our heads together and exchange ideas.
Mwenda, I am concerned about your arguments because as former chief economist at World Bank Joseph Stiglitz once remarked, “What we measure affects what we do. If we have the wrong measures, we will strive for the wrong things,” With that reductionist outlook at a nation’s measure of progress, our president is likely to be fed with limited information necessary for good decision making. You people should stop celebrating that we are making gains. I don’t think now is the time to celebrate. We need to be thinking about Uganda of 2040 that will have over 100 million Ugandans. We need to be planning for the increasing number of young people completing University without jobs. These young people are very dangerous and easy to manipulate.
I am sure you know its methodological flaws. Your obsession with economic growth blurs the opportunity to appreciate development from a multidimensional and objective perspective. I would like to think that economic growth and GDP is merely a one of the analytical matrixes that we can use to get an impression of our progress. And because these measures are made to pursue policy ends, it is important we raise concerns when you the advisers take a singular approach. Andrew Mwenda, just because we are silent doesn’t mean we don’t understand!
Retweeted TUPay (@TUPayments):
@TUPayments launches new user friendly web platform to easy payments processing https://t.co/L4eRSrvibK Join today and enjoy new money.
RESPONSE TO PRESIDENT MUSEVENI’S ARTICLE ON THE RECENT BY-ELECTIONS.
Mr. President, I have read... your article dated 10th July, 2017 on the recent by-elections. I thank you for congratulating me on my victory in the Kyadondo East polls. For emphasis, it is not me who won but rather the ideas which I presented to the electorate. It was especially a victory of a people determined to get involved in how they are governed.
While I agree with some aspects of your article, I don’t agree with many of the conclusions you draw. For example, I agree that unemployment, corruption, increased levels of crime and leaders not connecting with the population are serious issues. These are not mere gaps but are grave questions of national importance which must be addressed. I am constrained to respond to some of your points, mainly three.
Firstly Mr. President, you castigate the media for covering our campaigns very widely and accuse them of not being happy when the NRM wins by-elections. In this regard you single out the New Vision. Anyone who has been to Uganda or who has followed our politics knows that this is not an accurate analysis. Rather than focus on the recent by-election, it is better for one to consider our electioneering process and politics in general. It is on record that due to direct and indirect pressure from the government, in most cases media coverage favours the NRM. Only last year, the European Union Observation Mission said this of the 2016 elections; “…the overall reporting environment was conducive to self-censorship and yielded coverage overwhelmingly in favour of the incumbent and the NRM. Thus, despite the fact that more than 300 media outlets operate in Uganda, the variety of information available across the media landscape was constrained, limiting voters’ ability to make an informed choice.”
On its part, the Supreme Court while noting that this issue has been recurrent, held that state owned media failed to give balanced coverage to all presidential candidates as required by law.
Therefore, despite the progress made with regards to media freedom, the NRM gets more coverage on a daily.
What happened in Kyadondo East was not a reflection that the media had been ‘freed’. It was partly because of the extra ordinary nature of that election that print and digital, local and international media widely covered it. Our campaign inspired the people, even beyond the constituency, because we correctly diagnosed the problems of our society, understood people’s frustrations and identified with their struggles.
In the process we were able to effectively suggest practical solutions to improve the conditions of our people. Although you would have wished to see the NRM and its candidate dominate headlines, the media should be balanced while reflecting the wishes and aspirations of the people, which is what our campaign offered. The press could not be expected to headline stale ideas which people had rejected. I therefore applaud them for rejecting intimidation and other machinations to fulfil their duty to society.
Secondly, Mr. President, in your article, you talk about the question of ideology versus biology and the role of youth in politics.
In sum, your argument is that the solution to society’s problems lies in ideas and not in the physical/ biological state of the actors. This is indeed true but my point of departure lies in so far as you seem to think that the present young people lack in ideology. You seem to suggest that the NRA/M ideology is superior and forget that as society evolves better ideas crop up and they should be given opportunity to flourish.
Even then, the NRM hasn’t fared very well with what you identify as the core principles of your ideology- patriotism, Pan-Africanism, social-economic metamorphosis and democracy. Many would agree that these are noble ideals, the problem being that the NRM prefers to constantly talk and sing about them and not practice them. Had you fully implemented them no doubt our society would be much better.
You have laboured to point out leaders who rose to positions of responsibility in their youthful years and did great harm to society. You give examples of Ssekabaka Mwanga, Ssekabaka Mutesa II, Obote, Ibingira, Amin and John Kakonge. I definitely DISAGREE on your conclusion here.
As a student of Uganda’s constitutional history, I know that the crises our society went through in the past years were caused by many factors beyond the leaders of the times. Because of constraints in time and space I will not discuss them here.
However, while it is true that correct ideology overrides biology, the biggest question is 'WHAT IDEOLOGY?’ You rightly point out that the electorate is losing interest in issues of identity of religion or tribes as basis for electing leaders. Again, rather than look at it as an achievement of your government, I think of it more as a natural result of our population demographics and their struggles. Our society is more blended today as a result of intermarriages between people from different backgrounds(I am an example). You note that 78% of our population comprises of youth. Many of them are unemployed or underemployed. The hustle for them is real. They have to make ends meet and are definitely uninterested in chauvinism of any kind. I do not want to say that you do not fully understand this but it is rather troubling how you choose to downplay it.
Our society has moved on and new issues are emerging. The generation of the 1960s and 1970s had to respond to challenges of that time and we are grateful to those of you who rose to the occasion and played a role. However, the challenges of our time require a new kind of ideology and approach.
We are talking about a generation where technology is evolving at a terrific speed. A generation which must struggle with the effects of climate change! Today’s generation has to deal with complex issues in science and technology. Young Africans must find out what economic models work best for their times and work hard to improve the living conditions of our people.
As someone who has interacted with so many of these young Ugandans, I know that they have great ideas on how to get there or at least have some idea which simply needs an enabling environment for it to blossom. I do not think that Ugandan youth or Africans generally have a gene for slowness or stupidity.
As someone who has led an African country for over three decades, you might be better placed to explain why youth on other continents are inventing and innovating useful products every day, for which we pay a lot of money.
Part of the problem has been that the NRM views money as the solution to everything in itself. Only God knows how many funds you have put in place for innovation, prosperity, etc. only for them to fail flat. In any case most of that money is lost through corruption.
We must rethink our education system. Those UPE and USE schools might not help the situation in their current state.
Now, almost all these young people were born when you were President and they unfortunately have to put up with a system which tries to respond to challenges of the 21st century using the approaches of the 20th century! Their ideas are viewed as disruptive and discomforting. They are not understood by the leaders most of whom are out of touch with the world reality.
This is why we have been saying that the government is not in touch with the people who they claim to work for. For example, every day I interact with those ‘slum dweller’ youth you talk about. (I prefer to call them GHETTO YOUTH).
Despite lack of advanced education for most of them, these are people with great ideas. They have ideas for innovation and transformation. They have a proper ideology!
But they have been left out completely.
No one listens to them. In supporting me massively, those people were just yearning for a microphone (obwogelero/obugambiro) so that they could also be heard.
They could no longer afford to see government only through its officials who drive through the ghetto in their expensive, guarded vehicles with tinted glasses, moreover paid for by tax payers.
They need a leadership which works for them.
My humble view Mr. President is that those who govern us today should first of all appreciate the fact that the TIMES HAVE CHANGED and involve young people in making decisions for their country.
This ‘lack of proper ideology argument’ has been used far too long to keep them outside.
This is a contradiction given that in the initial years of your government, most people in leadership were just over 30 years of age. Key government positions were occupied by young men and women who in their prime were able to do a lot of good things for the country.
Most Ugandans would find it unbelievable that at only 36 Suleiman Kuggundu (RIP) was Governor Bank of Uganda, Gen. Mugisha Muntu was Army Commander at 31, Dr. Kiiza Besigye was deputy minister for internal affairs and national political commissar at 30, Dr. Crispus Kiyonga was minister for finance at 34, etc.
I am mindful of the contribution of those who were slightly older and society needs both the old and the young.
Elders are capable of providing wise counsel. However, younger people with vigour and fresh ideas should be given opportunity to take the lead. Therefore rest assured that many young Ugandans are able and in fact ready to steer their country forward.
It would be better if they are given the opportunity, PEACEFULLY, and without requiring the country to go through turmoil whenever one generation has to pave way for another.
It is for this reason that I join most Ugandans to request that you stick to your promise and not tamper with the Constitution to remove the age-limit provision for presidency. The country will be grateful for your service when you retire peacefully and let a new breed of leaders with generation-relevant skills and ideas take charge of the affairs of our mother land.
I might understand that your frustration with the generation is born out of the nature of leaders you mostly interact with. Our society is unfortunately dominated by two kinds of leaders.
The first category is the hardliners whose stance is that everything about Uganda is wrong. I do not subscribe to that notion because in seeking a way forward for a better country, we must be willing to talk to each other, being aware that all of us have our failings.
The other category are those leaders who come to you only for monetary favours, whether they belong to the ruling NRM or the opposition.
As a result, many politicians are viewed as buyable and unprincipled.
Uganda today does not need these two kinds of leaders. It simply needs principled leaders who engage with respect for each other and only for the good of the country and not for their own benefit. There are very many such Ugandans. We should only give them opportunity.
Finally on the question of our supporters heckling you at Zirobwe Road junction, I hope you are aware of the events of that day. Whereas I do not condone violence or bad politics, many times our people are provoked by state agencies.
On that day my supporters were charged because we were supposed to hold our rally in Kasangati and the police decided to unlawfully block me from holding it there because you were expected in the area.
That said, Mr. President, you must also note that some of this conduct comes out of deep seated frustration and anger by the people about how they are governed. A powerless, suppressed people may heckle a Head of State simply because that’s the only opportunity they ever got to have their leader listen to them since the government is very far from them.
Many years ago you justified your going to the bush thus, "If you have a government which has closed off all other channels of peaceful change, what else could we do, except to surrender, to resign ourselves to slavery? And we couldn't do that as long as people were willing to fight."
I think that is the message you should read in those people who heckled you. Today they have no guns but many feel as oppressed as you felt in 1981. A tired people using whatever tool with in their power to express their discontent.
Hopefully we can rethink these things and all of us strive to build a better country.
As it has been put before, it’s time to focus not on the NEXT GENERAL-ELECTION but rather on the NEXT GENERATION.
Hon. Kyagulanyi Ssentamu Robert-Bobi Wine, MP- Kyadondo East