Behold –Political Cynics Don’t Seem To Rest

ampoule geneva;”>Here is a man who governed his country for over 3 decades and in spite of shrill and obstructionist voices from cynics and pessimists, about it he firmly stayed on to fulfill an important mission – Transformation of his country into a First World. I also equally dived into Government of Uganda statistics, World Bank datasets, Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) World fact book and other diverse credible data sources and there, I uncovered hugely progressive trends in Uganda’s drive to Prosperity. Indeed available data undresses Kalinaki’s lamentations and partisan insinuations. Under President Museveni, indicators of real social economic progress are clear.

For example in 1986, infant mortality was 122 for every 1,000 children born alive. Presently, it is 54 per 1,000 born alive. In 1986, the average life expectancy was 43 years of age, now it is 50.4 years for both female and male. In 1986, Uganda’s economy was a paltry US$ 0.246 billion in size, now it is US$ 20 billion (the economy has expanded more than 81 times since 1986). In 1986, tax collection was a miserable 5 billion shillings; it is now 7,000 billion shillings. In 1986, Uganda was generating only 60 MW and had a kWh per capita of 28, now Uganda has installed power capacity of 812 MW. In 1986, roads were in a pathetic state, the NRM has since done a total of 1,355 kms of new tarmac roads and repaired 1,621 kms of old tarmac roads since. In 1986, Uganda was receiving 98,405 tourists, now the country welcomes 1,151,356 tourists today. In 1986, the percentage of people below the poverty line was a whopping 56 percent of the population. Now it is 24.5 percent and sliding down. Indeed. And as you know, numbers don’t lie. Numbers are not partisan. Numbers are not emotional. Numbers are numbers – period. Of course, it is unacceptable that even one mother should die while giving birth to another life – efforts should be doubled to permanently stop this situation. But is also cardinal to show that the situation in improving. The other credible argument could be that, our government should act fast enough to harness our geometric economic growth to create rewarding jobs for our unemployed youth in Uganda’s surging population.

Perhaps, the question for Mr. Kalinaki would therefore be- do the foregoing progressive numbers tantamount to ‘rehearsed and insipid, like left-over bits from a hearty dinner’ like you write in your cynical column? Are numbers the same as partisan arguments like you seem to mislead your unsuspecting readers? Do these numbers appear to you like diminishing marginal returns? Since when did progressive indicators translate into diminishing returns? What could be the motivation of false, impassioned, highly sentimental, emotional and partisan diatribes of Kalinaki and his adherents in the wider media and politics? For example, without any measure of data, but perhaps through wishful imagination, Mr. Kalinaki asserts that ‘President Museveni’s presidency continues to shrink”! Shrink to what? Political data is all over the place- President Museveni won past elections across all regions of Uganda with an unchallenged whopping 68 percent. You can also go on and look at the 2010 and 2011 Afrobarometer opinion surveys – the Afro barometer verdict was that 78 percent of Ugandans believed that Uganda’s situation was getting better. Why are elites on radios, social media, newspapers, saunas, bars, weddings, funerals etc not talking about these facts of progress in Uganda. Much as talking about challenges (which are unfortunately usually presented as failures) is okay- I think the intellectual class in Uganda is involved in grand cherry picking of so-called NRM failures – first to feed their own biases and secondly to mobilize a shrinking base of regime change advocates in Uganda. These regime change advocates have wishful and common rehearsed attack lines that they continue to regurgitate from time to time. In the Republican Party of the United States of America, political operative Karl Rove started this self defeating practice of rehearsed attack lines -famously called zingers. Roves antics largely explain plummeting support of the Republican Party in the United States. As citizens we must continuously unzing Uganda’s version of these non data driven attack lines against progress in Uganda. So Mr. Kalinaki, I wish to remind you that the Museveni of Kaunda Suit is the same Museveni of today whose firm belief in an enduring social economic and political order through a popular and durable constitution based on principles of unity, peace, equality, democracy, social justice and progress remains undiminished. Perhaps what has changed is that he has moved from a mere ideological leader at the beginning of 1986, to a more experienced and pragmatic leader of today.


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