By: Mpuuga Mathias (MP).
LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION IN PARLIAMENT
This day reminds us as a country of the struggles and sacrifices that our founders made eventually leading to the departure of the colonial masters and Uganda’s declaration of independence on 9th October 1962.
The 61-year journey has been mostly disappointing for the citizens. It reminds us of the major failings of our emergency from the colonial state. Our forefathers who fought for Uganda’s independence envisaged a country in which Ugandans had total control and a better working of the state from what the colonialists left.
Unfortunately, we have fallen short due to 3 major failings.
*1. Our democracy has failed to evolve.* It was hoped that independence would give our people a true democracy where the rights of every citizen are respected. This hope died with the abrogation of the 1962 Constitution following the 1966 crisis. The drafting of the 1995 Constitution gave the country a new opportunity to have consensus on how they wished to be governed.
Unfortunately, the events that followed like the removal of the presidential term limits dealt a major blow to our country’s democratisation process. Our democracy is still a casino; we are gambling and the future is very uncertain.
*2. Sharing of the country’s national resources.*
The sharing of national resources is skewed towards those with power but nothing for the contributing communities and regions. The communities that are contributing to our development are marginalized and condemned to poor services in education, health and roads etc. The state has abdicated its duty towards the people. If we had an agreed formula for the sharing of resources, we would have stopped these inefficiencies in service delivery.
*3. Devolution of powers*
Part of the failure in service delivery is because power is concentrated in the hands of a small group. After 61 years, we should develop and agree on a mechanism to disentangle power from the centre to the regions. Our failure to agree on a political formula on power sharing is a recipe for disaster. We should rethink our politics and how we transition from one group to another.
For God and My Country.