KAMPALA – President Yoweri Museveni is hiding under the wealth creation drive to launch his 2021 political campaigns, an expert has said.
The Head of State has since May been traversing the entire country, preaching what he calls the gospel of poverty alleviation among the people, whom he accuses of sticking in the traditional subsistence agriculture, a reason he says they have remained backwards and wallowing in poverty.
But Dr Patrick Wakida, a senior researcher, says the President’s method of fighting poverty is deceptive.
“The fight to reduce poverty isn’t done politically. You must plan on how to fight poverty,” Dr Wakida told Mr Simon Kaggwa Njala during NBS TV breakfast show on Wednesday.
He added that whereas the President has the prerogative to move around the country, his method is simply wrong.
“The President has the prerogative to go around the country. What is unique about his movements is he has attached it to wealth creation. Poverty isn’t fought like that. If I was to ask the NRM people about the success of their program, can they give us statistical data to show their progress given the amount of money available to them?”
The President’s tours came amid police’s continued blockage of rallies organized by the opposition Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) party countrywide. Using the controversial Public Order Management Order (POMA) Act, police blocked FDC leaders from upcountry stations and even blocked town hall meetings. Police also blocked Bobi Wine’s music concerts, arguing that they are bound to disrupt public order.
But Dr Wakida said Mr Museveni is using the countrywide tours to get one over his opponents.
“This is aimed at either retaining those who voted for them or getting more supporters. Development should pass through a system. People in the village today are poorer than before. I’ve seen people who have been given goats and chicken but they’ve never developed wealth. What matters in a community is industrialisation and commercialisation of agriculture,” he said.
However, the Presidential advisor in charge of political affairs, Mr Moses Byaruhanga, disagreed.
Mr Byaruhanga said: “The President’s message is calling leaders to go and sensitize their people on what they should do to eradicate poverty. In the message he passes on, nothing is political about it. If we reduce our poverty levels as a country, it benefits us all.”
In May, this website reported that President Museveni is considering sacking several ministers for not doing enough to defend government programmes amid the growing popularity of Kyadondo East MP Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine.
This website obtained information that the President is increasingly concerned over the negative publicity caused to his government in the wake of growing criticism from Bobi Wine and other opposition leaders such as Dr Kizza Besigye.
However, Mr Museveni is not happy that his ministers are not doing enough to counter this opposition rhetoric. Sources close to State House have intimated to this website that the President is already scrutinizing his Cabinet with a view to kicking out those deemed unfit to march the current times.
On April 29, the President, while chairing a Cabinet at State House Entebbe, is said to have accused the ministers of looking as the Kyadondo East MP spreads what he called lies to the country.
According to sources, the President wondered why the ministers had allowed an “ambitious young man” to move around freely attacking him. He asked of what importance they have been to him “since this young boy became MP and later showed a keen interest in running for president.”
A minister, who attended the meeting but requested anonymity, saying he is not the government spokesperson, said the entire meeting fell silent as an angry Museveni “ranted” for nearly an hour on how Bobi Wine and other opposition members should not be allowed to move around the country “spreading their lies”.