The attrition rate of Uganda’s members of parliament is close to 60% and analytically it keeps on increasing . This is a wake up call to 11th Parliament to cause self evaluation and lay a strategic planning to make sure 11th Parliament becomes pro people Parliament and considering socio- economic welfare of Ugandan Citizenry first before others. The 11th Parliament under auspices of Speaker and his Deputy must over see Legislation, oversight, representation and budget approvals are in Consonance and geared towards socio-economic transformation of Uganda to middle income economy. The new appointed ministers must have learnt something that befell most of their predecessors as voters refused to vote them again. Voters believe that one being appointed a minister gives him or her an added advantage to be on forefront to lobby government programs destined to economically empower voters and is well positioned to make oversight of government programs to reach targeted recipients and equally generate and implement government policies aimed to impact and touch lives of citizens. Ministers moving in air conditioned cars with security lead cars is immaterial to their welfare. Therefore, Leadership is all about service to people not self aggrandisement.
Suffice to say, I got a chance to be in campaign trail in the last electioneering period, one would be greeted with skyrocketed youth unemployment, household poverty, poor service delivery like poor roads, lack of clean and safe water, poor roads, decline of UPE / USE schools , lack of medicines and staff absenteeism in Health Centres . The voters would not be even interested in listening to ideas of candidates but would wait impatiently for him or her to dash out ” Sanitizer” ( hand outs) . This was because they felt they had been duped for so long and had lost hope in every leader. They took electioneering period as ” revenge time” towards their selfish leaders. They repositioned themselves as if were going to vote them again so that candidates would dish out money but with ulterior motive to vote them out and replace them with new comers. Therefore, it’s a wake up call to 11th Parliament and District local Leadership to learn something and not forget anything. The 11th Parliament and respective District local Leadership must work together to cause socio-economic transformation of Uganda if they are to be pro people and pro development. The newly appointed ministers must not repeat mistakes of their predecessors but generate policies and cause solid oversight in their line ministries so that government programs reach targeted recipients and equally cause due accountability of government funds. The 11th Parliament and District Leadership must have ideological purity and revolutionary spirit.
The 11th Parliament cannot cause socio-economic transformation in isolation. It must partner with respective District local Leadership. This is because government decentralisation policy channels alot of money to Districts and therefore, Members of 11th Parliament must give oversight role on how these funds impact lives of people at grassroot. Members of parliament must liase with local Leadership to oversee government programs like UPE & USE Schools, functioning of Health Centres , how the road machinery at the district is opening up and maintaining community access roads. This must be seen done. The oratory skills on floor of parliament must be supplemented with actions on ground/ in Constituency. The local woman and youth at Village level are not interested in erudite submissions on floor of Parliament by their members of parliament . Their dream and prayer is to see their lives changing to a better level.
Pertinent to say, many good government programs have been generated to cause Citizenry economic empowerment like Youthlivelihood fund , Operation Wealth Creation,Youth re-Skilling Project, Emyooga Fund and of recently Parish Model Project. Some of these projects have not caused grassroot impact because leaders don’t expound them well to Citizenry and even lack supervision by our leaders leaving technocrats to do work irresponsibly. It’s a wake up call to 11th Parliament and District local Leadership to solidly supervise these government programs to fight household poverty.
Notably, it must be observed that poverty is a mental disease and to be diagnosed well, one begins with mindset change of person i.e making it production and innovation oriented. Conversely, our leaders are rarely seen causing baranzas in communities, using Radios / TVS talking to citizens about how to fight household poverty. They have detached themselves from ordinary Citizenry only to appear in electioneering period looking for votes. Thus, to cause Socio-economic transformation of Uganda, our leaders must be pro people and revive revolutionary spirit of NRA / NRM revolution.
We must salute H.E Museveni who has single-handedly promoted economic gospel of increasing household income by encouraging Four Acre model system. We are convinced if all our leaders had same gusto like H.E Museveni in promoting Citizenry economic empowerment, the dream of making Uganda middle income economy would be achieved. Uganda voters have witnessed visionary leadership in H.E Museveni and keep voting him again where as they keep voting out his Ministers and members of parliament because they see difference in their performance. The 11th Parliament must cover this vacuum because 7th, 8th, 9th and 10th parliaments failed terribly to cause socio-economic transformation of Uganda despite good government policies on paper.
The opposition members of Parliament in 11th Parliament and even opposition leaders at District , Subcounty/ Division and parish levels must change their Leadership modus operandi of believing that a good opposition leader is one that invests alot of energy in talking ill all time about government and it’s programs. Talking ill about government does not economically empower your voters. The voters want leaders who lobby/ supervise government programs and expound to them the required paperwork needed to access certain development packages. For example, your students in your Constituency need to know what is required to access Student government loans, the youth want to know how to access Emyooga funds, your farmers want packages of Operation Wealth Creation . Thus, most of our opposition leaders have become a liability to their Constituencies. They believe people voted them to talk ill about government only. No wonder , they have not also equally escaped the trend of getting voted out. Therefore, 11th Parliament especially Opposition side must play pivotal role to approve budgets intended to economically empower Citizenry, explain those programs to people and go further to cause oversight of these programs so that funds are not swindled and if it means , the culprits must face wrath of long arm of law.By that, opposition gives solid checks and balances to the ruling government.
In the last campaigns, every Candidate must have observed Youth unemployment as a real problem . Thus, it’s an exigent issue on national agenda to be tackled . Many interventions can be done including re-designing Education curriculum to be more practical and innovative, re-skilling youth vis -as-vis their areas of interest ,Talent development strategies, causing mindset change to embrace technical education. It’s cardinal duty of leaders to demystify false thinking that technical education is for academic failures where as it gives opportunity to graduates to get hands on skills and be more job creators than job seekers. The government continues to pump alot of money in technical education but it’s under -utilised by fallacious thinking of Ugandans. Therefore, 11th Parliament must approve more funds going to technical education and at the same elucidating the role of technical education in checking skyrocketed youth unemployment in the country. Countries like Malaysia, China, South Korea and Singapore have achieved socio-economic transformation because they embraced vocationalisation of Education to check youth unemployment. 11th Parliament must borrow a leaf.
The 11th Parliament and District local Leadership must be on forefront to promote ” Go back to land policy”. It has been statistically observed that 68% of our population is in subsistence Agriculture which shows that majority of Ugandans are impoverished . As Che Guevara said ” if you want to cause revolution; educate masses.”. It’s Patriotic duty of 11th Parliament to allocate a bigger budget to Agriculture sector to promote commercialised Agriculture knowing that over 70% of our population is employed in Agriculture. One doesn’t need to be a poverty alleviation expert to know that if our Agriculture sector is improved and supported , household incomes will increase, unemployment checked and will have an impact on Citizenry economic empowerment especially women hence causing Socio-economic transformation.
Notably, 11th Parliament will approve budgets to sectors intended to cause socio-economic transformation in the country but there is a serious need to make sure that public funds are not swindled. The Parliament sub committees mandated to over see the right usage of public funds and due accountability of public funds must do it’s duty deligently. 11th Parliament must generate mechanisms of neutralising Corruption in Uganda. Socio – economic transformation cannot be achieved when there is corruption. Countries like Singapore, Malaysia, South Korea we’re able to achieve socio-economic transformation because they won the war of fighting corruption. Draconian measures we’re set up to check recalcitrant behaviour vis -as-vis corrupt behaviour. The political will to fight corruption plays domineering role in total elimination of corruption in Uganda.
11th Parliament in partnership with respective District local Leadership must provide solid supervision of Uganda’s Civil service. There is enough overtone of undedicated and unpatriotic civil service. Staff absenteeism, embezzlement of public funds by civil servants continue to curtail socio-economic transformation destiny of Uganda. A case in point is that good supervision of schools will not make Teachers to absent themselves, Health workers will not absent themselves and even steal government drugs, road contractors will not do shoddy work and even government programs will reach targeted recipients. Admittedly, government programs have failed to impact lives of Citizenry because of lack of solid supervision by our leadership. 11th Parliament must cover this Leadership vacuum.
Needless to say, 11th Parliament must demystify voters’ thinking that the role of M.PS is to attend weddings, burials and fundraisings. It must be on forefront to elucidate stated roles of members of parliament as enshrined in our Country’s document- Constitution. If the 11th Parliament does not neutralise this false common thinking about roles of M.PS , our M.PS will continue getting pre-occupied with these unconstitutional responsibilities which will resultantly affect their performance scorecard and socio-economic transformation dream of Uganda.
It would be wrong to wholesomely assert that to cause socio-economic transformation of Uganda should be entirely left to 11th Parliament and respective District local Leadership. It’s practically impossible. Every Ugandan must be on board and be an agent of change one wishes to see in Uganda. It all begins from our family. A family is a nucleus of nation. As parents; how do we nurture our children? . Our children must grow up embracing work values, schools must nurture learners who appreciate work and be innovative and impart life skills that make them compete in labour market at both national and international levels. In nutshell, parents, Teachers ,leaders and church / mosque/ministers/ Sheikhs must all cause a mindset change of citzenry that is pro production and innovation. This status-quo lays a fertile ground for socio-economic transformation of Uganda.
In inference, our national dream to cause Socio-economic transformation of Uganda is premised on Selfless, Patriotic and transformative Leadership, mindset change of citzenry to be production and innovation oriented, Selfless , dedicated, Patriotic and non- incorruptible civil service and solid parenting to nurture a generation that embraces work values and ready to patriotically serve it’s nation. Notably, 11th Parliament plays a domineering role in causing socio-economic transformation of Uganda. It’ acts as a “Central roof pole” in this national exigent need between 2021- 2026.
Igambirine III Hillary
A Patriotic Ugandan.