It is our duty as youth and all other development experts to give advice to Uganda governments, the current and future ones. What can we learn from NRM lessons? NRM has been characterized by abrupt policy decision changes without studying them carefully. NRM has also depended so much on foreign advisers mostly unfamiliar with Uganda history, complexity, culture and traditions.
1. NRM thought it would apply guerrilla strategies to run the country. The first year in power was a disaster.
2. Abruptly NRM switched from the ten point program to shock therapy stabilization and structural adjustment program (SAP) that others like Chile and Ghana were abandoning. NRM had vigorously opposed SAP under
Obote II. So NRM embarked on a program it wasn’t ready for. That explains why the program was passed on to IMF and World Bank and other donors to design and implement.
3. NRM embarked on barter trade but kicked out Ugandans that had good ideas about how it should be implemented. The outcome was a disaster.
4. Then excellent programs were designed by foreign experts like the Program on the Modernization of Agriculture, Action Plan for the Eradication of Poverty, Program on Population and Development, Presidential Initiative Against the Twin Evils of Hunger and Poverty, Wealth Creation For All Through Market-friendly Production etc. These excellent but complex programs were handed over to relatives and close friends to implement who had no clue where to start. The outcome: they were not implemented.
5. In desperation NRM launched the Five-Year Development Plan in 2009. It never saw the implementation light of day. Most copies stayed where they were printed.
Now you can see why 20 percent of Ugandans in the lowest income bracket are getting poorer. Over 10 million Ugandans go to bed hungry every night. Those who eat consume cassava and maize, explaining why many women who are malnourished produce underweight children with permanent physical and mental disabilities.
Many Ugandans are becoming insane because of excessive stress and eating too much cassava and maize without nutrient supplements. That is why the post-NRM government need to rely on Uganda qualified people in their areas of specialization. Making a medical doctor a minister of finance or foreign affairs or a veterinary doctor an ambassador to the UN is a waste. If the latter ambassador went to Rome where FAO is located it would make sense. Paris is the UN center for education. Geneva for WHO and WTO. So why post ambassadors and ministers to duties they are unqualified for? -Togikwatako
God save my country