Why NRM has stayed in power for so long when it is very unpopular among Ugandans (the economy is flat) is because it has helped to promote foreign interests.
1. It helped defeat Obote two government that was listed as socialist that Western powers wouldn’t tolerate.
2. It helped creating conditions for experimenting with shock therapy version of structural adjustment program that was being rejected in many countries including Chile, Ghana and later Russia under Yelsin.
3. Helping in the fight against terrorism
4. Currently helping fight population growth while other countries are actually encouraging or promoting population growth.
NRM believes that when the development partners are happy, it will stay in power regardless. In return, most donors have pumped too much money that is not helping the poor as intended and NRM can’t be held accountable because it is a deal.