Deputy government spokesperson Col Shaban Bantariza suggests that President Yoweri Museveni’s 30 years in power can be too short depending on what he still wants to achieve.
In his article titled: “30 years too long and too short” published by Uganda Media Centre, Bantariza cites the inherited social, economic, security and political history of Uganda, and the achievements so far made, to justify why the NRM should continue.
This, he says, will help the ruling party consolidate and achieve more for Uganda, together with Ugandans.
“Without taking any political partisan positions, it is worthwhile to look at socio-economic development and the subsequent socio-economic transformation, and look at society from a holistic perspective, so that time alone is not the principle factor in the determination of society’s journey to its collective, desired destiny,” he writes.
For example, he states, the economic infrastructure like electric power, good roads for transport, telecommunications, do play a pivotal role in a country’s economic development.
Another important factor he cited was the social infrastructure like schools for education, hospitals and health centers for the good of the people etc.
“And yet, people can be fairly rich, quite healthy, and yet remain vulnerable on their journey to their necessary transformation, which level of social economic and political transformation, is a fundamental determinant for the harmonious, consistent and sustainable steps to a society’s collective desired destiny.”
He gave an example Libya during Col. Muammar Gaddafi’s tenure saying even the rebels were fighting on first class paved roads, using brand new land cruiser pickups for their guns and rocket launchers.
Libyans had what they needed materially, financially; they had a health for all system, education for all, and family transport was guaranteed by the state, just like Housing for all, Bantariza suggest.
He said the over 50 years Libyans had had to get to where they were, was apparently not enough for them to be described as a transformed society.
“I happened to see one of the fighters on television claiming that they were fighting because they were “tired” of sending their children to Europe for studies! Not because they could not afford, but they were “tired” of AFFORDING fees!”
He adds: “Just like here, you will hear people say that they are “tired”! Bakoowu-in our vernacular! Ask them. Are they tired of peace and security for 30 years, single digit inflation rate, over 70% access to clean water, literacy rate of 75%, good roads, more electricity than we can consume etc. Those opposed to the NRM, want it out of power yesterday! To do what?”
Bantariza says in a country where people still admit being cannibals, jump onto taxis to go to pastor Kakande and get saved, where people live as “a tourist attraction” in the Rwenzori mountains; it is not enough to say that 20-30 or 50 years is enough for a political party or government to holistically transform society from economic, cultural, social and ideological “poverty”.
And the reason why some see the 30 years of NRM governance as being too long, in Bantariza’s view, is not because people don’t see and appreciate the achievements made by Ugandans together with their government.
He says the difference comes from failure to have commonality of a National Vision 2040 citing a common analysis of the journey to socio-economic transformation.
“Who are we as a people, where have we come from, where are we today, what pitfalls did we hit along the way, where do we exactly want to go in the next so many years, and how can we safely get there by avoiding the pitfalls that hit us along our past journey”!
He concludes: “30 years can be too long, or too short, since “what to do determine the time frame”.”