Blaming MP for Poverty is dishonesty

While northern Uganda has totally transformed through its twenty years of conflict experience, clearly, Museveni’s scheme for the North has not changed even one bit. His intentions to grab land, enslave the people on plantations, and subjugate northerners, are revealing.

Many people, including Kilak County MP, Gilbert Olanya, were shocked when the President blamed the MP for causing poverty in Amuru (DM, July 23, 2015). Hon Olanya was probably 8 years old when the NRM came to power in 1986. He was there when cattle rustlers ransacked Amuru. Probably, he was one of the survivors of internment or abduction by LRA. To grow up in conflict and become an MP, Olanya demonstrated unimaginable resilience. He emerged from the traumatic upbringing in which threats of death, deprivation and humiliating poverty dominated his formative years. The experiences of poverty and a desire for social justice are probably Hon. Olanya’s inspirations.

Typical as Amama Mbabazi said, the President excels at apportioning blames to others, for his pitiful failures.

I have always wanted to write a book titled, “The 10 Commandments of Failures” that explores the collapse of the NRM’s 10-points program. The failures of those programs would reveal the duplicitous nature of NRM and its leaders. One of the highlights of the NRM’s botched promises was the promise to transform Uganda from a pre-industrial society (primitive) to industrialized nation with modern manufacturing (advanced modes of production). Over the years, we have heard about programs like “Modernization of Agriculture”, “Rural Electrification”, “Wealth for All”, “Operation Creating Wealth”, etc. For all purposes and intents, the living conditions in the countryside have regressed even with these programs. People are still poor that they confirm a decline in human civilization.  Instead, we have de-industrialized, and now exporting human labour to Saudi Arabia!

The pervasive nature of poverty in the countryside is embarrassing such that some NRM MPs just wail over it.  In Mawokota, Hon. Amelia Kyambadde felt dizzy one day and sobbed uncontrollably when confronted with the ugliness of rural poverty. Mawokota, like the other 250 plus constituencies, that elects NRM, endures humiliating poverty with broken down social services, a as Amuru and areas that are pro-Opposition. Ms Kyambadde wondered why her government’s efforts were not materializing for her constituents.

Moreover, Mawokota constituency is in Buganda – a place that was peaceful since 1986. The South and Western Uganda have been economically productive since 1986. People lived in their homes, cultivated their gardens, educated their children, and voted for their government that brought sleet at 99% rate. They are still poor, deprived, and disenfranchised. This story is constant everywhere, even in places like Bunyoro, Toro, Busoga, Ankore and Kigezi where the NRM scores over 90% at elections. Adverse poverty beckons viciously at every ordinary Ugandan alike.

In contrast, North and Eastern parts of Uganda that suffered war of attrition for twenty years, remained unproductive, and will remain so for quite a bit. First, the cattle rustling broke their economic backbone. Then the indiscriminate bombing of villages that led to Mass displacement and subsequent internment of the entire population. Now we hear that nearly 1.5million lives were lost in the 20 years. There could be more, but the regions lost majority of its productive middle-aged population that will take a minimum of 50 years to reconstitute. After the war, northern Uganda was reduced to post slave trade era Africa. The survivors were weaklings that became dependent on handouts from benevolent foreigners. Now the President exploits this fragility with brown envelops and mockery.

The tragedies of Northern Uganda are too fresh in our minds to contort it as if we are referring to distant French revolution. The current generations of youths who are now of voting age, are first generation survivors of the policies of acrimony pursued viciously by the Museveni’s regime that made every ordinary Ugandan poor. Blaming the MP for poverty in Amuru is dishonesty.

Mr. Komakech is a social critic, and political analyst based in Toronto, Canada. Can contact via