Uganda Elections 2006: The Road to Democracy, Prosperity in Uganda- The UPC AGenda
UPC rolls out its agenda.
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First published: December 30, 2005
(Details Got verbatim from the party)
The UPC reiterates its position that the NRM government has never had any intention of creating a truly democratic political environment in Uganda.
Throughout its 20 years of rule, it spanned a stream of lies and empty promises to justify its continued stay in power every time the nation puts forward pertinent demands for genuine democracy.
It created an oligarchy in Uganda, a state of rule where policy issues are evolved and pronounced by and around the person of President Museveni.
The nation has been torn to shreds by civil strife covering a significant portion of the country for most of the 20 years of the NRM rule. Throughout this period, many Ugandans have lived in traumatic conditions in camps that lack the most basic security, social and other services and therefore have no appreciation of the role of government.
The UPC government will establish a transparent mechanism for the review and enhancement of the electoral systems, the management of justice and the rule of law and good governance. It will specifically address itself to eradicating the existing corruption and lack of accountability.
It will also take all the necessary steps to end civil strife in the country and to return it to deserving peace, tranquillity and prosperity. We shall immediately put in place a Truth and Reconciliation Commission to bring about speedy reconciliation and an everlasting peace in the country.
We will redefine and rationalize the roles of all the security agencies, including the army, police, prisons and intelligence organizations; and establish and implement a framework for ensuring their accountability.
Over the last two decades, the bulk of the Ugandan economy has served only a few high ranking officials in the ethno-centric NRM Government. The status quo has prevailed while the bulk of Ugandans in both the urban and rural areas live in abject poverty. National statistics indicate that the level of poverty has worsened and that currently, nearly 40 percent of Uganda’s population (over 65 percent in northern Uganda) live below the poverty line.
The per capita Gross Domestic Product has stagnated at approximately $300. Yet over the 20 years of the NRM, Uganda’s external debt burden has risen from $1.2 billion in 1986 to over $ 4.5 billion. It is estimated that, in the same period, Uganda has received grants amounting to $ 16 billion.
The President’s Office and the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development seem to be responsible for both the planning and implementation of government programs while, the National Planning Authority which according to the Constitution is responsible for planning, has been deliberately starved of resources and has never been effective.
The result is that government planning and policy formulation and evolution are at best ad hoc and at worst non-existent. The UPC government will re-establish discipline in the evolution and financing of government programs.
The planning function, which evolves evidence-based development plans, will be empowered and separated from the financial management and implementation functions. Other agencies of Government, including ministries, the Central Bank, the Uganda Bureau of Statistics and Uganda Revenue Authority, will be strengthened to play clearly defined roles.
The UPC government will also facilitate the private sector to play its business role as a key partner in national development. The government, on its part, will focus mainly on standard setting, regulation, monitoring and evaluation.
Under the NRM government, the health sector has suffered the most brutal damages. For over 20 years, while the population of Uganda has more than doubled, there has been no increase in infrastructure development necessary to provide services to Ugandans as the last batch of hospitals were built by the UPC government in the 1960s.
Hospitals lack equipment, sufficient staff and recurrent expenditure to provide services effectively. As a result, there are no drugs; patients sleep on floors and medical staff are demoralized. It is not therefore surprising as political leaders and senior public servants have lost confidence and interest in their own medical services and instead prefer to be flown abroad with their families for medical treatment at taxpayers’ expense.
The education sector has seen the decline of standards in the government - aided institutions of learning. These institutions have been starved of educational resources and their infrastructure deteriorated forcing teachers to move to greener pastures. The quality of graduates at all levels is not able to effectively service the country.
The UPC government will strengthen the delivery of health services by providing more resources for the rehabilitation and re-construction of infrastructure required for the medical and education services.
It will also review the policy environment to clearly articulate the roles and responsibility of government and the private sector.
The UPC government will confine itself mainly to standard setting, regulation, monitoring and evaluation while empowering the private sector to fully play its role.
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First published: December 30, 2005
Gerald Rulekere is a Journalist and member of Ultimate Media Consult. He has written and published extensively on business and gender issues and been writing for Ultimate Media Consult (U) Ltd for the last two years. A professional and graduate journalist, Rulekere is always looking for an opportunity to better his writing especially for international media.