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Monday 21st of April 2014 07:32:23 AM
 

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Behind Museveni’s cash handouts

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Why the president openly bribes voters at public functions and gets away with it and what can be done about it

When we had just started The Independent, a particular problem confronted me. Each time a member of staff fell ill at office and was rushed to hospital, other staff members would call me. As owner of the company, staff members consider me rich. And as managing director, I am the boss. In their subconscious mind, I am expected to assist in such cases of emergency because of my presumed wealth and also my position as their leader. By subconscious I mean those things we take for granted as “the normal way of doing things.”

Each time they called and told me what had happened, I knew instinctively what they expected of me – to contribute money. They did not need to explain the details because I am born and bred in Uganda and understand our culture and attitudes. How I helped did not matter. I could, for example, get money from my pocket (which I always did) and contribute to the emergency. Or I could have directed the accountant to get money from the company. However, I also knew “intellectually” that this was technically not my responsibility.

If such an emergency happened in a European country, I would not have been called so save the situation. As their leader, I am not supposed to pay the private medical bills of my members of staff. My responsibility would be to pay their salary, which the company does promptly every month. Neither is the company supposed to pay for their health costs – we are not required to do so under Ugandan labor laws. From a Western perspective, there is a mutually agreed employment contract and the company always met its part of the bargain.

Yet, if as MD I had ordered the accountant to use company funds to solve this emergency, no one at the company would have seen me as acting wrongly – as abusing my power. They would have seen me as acting correctly. And all our members of staff, except two, are university graduates. To resolve this dilemma, I decided to put all staff and up to four members of their family (a wife and up to three children) on medical insurance to avoid these cultural burdens.

But this has not ended the dilemma a “modernized” Ugandan like me faces. Each time a member of staff loses a loved one or is getting married, I am expected to financially contribute to funeral expenses or the wedding. Indeed, I am expected to contribute a higher sum than everyone else. Not doing so would lead to negative gossip that I am a mean and an insensitive boss. I don’t want to have such a reputation.

I bend to these expectations clearly recognizing that I live in a society with values, which give my staff specific expectations of me as their leader and as an owner of the business. Yet, I am not a politician seeking to ingratiate myself to an electorate.

This experience provides important insights into how politics in Africa, especially competitive democratic politics, creates incentives for corruption because it plays in the context of the aforementioned expectations. Politicians seeking votes become prey to the electorate.

I have interviewed and discussed such issues with elected presidents and legislators in Zambia, Ghana, Nigeria, Senegal, Cameroon, Malawi, Kenya, etc and the experience is the same. Citizens flock to the president and constituents to the home of their MP looking for all forms of assistance. Those with access to public funds can meet such private expectations at public expense (corruption). Those without power (back benchers and opposition MPs) pay for them from their private incomes.

Of course such burdens can be socialized through the State. By creating functional public health and education institutions, as Rwanda is doing, politicians can ensure that such personal burdens are handled by the government. But it takes generations to build such institutions; and voters cannot wait for such a long time. Besides, voters come with other needs – funeral and wedding expenses, building of churches and other personal needs, which cannot be socialized through State spending.

I have argued before that most of the problems we encounter in Uganda (and indeed most of Africa) are locally generated. Even demands to solve them are largely local. However, debate on the solution tends to focus on an imported solution. Often, it is a textbook theory, which was developed out of the experience of the West. I believe the major source of failure in Africa is the mismatch between demands and solutions.

For example, if a UK prime minister dished out public funds to favored voters at a rally, there would be unanimity of opinion among the British public that he has acted wrongly and he would be forced to resign. However, I suspect that the majority of the electorate in Uganda does not think that President Yoweri Museveni is acting wrongly when he indulges in similar behavior.

Ordinary citizens do not have a conception of the difference between the public funds of the State and the private finances of the President. Although this conception is growing, most of our citizens (even the educated) don’t see it as wrong for a President to use public funds to solve the personal or collective problems of certain individuals and groups in our country.

It would be wrong to assume that Museveni behaves this way because voters cannot hold him to account. Although seemingly all-powerful, there are limits to his power. This is especially so if he exercised it in opposition to our cherished beliefs. Some of these limits are imposed by societal norms. For example, the majority of Ugandans believe that homosexuality is inhuman, immoral and alien to our culture. Assuming Museveni held a progressive view that gay marriages should be legalized in Uganda. He would be reluctant to push such an agenda recognizing that the people he leads would not agree with him.

Many of the rules that govern the behavior of our public officials were transplanted to Africa through colonial conquest and/or through imitation as “best practice.” They lack organic links to our society. To make matters worse, there are hardly effective penalties for violating them; instead we see rewards for doing so. Debate in Africa needs to focus on how to design public institutions to respond to the specificity of our reality as already outlined above.

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Comments (53)Add Comment
Another catalogue of lies
written by Steven Nsubuga, November 10, 2013
Another addition to a " catalogue of lies" that 9 has piled up. Why is that every article you publish is in defense of the most archaic, bottomless, filthy and rotten behaviors of Africa's despots? I applaud panelists in this room like R. Kakyama, Opeto, M...ya Kuku and the rest who have intellectually tried to rebut your arguements. I sincerely have reached a conclusion that intellectual debates with your articles wont do nothing to retrieve your shrinking mind.
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written by Omeros, November 10, 2013
I think that this piece grants absolution to leaders that is scarcely deserved. When Museveni turns up at a function and bestows gifts, his overwhelming purpose in doing so is not to observe settled custom but rather to reinforce the perception of his own power. The performative fashion in which sacks of cash are delivered at the President's command before the master of ceremonies is a carefully choreographed display of power.
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written by Omeros, November 10, 2013
The act is intended to dazzle peasants first into a sense of awe then into feelings of gratitude after which their loyalty is bought. The practice is in truth an act of self-aggrandisement - it communicates to citizens that their welfare and livelihood depends on the President's munificence; not on the President's technocratic or managerial competence, but rather on his personal generosity - and what better way for a leader to control a citizenry than to hold it to an arrangement whereby the citizens must perpetually remain in that leader's good graces if they are to enjoy any form of benefit that in a better organised polity would be a state-administered social service.
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written by Omeros, November 10, 2013
I have long suspected that M7's political preference is for a weak state (other than in the area of defence). A weak state - one which cannot safeguard public assets - offers leaders the space vacated by bureaucratic due process to exercise broad discretion over how to distribute public goods (and, of course, to self-deal). Long ago M7 recognised that his political power was maximised in the presence of a weak civil service, weak political institutions and unreliable state and local administration.
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written by Omeros, November 10, 2013
He revels in situations where citizens and members of parliament (whether friend or foe) are reduced to petitioning him personally for aid. Because to aid them is to have bought them. From Museveni's perspective, the disincentive to bureaucratise the provision of social services is clear and that, rather than any sensitivity to customary leadership practices, accounts for the political phenomenon that is the sack of cash.
As Ugandans , We may still have a chance ......
written by pacol, November 10, 2013
So pray tell, Mr. Andrew Mwenda, what are we supposed to do about such a situation that is clearly detrimental to our nation? Are we really supposed to put up with all this ridiculous impunity, and self inflicted idiocy of our visionary leader M7? It appears that your article(s) are trying to absolve our dear leaders of all the really macabre things that they always altercated to Ugandans in full public view.
I am shocked that one can even dare fathom the audacity to put M7 and his rather primitive methods of bribing voters with sacks of money in almost good light. In the not so l recent past, from where I come from, our local chiefs were the very people who were driving communities to work hard to ensure that famine, hunger and dependency was not tolerated.
As Ugandans , We may still have a chance .....
written by pacol, November 10, 2013
In fact the chief(s) were dependent on the local population who gave them food hampers, security and sometimes shelter! (It was common for people to contribute building materials, time and labor to build houses for them.) In this regard therefore the community was directly determining its own destiny and would not tolerate any stupidity from anyone where issues that affected them directly was concerned. In other words the people where independent in mind and direction.
As Ugandans , We may still have a chance .....
written by pacol, November 10, 2013
Fast forward to 2013 almost thirty years after the great “liberation”, we have dependents (youths, drivers, all sorts of disadvantaged groups, politicians/ crooks etc) who have no idea whether they are going or coming and perpetually rush to the head of state, albeit hurdling over none existent institutions, to fight for crumbs from his table and in the process get compromised into boot licking: their sense of shame and conscience totally numbed.
What has come of the average Ugandans psyche is not an accident of history but a protracted, vindictive, deliberate process that is the creation of one man, the fountain of honor! So much so that Andrew Mwenda can recant on his own ‘principles” give monies to his staff so that they do not call him “mean”, how whimsical!
As Ugandans , We may still have a chance .....
written by pacol, November 10, 2013
Is M7’s behavior really sustainable for this country? He has wrecked the very moral fiber of a society and, I can bet my arm and a leg, the consequence will rear its ugly head very soon. In fact the worst case scenario would be a Gaddafi style exit for M7 because the peasants will only realize very soon that they cannot eat their pitch forks while they are busy killing themselves in robberies, Mutayimbwa etc .
As Ugandans , We may still have a chance .....
written by pacol, November 10, 2013
My friends all that I envisage here might not be too bad at all but may have a silver lining. The next President of Uganda (if he has already not been groomed to be an idiot ) may have a very easy ride in governing this country after all because all the foolishness of our current leaders and intellectuals like AM have advertently demonstrated. He will find an encyclopedia of very good information when entering his new home, written in black and white , the main content being how and how not to run a country including how best to avoid having an idiot in statehouse.
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written by Tina, November 10, 2013
By Nature its good to give and share but what is going on in Uganda is becoming too much each time the presidential convoy moves past you, you wonder which car is a bullion van.the money that is given at rallies in most cases is not accounted for coz the voters take as a reward and its like Govt is willingly held at ransom to give out cash. it would have been better if the money was given to organized groups like farmers and it would be better if Govt put down its foot and set up industries that benefits the whole nation.
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written by Omeros, November 10, 2013
Your twelfth paragraph would better serve the truth with the following emendations: "Ordinary NRM-voting citizens do not have a conception of the difference between the public funds of the State and the private finances of the President. Although this conception is subject to growing challenge, most of our citizens who are ruling party loyalists (even the educated) don’t see it as wrong for a President to use public funds to solve the personal or collective problems of certain individuals and groups in our country." Those who recognise the legitimacy of such a presidential prerogative are those who think they are likely to benefit from the exercise of the prerogative. Guess what group of people that would be.
IN DEFENCE OF PATRONAGE
written by OJA, November 10, 2013
This article of Andrew Mwenda attempts to defend Political Patronage system where one man is every thing at the expense of the State and its institutions. All other things are seen to be given by him and the response is supposed to be gratitude from the recipients! I'm sorry Mr Mwenda! How dare you argue like that? This is so far the lowest level you have stooped to! Somewhere you have, for instance, pointed out that Rwanda has instituted health insurance through which the government pays for what individual citizens would demand from their leaders. Doesn't ring bells to you? Leadership, Leadership. Some people are not born to be leaders but imposters by hook or crook.
IN DEFENCE OF PATRONAGE
written by OJA, November 10, 2013
Instead we should debate what causes such things. We should be denouncing the futility of UPE, USE and advocating a better education of our children (rather than such political capital building projects for few individuals); we should institute health insurance for all; we should denounce political patronage system because it is extremely immoral and dangerous which in the long run kills a nation, its growth and advancement. We should argue for serious constitutional ammendments which could change some of the immorality and sin we are witnessing. Again, we should fight off leaders who want to take "donkey years" in power to quote Prof. PLO Lumumba.
Another Kagame Advert
written by Enesra, November 11, 2013
.... keenly reading the article until I got to the point " ..... as Rwanda is doing" Then I realized I was reading one of those paid for product [Read Rwanda] placement advertorials. Andrew you can make a point without trying to milk commercial value out it. You seem more credible then.
@Omeros
written by Andrew M. Mwenda, November 11, 2013
The act is intended to dazzle peasants first into a sense of awe then into feelings of gratitude after which their loyalty is bought. The practice is in truth an act of self-aggrandisement - it communicates to citizens that their welfare and livelihood depends on the President's munificence; not on the President's technocratic or managerial competence, but rather on his personal generosity - and what better way for a leader to control a citizenry than to hold it to an arrangement whereby the citizens must perpetually remain in that leader's good graces if they are to enjoy any form of benefit that in a better organised polity would be a state-administered social service. I AGREE WITH THIS ANALYSIS 100%. THE QUESTION IS WHY M7'S DOES IT. WHY CANT OBAMA DO IT THAT WAY? OR CAMERON
@Omeros
written by Andrew M. Mwenda, November 11, 2013
Your argument above seems to recognise that there is a structural basis for Museveni's behavior and a political and psychological logic behind it.I suppose you would agree with me that Obama or Cameron cannot choose that path because the institutional and cultural context would not accept it. In Uganda this "dysfunctional" behavior builds support for Museveni, in US or UK, it would lead to regime collapse. It seems therefore that any reform of the state in Uganda has to begin by recognising the incentives that drive leaders (like Museveni) to behave that way, and therefore think of institutional innovations that discourage such behavior. To assume that a president should respect these rules out of "moral commitment" would be a delusion.
@everyone else
written by Andrew M. Mwenda, November 11, 2013
I thinik the problem with most debate in Africa is it focuses on how things should be done instead of how things are likely to be done given our very specific context of poverty and peasantry. I recently had a lengthy discussion with Raila Odinga and asked him why a Kenyan MP earns four times more than a French MP yet France's per capita income is 40 times that of Kenya. He answered by saying a Kenyan MP has more pressure on his/her personal income from constituents than a French one; and that this pressure is born of Kenya's political culture. Museveni's behavior is actually not unique to him. It is the general pattern across Africa - Nigeria, Ivory Coast, Malawi, Zambia, Senegal etc. Rather than dismiss it and reject it, we need to discuss the incentives that can minimise it.
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written by Andrew M. Mwenda, November 11, 2013
Many people do not realise that Museveni was a critic of this behavior. Why did he fall prey to it? And why should I believe that anyone else who becomes president denouncing it will not change and embrace it as Museveni has done? One reason why every change of government in Africa does not lead to change in governance is that we elites do not address these issues. We have a set of textbook solutions we discuss while out of govt and once in, find that these solutions actually are incogruent to the situation. Like Museveni, Chiluba, Raila, Rawlings etc, we accept reality and repeat the misdeeds of our predicessors. The man/woman who will change our governance is one who will not dismiss this behavior but rather explain it.
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written by Andrew M. Mwenda, November 11, 2013
You cannot change that which you do not understand. Being morally repulsed by Museveni's cash give aways is not a basis for stopping it. Understanding its roots, especilly in our history, culture and circumstances of poverty and appreciating its political value is the first step towards resolving it. Anyone who simply dismisses it as Museveni's desire for self aggrandisement sounds like Museveni to me - dismissing a fundamental aspect of our political life purely on the impulse of a misguided morality. Across Chad, Sierra Leone, Liberia, DRC, Angola, Zimbabwe, Mauritania, Togo, Gabon, Cameron, this system is the basis of politics. This dysfunctional system is actually functional for politics and I would like to hear an alternative.
The problem is even bigger!
written by Ugthinker , November 11, 2013
With handouts one would possibly understand why people don't seem to see it as a bad practice since they could be the next beneficiary. But even when Museveni at the opening of Wandegeya Market boosted of using TEARGAS which in many cases affects the very people he was talking to, people still clapped with a glee!

I was indeed disturbed by this and kind of came to a conclusion that something is fundamentally wrong in Uganda, and todate still struggling to come up with a convincing explanation for such a behaviour!
Kasiita abaagwa twawelaawo!
written by Lukumpe, November 11, 2013
By citing examples of other failing (corrupt ) African nations, Andrew reminds of someone who failed his exams and took consolance in that he was not the only one who failed'
Mr.
written by Timothy o, November 11, 2013
I agree 100% with Andrew's analysis. Alot of the comments expressed are sentimental and geared towards individuals' dislike of the act. Andrew's article in no way condones the act. The article simply gives a descriptive explanation of the root cause of the problem. We can talk and complain as much as we want about Museveni, but the reality is alot of us in our individual capacities are doing the same the things. The same applies to corruption- it's deeply rooted and tied to our African way of doing things. We must address the root or atleast understand it inorder to deal with it.
A WISE ADVICE
written by OJA, November 11, 2013
Ladies and Gentlemen and the main protagonist of our text, I invite us to a deep, soul-ful reflection on this wise- ageless advice of the biblical sage, Jesus ben Sirach, if we truly love Uganda and care about it. Let us internalise and contextualise it: "A WISE MAGISTRATE LENDS STABILITY TO HIS PEOPLE, AND A GOVERNMENT OF A PRUDENT MAN IS WELL ORDERED. AS THE PEOPLE'S JUDGE, SO ARE HIS MINISTERS; AS THE HEAD OF THE CITY, ITS INHABITANTS. A WANTON KING DESTROYS HIS PEOPLE, BUT A CITY GROWS THROUGH THE WISDOM OF ITS PRINCES" (Sirach 10,1-3)
Root Cause?
written by pacol, November 11, 2013
I think it’s erroneous to start analyzing the “root cause” of the problems being discussed here, particularly at this stage of this “benevolent “revolution. What is happening here is the symptomatic result of shear purely impunity coupled with the kind of malevolent spin doctoring that will never convince me to pussy foot over the required solution. As Africans we have or had simple morals that are a complete digression of what M7 and his clique are putting on show here. Like in most African traditions the bad apples (In whatever form) are rooted out to ensure society advances.
Root Cause.....?
written by pacol, November 11, 2013
When M7 and his group went to the bush their motivation was driven by personal sacrifice and emotion to make Uganda a better place! What we cannot and must not cede is an impostor running a country on bad principles buoyed by the fact that a few errant army officers gave him the Presidency on a silver plate( he would be with Mr. Savimbi in whatever place)!! What a horrid accident in our history. Ask M7 now if he could go back to fight himself , I bet you his lack of motivation to do so will be because he cannot stand to lose all the loot he and his Hench men have acrimoniously collected. What “root cause”? Do we need another thirty years to pretend some more?
Fear of negative gossip
written by Marvin ya Kuku, November 11, 2013
Hahahaha "A whole man fearing negative gossip" smilies/grin.gifsmilies/grin.gif
I do not know you personally and I respect your desire to contribute to your friends, employees, housegirls etc. However I find the reason why you claim to do it very sad. And Pacol really summed up this one very well. I wonder what your employees who read this and have asked for help before now think.
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written by Staff Gen. Adam Kifalisso, November 11, 2013
To sum up this all , is to say that Andrew is like m7 and m7 is like Andrew they suffer from ''Big Boss'' mentality Andrew gives out of big man mentality for fear of not being called a small mean guy and m7 gives out big man's mentality for fear of not eroding his perceived demeanour of grandeur
m7 is wasting resources and time while Andrew is wasting his free mind , it means Andrew has to accept bribes to keep up with the cost of being a big man .....we can see it now there is no question about it , Andrew advocate for minimum wages ..please and public utilities , the Buses are rotting in Namboole car park
@Tomothy
written by Andrew M. Mwenda, November 12, 2013
Tim, the problem for Africa is that we have very few people like you. All M7's critics above forget that M7 himself came to power denouncing these very practices which he has not perfected. I can site every coup leader in Africa, election winner or military victor who seized power across Africa by denouncing the very acts they ended up indulging in. At that rate, it ceases to be a personal problem of M7 but a general problem of society. The real challenge is to understand and appreciate the structural basis and political logic of this behavior - for in doing that we can begin the process of correcting it. Dismissing it as bad politics from a purely moral or sentimental standpoint is not a formula for resolving it. Thumbs up Tim.
FGM
written by Marvin ya Kuku, November 12, 2013
So if I went to the bush to fight Female Genital Mutilation and won power and then realised I cannot eradicate it easily are you suggesting I simply acquiesce and lament that after all it is africa wide and part of the continent's unique situation? I don't know why you keep thinking we don't fully understand the root causes. These things are scientific and it will take a certain amount of time. This president can half that time and expedite the process. Instead he seems to be prolonging it together with thinkers like you who want us to just "discuss and understand root causes ad infinitum" as if we are in Primary One and this is some challenging rocket science course
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written by Staff Gen. Adam Kifalisso, November 12, 2013
I want to assure Andrew, that the so called root causes should not be the ones to blame , personal habits and weaknesses should not be imposed on the society by its rulers . Corruption and armed robbery could be some m7's hobbies that he has instilled on the people of Uganda but that does not mean we should blame the society , we must formulate laws that do not allow individuals to instil their weaknesses onto the society , that is why we should have independent political platform accessed by all in person or through representative , that is civilisation so lets debate
Then what would be Mwenda's solutions?
written by Rajab Kakyama, November 12, 2013
I largely agree to Mwenda's conclusion that, "Many of the rules that govern the behavior of our public officials were transplanted to Africa through colonial conquest and/or through imitation as “best practice.” They lack organic links to our society. To make matters worse, there are hardly effective penalties for violating them; instead we see rewards for doing so. Debate in Africa needs to focus on how to design public institutions to respond to the specificity of our reality as already outlined above." My logic will be that, if many of African problems are just transplanted from colonial conquest, what would be wrong with receiving "Western transplanted prescriptions" for solutions? Just asking.

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written by OJA, November 12, 2013
Mr Andrew, you have lied. You have never quoted Thomas Sankara, the great and only true revolutionary who reduced his monthly salary to 450 Dollars saying that he didn't want to live in a life of opulence whereas his country folks were wallowing in poverty. It was Sankara, a coup leader who, within three years of his reign built the first railway in Burkina Faso. It was Thomas Sankara under whose charismatic revolutionary leadership when Burkina Faso achieved self-sufficiency in food production. This and many other revolutionary deeds of Sankara were the things which moved his adversaries, beginning with Francois Mitterand (the then French president) to kill him, because Sankara's virtues as a true coup, revolutionary leader were going to change Africa. Don't defend Museveni!!!
@Rajab Kakyama
written by Andrew M. Mwenda, November 13, 2013
Rajab, your last input has taken my notice. There are no solutions Africa can derive from the European experience but there many lessons we africans can draw from the european experience for the design of our own institutions taking into consideration our social structure and the incentives it creates on politicians and other public officials. This is the conversation Africa needs. M7 came denouncing the very practices he indulges in today. And M7 is not alone. I can site over 100 African leaders in his shoes. His behavior is not an aberation. Rather than dismiss it, we need to understand it. It is then and only then that we can debate a cure.
@Marvin ya kuku
written by Andrew M. Mwenda, November 13, 2013
My brother, you see i agree with you that on your allegory. The problem is that so many african leaders have come to power denouncing these practices and ended up indulging them. That is a moment to pause and reflect, not to shout and condemn
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written by Musinguzi, November 13, 2013
The problem we have here is that many rulers rise to positions of authority (irrespective of what they say) really to fight poverty in their families. That is why they steal whatever they lay their hands on. Even those that appear rich are so afraid of poverty and its debilitating effects. What our politicians say and do are not correlated. Indeed, AM indicated that M7 preaches against western interests while back doors, he is holding Ugandans down to be raped by the same people he abuses publicly. AM seems to say this is indeed Africa-wide.
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written by Musinguzi, November 13, 2013
It is fair to say that M7 (and many third world leaders) are not pro-people but use them to serve their own personal gains to run away from poverty. I think the root cause, and I am only thinking, is rooted in the fact that we have little or no social protection at all-no health insurance when you fall ill, no proper roads, no functional public transport etc. To survive in this part of the world, you have to do whatever you can to have your own car and a big one that can withstand potholes, money for a private clinic etc.
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written by Musinguzi, November 13, 2013
With these fears you witness rulers in Africa racing against time to lay their hands on resources before the next ruler comes to do the same. Irrespective of what they say therefore, it looks like the conditioning factor working on them are quite similar-family poverty alleviation. I think once they practice this for long, it become a way of life and even fear to go outside government to fend for themselves. This might explain why the rich continue to steal because it has become a norm, a way of life and why we see defections to bad governments and entrenchment their of
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written by Musinguzi, November 13, 2013
If this argument is true, it would seem to me that Africa will have to start working on its social support structures to create confidence among its people of social protection in order to mitigate public resource plunder among coming generations; create situations that allow leaders like PK to arise to the occasion who can create environments hostile to public looting irrespective of the hostilities they will suffer for doing the right thing, followed immediately by creation of locally appropriate institutions to implement and enforce the standards and
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written by Musinguzi, November 13, 2013
most importantly, agree on a minimum nationalism curriculum because most , if not all, of us are unaware of where the country should go and how to get there. Nationalism forces one to look at themselves as a special brand that has to be nurtured and promoted even when it is faultering, instead of dashing for this brands today and that one tomorrow; all of which are foreign. With this lack of sense of purpose of why Uganda exists as a brand,we end up as confused and directionless as we are. Nike will never try to be adidas, even if adidas sold as a hot cake!
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written by Musinguzi, November 13, 2013
I forgot to add that weak, war-prone states in Africa have also encouraged (not an excuse for the corrupt) even those who have enough to live off on the continent to steal so they can send their children and loved ones to Europe. Building of strong, viable states that are able to pretect their borders and provide for their people, must be part of the long term solutions. just my raw thoughts
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written by winnie, November 13, 2013
Let me 1st apologize to Muhoozi since he the commander of SFG. the other day i was so excited when i saw the presidential convoy i got out of my car and saluted the other time i flickered my lights for the convoy(i flashed my car lights as a sign of greeting) my pals told me it was bad so am sorry.
Adam and Nsubuga
written by winnie, November 13, 2013
The likes of Nsubuga Steven cant debate how do you expect someone whose ancestors sold Uganda for avocado and mapeera to say anything wise? Its now Xmas season so the spirit of giving is perfectly in order even the bible says give and more shall be added unto you.Adam, my English is better than Nambooze and Ssemujju's combined at least for me i have never addressed the speaker of parliament as Madam,Sir,Mr honorable
Mr
written by kabayekka, November 13, 2013
One reckons the NRM national constitution prescribes to its President to make out this type of handouts. Such is the fundamental change that was promised to the people of this country.
Only 2 people speak sense here
written by Kennedy Maridadi, November 13, 2013
We few who are left with perception are now an endangered species and if you no longer see me in your beloved column, know that I have gone underground. Unbelievably, only Winnie and AM speak some degree of sense independent of white-man's influence. If you cannot see it, I don't blame you; times are hard and only we the best ;who are fast exiting are going with a lot of pity and grief. The greatest poisoner of humanity and who will answer for his criminal act alongside Eve is the Computer inventor. IT has spoiled this world and humanity along so fast that all users have become in a very short period, veggies. WINNIE KEEP UP YOUR SANITY AND HOPEFULLY .......
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written by Kennedy Maridadi, November 13, 2013
Problem of non-perceivers is that M7 and AM are so far ahead of other folk that it becomes difficult to wait and teach them that all this they criticise is done with their best interests in mind. In time and space the Kakyamas, Adam and other folk in their calibre will be celebrating after seeing my point. As of now they are still primary stage. If we continued to listen to them, we would not have discovered oil.... though we shall share its proceeds with them...or isn;t it so Winnie?
@Kennedy
written by Omeros, November 13, 2013
"Problem of non-perceivers is that M7 and AM are so far ahead of other folk that it becomes difficult to wait and teach them that all this they criticise is done with their best interests in mind. In time and space the Kakyamas, Adam and other folk in their calibre will be celebrating after seeing my point. As of now they are still primary stage. If we continued to listen to them, we would not have discovered oil.... though we shall share its proceeds with them...or isn;t it so Winnie?" The idea that people would agree with us if only they were more intelligent owes more to self-love than a serious thought.
Kennedy
written by Omeros, November 13, 2013
Enjoy life underground. smilies/tongue.gif
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written by Omeros, November 14, 2013
'All M7's critics above forget that M7 himself came to power denouncing these very practices which he has not perfected.' I suspect that nearly all of M7's critics are maddened to distraction by his political manoeuvres not because they are amnesiacs but precisely because they remember a person who talked a language of 'fundamental change'.
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written by Omeros, November 14, 2013
Most of M7's critics are not political naifs and moral simpletons as you condescendingly claim. They appreciate full well that a political logic underlies the NRM mode of government but they do not respect that logic. That elites for the most part reject the M7 MO is a cause for optimism rather than head-shaking scorn. Their resistance is one strand of a politics of opposition. The economic liberalism that they espouse runs counter to the rent-seeking culture that the NRM embodies. M7 should fear the growth of a financially autonomous class of citizens. They are the seeds of his ruin.
Just Another Weekly Yarn
written by Ocheto, November 14, 2013
There is nothing wrong with someone being compassionate and helpful to the less fortunate. This is a universal virtue. But the notion that a leader of a country would directly distribute cash from the national coffers on a whim is patently immoral, wrong, illegal and corrupt. Whose money is he distributing in this way? Presumably it is the taxpayers' money? Did he get it through legal (constitutional) means? In Museveni’s case, absolutely not. He does this with impunity because he an absolute ruler beyond sanction. Mwenda where do get away with running a multimillion company without providing basic benefits for your employees? Are there no labor laws in the country anymore?
Just Another Weekly Yarn
written by Ocheto, November 14, 2013
What Mwenda and Museveni’s reprehensible actions, cloaked in sympathetic gestures of cash offers demonstrate is a total lack of ethos or respect of Ugandan laws and a breakdown societal norms. Museveni’s venal actions are the cause rather than effect of a runaway corruption in the society. There is nothing African public impropriety. There should not be any surprise when international donors withhold their financial support? But the biggest falsehood in this is week’s yarn is the claim that Museveni rebelled because he was anti- corruption. Nowhere has he ever said or implied so. He’s always maintained that he went to the bush because the elections were rigged but not that the government was corrupt because even he knows it was not.
Shout and condemn VS pause and reflect
written by Marvin ya Kuku, November 15, 2013
If you agree with the general sad picture but chose to "pause and reflect" then that is your choice. Many others here have chosen to shout and condemn and from this small sample I can state quite confidently many of the sane citizens of Ug would do the same. The time for soft action in Africa is over. These days it is time for strong decisive actions like shouting and condemning. Not even tear gas can stop strong actions!

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