Your Excellency, since you were sworn as the new president of the republic of Uganda, one thing has been on your mind – transforming Uganda into a middle-income country by 2020.
The year 2020 is four years away, how do you plan to achieve this your Excellency? For countries like Singapore to achieve this status, one of the key things Mr. Lee did was to keep the government small, efficient and honest.
From what I see on ground, the doubting spirit has never attacked me like this before.
You dear president have created 116 districts. That means a lot of money is going to be spent in administrative costs, you have 78 cabinet ministers- more administrative costs, 427 members of parliament -more administrative costs. I am yet to hear this parliament discuss better healthcare, better education, but rather are preoccupied with more salaries and more allowances.
The current state of hospitals – many districts do not have a referral hospital, no ambulance, and no medicine. I would be interested in knowing what magic wand you are going to wave in the next 4 years. Your government decentralized medical services hence the existence of health centres at all levels. That on the onset looks like a good move your Excellency but these health centres have been taken over by donors. Think of one health centre – Mulanda HC in Tororo district, family planning services are offered by Maries stopes, AHF Uganda cares offers HIV care and treatment, World Vision supplies malaria drugs – Baylor too is there. Yet, there are countless big Toyota cars at the Ministry of Health with red numbers.
The current state of schools – Your Excellency, education in this country belongs to the rich. A Primary one child in a private school pays 1.2 million in school fees. That means your teachers, policemen, government doctors, nurses cannot afford to send their kids to these schools. Yes, I am aware that there is Universal Primary Education. Just tell me one of your ministers whose child goes to a UPE school just one.
The transport system – During the campaigns you boasted of your government increasing paved tarmac roads from 3,000 km to 4,000km between 2011 and 2015 but then this is borrowed money we are talking about. I wish this borrowed money was spent on infrastructure that was going to last many years. But no, roads like the one from Mbale to Soroti will soon give way yet it is a new road, whoever was contracted to construct that road, did a bad job. Do you have any plans to introduce transport options like trams that first world countries use? The traffic jam in Kampala is crazy, more Ugandans buy second hand Japan cars to escape the madness that comes with public transport not because they are rich, but because the public transport in Uganda sucks. Funny thing is your ministers always have police to clear the traffic. If they sat in traffic for an hour they would probably use that hour to plan polices to move for better roads.
Accommodation – Getting a decent house in Kampala with running water, electricity and in a fence where you won’t fear Kifesi attacking in the middle of the night, you will have to part with not less than 500,000 Uganda shillings. Every middle-income country has a plan for its citizens’ accommodation.
Technology – one of the objectives of the National development vision 2040 is to promote science, technology, innovation and ICT to enhance competitiveness but what exactly is the government of Uganda doing to support young innovators? I know young Ugandans that have innovated incredible applications that are life changing but what happens when they hit walls? They give up and settle for an IT job where people at office call them to ask why their Microsoft word document is not opening.
Mr. president, I hope this doesn’t crush your dreams but deliberate moves can be taken for the country to become middle-income country.