Inside Museveni’s economic bubble
By Charles Kamya Ssentamu
This website has promised to bring to you an account of how President Museveni, contrary to his claims, has run the economy into the ground during his 33-year misrule.
In his yet again condescending “letter to the bazzukulu” published in his mouthpiece, The New Vision, at the end of last week, Museveni bragged numerous times how his rule has ushered in economic progress that is unprecedented in Uganda’s history.
During the presentation of the Central Bank’s monetary policy just last month, Bank of Uganda Governor Tumusiime Mutebile put it bluntly that the country’s economy had nose-dived in the first quarter of the year. Mutebile added that there was no indication that the economy would be resuscitated in the subsequent months.
The bleak picture of the economy was attributed to the slump in cross-border trade, implying that this was due to Museveni’s hostility to a neighboring country. With unemployment soaring year-on-year, “a turnaround would be more than a miracle,” said Mutebile.
Implicitly, Mutebile also predicts that there will not be a turn around as long as the person who caused the economic nose-dive remains in power.
Most business people in Kikuubo testify that the economic crunch is biting hard.
Times are rough today than prior to Museveni’s misrule and now generations are locked into poverty.
In the late 70s and early 80s my parents were successful farmers in the Masaka area. They grew coffee on a large scale, with a strong cooperative movement that was part of the Coffee Marketing Board (CMB). They would not get stuck with their produce because they failed to find buyers.
Cooperatives would traverse the produce collection centres in different areas of the country to take to the Marketing Board, with the happy farmer leaving with money in hand.
The economy thrived. However, when Museveni took power, the first thing he dismantled were the cooperatives. The family cabal around him replaced the marketing boards in the name of privatization. Museveni was only privatizing national assets to his relatives.
The consequences have been far reaching. For instance, a parent who sold his produce at a good profit often sent his children to a good school. In the new economy, a child of a farmer is likely to end up miseducated in the Universal Primary Education system and finish school with little hope of employment.
The child and the parents are both locked in poverty, which becomes perpetual. The only solution in this economy appears to be to find kinship with Museveni’s family, who appear to be the only Ugandans bragging that Museveni brought prosperity to the country.