By Isaac Mutema
Once a rebel always a rebel – is what can perfectly describe our President Gen. Yoweri Kaguta Museveni. Museveni has been creating problem after problem for himself and the country at large by insisting on policies that do not work.
From shutting down cooperative unions, recklessly selling off public parastatals, insisting on shady investors to promoting the archaic barter trade, name it, the son of Kaguta has done it all.
Our President thinks he is ever right never, never the other way around at all – the only visionary leader there is in Uganda. This is why whenever he is writing to technocrats; the President does not do so to seek expert know-how.
He would simply direct the technocrats to do what he thinks is right. For that matter, his letters typically read like, I direct you to do this or that.
Power has never meant that those who hold it automatically hold the monopoly of knowledge as well. You can forgive our dear President if you fully appreciate where he comes from.
Museveni has led the soldierly life for the better duration of his life. In the military, the order goes. Orders are never questioned. Hope you can perfectly understand what I mean here.
Well, let us rest the preamble now lest it ends up unnecessarily detaining us here for long yet we are here to interrogate President Museveni’s middle-income status milestone, if at all.
Museveni is foaming on the mouth currently over the World Bank’s rejection of his World Bank’s fresh middle-income status milestone.
According to our leader, Uganda is well within the threshold of middle income.
The World Bank describes what our leader is talking about as broad daydreaming. That Uganda is still miles and miles away from shooting at the middle-income status. Can you imagine?
Whether Uganda is a middle-income country or not isn’t going to bother us. I verily trust Museveni to fight that war and even, by the way, win it.
After all, hasn’t Ssaabalwaanyi (gladiator) won bigger battles over many years involving guns as opposed to this cheap war involving mere economic statistics!
My greatest fear is that whenever our visionary President insists on Uganda’s middle-income status achievement, he unwittingly ends up opening fresh pandora boxes for himself and us.
Here is why? Museveni argues that just because the majority of Ugandans are paupers, it doesn’t follow that the minority haven’t hit the middle-income ceiling.
Problem is that by making this submission, the President is confessing that he is presiding over a country where a handful of people are extremely rich whilst the bigger majority, are making do with licking just their spittle for food!
But on a very serious note, the president by saying so, would seem to give an impression that he is out of touch with the reality on the ground.
That so long as a few fat cats continue to hang out in expensive global hotels, take their women and daughters to top-notch hospitals around the globe to give birth, as well as drive powerful wheels, then all is as well ok with the rest of his fellow countrymen and women.
Maybe, aware of the dangers of declaring that Uganda is a middle-income country that is why the Finance Minister Mzee Matia Kasaija himself chose to steer clear of the livewire topic during his reading of the budget.
“I don’t know why Kasaija doesn’t want to say it. We have already achieved the middle-income status,” our beloved President proclaimed upon getting his opportunity to speak about Kasaija’s Budget.
I know deep in my heart that Kasaija, who boasts of highly schooled technocrats on top of being a gentleman, for that matter, didn’t want politics to blind him to the fact that Uganda isn’t a middle-income economy yet as some abrasive politicians want us to believe.
Yet, you can play with Ugandans’ brains by using whatever flowery figures you choose to enchant them with but the same wouldn’t apply when it comes to the World Bank guys.
The World Bank guys aren’t there to play cheap politics. They don’t eat out of our palms. So, they would always tell the truth as it is no matter who is involved.
The World Bank lends money to us. They know better our books of accounts even better than the jolly-come lately referred to as the Ramathan Goobis of this world.
In a world, economic figures aren’t conjured up just like that as electoral results. You either have the figures right or wrong. Period!
Let’s call this a day until we meet again on this page dear prized readers.