Dear Mr. Presidential Press Secretary Wanyama Don Innocent,
I have read in The New Vision your “Open Letter to UK MP Paul Williams” who recently organised a debate in the UK Parliament about democracy in Uganda. I feel that your brazen lies and misplaced “statistics” therein should not go unchallenged.
In the 1188-worded missive, you mock and dismiss the UK Parliament’s discussion of our democracy as “an inconsequential comical debate on a lazy afternoon”, and refer to the MP as “a modern version of [colonialists]”, although your starving government receives approx. £100M (UGX 477 billion) per year in aid from the same People you now conveniently dismiss as irrelevant. You go on to claim that “the Uganda that was painted during the debate is not the Uganda majority Ugandans know”, and then shamelessly regurgitate a litany of your boss’ favourite “statistics” to buttress your fallacious arguments about Uganda’s situation since 1986.
You claim that Uganda’s electricity generation has moved from 60MW to more than 1,000MW, but you don’t mention that Uganda’s is still the most expensive electricity in the region, with only 26% of its population able to afford it. You also seem to conveniently forget that the prohibitive pricing of this “1000MW” has driven operating costs for local enterprises through the roof, thereby making locally-produced goods uncompetitive vis-a-vis international goods that are manufactured at a lower cost – forcing local entrepreneurs out of business and rendering thousands unemployed as a result.
You claim that our revenue collection has moved from sh5b in 1986 to sh15 trillion in 2019, but you don’t mention the quality of services a paltry 15 million people in 1986 were receiving on their shoestring budget vis-a-vis 2019’s 45 million Ugandans who contribute a cool sh15 trillion but somehow still have to contend with 40% of their national recurrent budget financed by the so-called ‘colonialists’ [donors].
You claim that we had 1 University in 1986 but we now boast of over 30 accredited Universities, but you don’t mention that it was 78 times easier to get a job in 1986 without a degree than it is in 2019 with a Master’s degree.
You claim that our literacy rates have shot from below 45% in 1986, to above 70% in 2019, but you don’t mention that slightly over 60 percent of our population ONLY attained primary education while a paltry 12 percent attained secondary education. Again, for you this is more of a quantitave than a qualitative argument, or peharps a balanced mixture of both, which is pure nonsense.
You claim that your master’s Government has presided over “the longest and highest economic growth rates in sub-Saharan Africa in the past 2 decades” – which is false – but you don’t mention that Sub Saharan Africa is generally the poorest part of the planet, and that as such there is little to celebrate about being one of the least poor among the poorest.
You claim that because of “correct policies, Uganda is currently enjoying a favourable balance of trade, earning more from our exports in the region than we are spending on imports”, but you don’t mention that Kenya alone exports goods worth Shs2.6 trillion to Uganda per year, while Uganda exports to Kenya goods only worth Shs571b, meaning that Uganda has a trade imbalance with Kenya alone of a whooping Shs2.1 trillion per year! And that with Uganda actually having little to export to our E.A. counterparts, our trade imbalance is in fact not with only Kenya, but with everyone else!
But the most brazen of your lies was the claim that “Uganda’s democracy is thriving”. And that “election results are a reflection of the people’s will and choice”. Well let me bring you up to speed: although ‘elected’ by the people, our legislative assembly is now an extension of your master’s party. He dictates to it what laws to pass, and routinely follows that through with some silver coins here and a military siege there. He once remarked that ‘a mere ballot’ cannot get him out of power “just because it is the people’s will”, and has in the past 20 yrs unleashed unbridled terror on his political opponents and their supporters to drive that point home. I could go on and on but let me stop here for the sake of brevity.
Mr. Press Secretary, anybody can cite “statistics” in support of their position, but interpreting and correctly applying those statistics in their proper context requires some level of honesty – which seems to be the least of your concerns. But peharps before you trip over yourself looking for convenient statistics to dispel MP Williams’ argument, you should first establish why it is now imperative to defend Uganda’s democratic record. The situation in Uganda is so bad that the “colonial masters” hitherto propping up M7’s government are now starting to get concerned. But you don’t get the cue, do you?
Ultimately, your misguided open letter to the MP, supposedly ‘on behalf of the Ugandan people’ whom you ostensibly speak for on behalf of ‘President’ M7, in fact proves the very reason MP Williams was compelled to escalate the conversation to our “colonial master’s” Parliament: your government lacks the basic honesty, let alone moral authority, to talk about democracy in Uganda.
Saasi Marvin -self-appointed Spokesperson of the #PeoplePower
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