By Lawrence Kazooba
This year, rains have been poor. Most crops have withered away. And drought and famine could push food prices through the roof.
Any serious farmer today willl depend on rain fed agriculture at his own peril. The way to way therefore is irrigation.
Now that 65% of Ugandans are dependent on the farm, and these include the poorest half of the country, the irrigation techniques should be affordable.
This is where President Museveni’s bike irrigation makes sense since the rural folk identify with the inputs: bike and jerrican.
Museveni demonstrated how this works during a tour of the operation wealth creation projects in Luweero.
The president is seen riding a a bike, fetching water and watering the garden. That should be inspirational.
No. Ugandans think not. They see a publicity stunt, punctuated with mockery of peasants who the president has failed to get out of poverty, and the yoke of backward farming technology is still around their necks.
The president, knowing how climate change has ravaged the country over his 30 year rule, should have found the solution to this menace.
So, apart from showing how ordinary he can be, and his bike riding skills, there wasn’t much in Museveni’s Luweero tour. It was mere a publicity stunt. He wanted to go viral like his road phone call.
The problem with Publicity stunts is when its creators think too much?
Unlike innocent stunts like President Museveni getting a private telephone call while traveling upcountry and looks for good network, before his aides give him a comfortable chair, and a clever photographer spot on with a right moment captured, which went viral, the Luweero stunt of fetching water on a bicycle was forced. It actually cannot create any excitement but attract cynicism.
Imagine a freedom fighter in President Museveni return to his Mecca 30 years, and start interacting with locals at the level he found them while launching his rebellion! It was nauseating seeing the president trying out bicycle antics.
It was was confusing if he was trying to woo peasants by resse
Mr Museveni has always said he was the president of the peasants, and while he talks of thrusting peasants out of poverty into middle incomes status, inside him knows the middle class isn’t his fanbase. And therefore, anyone who joins the middle class becomes a voter for the opposition.
There could be a fight within Museveni to either keep his poor voters base forever destitutes or fish them out of the poverty and become enlightened, thus, end up opposition sympathisers like their peers in the middle class.
Otherwise, what would inform the president taking up a challenge in 2016 that he should have demonstrated in 1986? It’s acceptance that so little has been done in such a long time of this presidency.
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