President Museveni Has Scored On Manifesto Targets [opinion]

As members of the NRM executive prepare for the party’s delegates’ conference due for December 14-15, it is prudent that they converge with facts to shape deliberations.

These are the same delegates that elected current party leaders, with President Museveni as chairman and presidential flag bearer in 2011.

They, therefore, deserve to know in aance how their ‘choice’ has performed since gaining a prominent 69 per cent win.

Since 2011, NRM has been working to fulfill election pledges made by the president contained in a well-packaged manifesto.

These, though denied by some for their own convenience, are there to be seen by the fair-minded. I will just mention those I can accommodate in this space.

The Judiciary, a key arm of government charged with adjudicating wide-ranging disputes, has been a beneficiary of action on the NRM Manifesto 2011. The pledge had to do with increasing access to justice for all Ugandans.

There has been nearly unprecedented appointment of judicial officers including judges. This has come with strengthening of systems to ensure that presiding legal officers perform effectively, including enhancement of remuneration. More court premises have been acquired.

Effort on the Judiciary has gone hand-in-hand with professionalisation of the police force, the institution responsible for law and order and reports to the courts when dealing with liable cases.

Welfare and capacity building through acquisition of modern equipment and enhancement of methods of work are giving police a new image. The centenary celebrations of the force, with Gen Kale Kayihura in charge, have seen police come closer to people through community policing.

Through the NRM manifesto, Museveni pledged to participate in internal, regional and international peace and security missions. This has been done within Uganda and abroad in South Sudan, Kenya and Somalia.

With peace and security assured here and across borders, the stage for economic aancement has been set. NRM pledged to support Saccos for youths at all sub-counties.

This venture was panel-beaten to become the Youth Livelihood Programme (YLP) which is addressing youth unemployment and poverty by providing ready capital. Never before has the Ugandan youth been a rallying point for development programmes as it is during this term.

Members of other demographic groups have not been left out, most noticeably the elderly. These, as promised during campaigns, receive a small welfare fund which in future is expected to be enhanced and expanded to cover all the elderly in the country. With the available resources, NRM has shown willingness to take extra care of senior citizens.

The roads and transport sector has perhaps experienced the biggest effort under this term. President Museveni envisions that modern infrastructure is the key and conduit of productivity and wealth-creation which is a great way to support economies in developing nations.

Works are ongoing around the country. New mega projects like the Southern Bypass from Kampala to Entebbe and the one at Mbarara, the Kampala-Masaka-Mbarara-Katuna-Kigali road and the expansion of the Northern Bypass are on. Even in the countryside, it is the same story.

The railways are also being revamped, with the major project of the standard gauge line from Mombasa through Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, and DRC being the flagship. For the record, this initiative was floated by President Museveni and sold to other leaders who readily took it on.

The president also initiated a move to reduce clearance time for goods from Mombasa port. This area had been very murky and frustrating for Ugandan importers. Power dams (Karuma, Isimba, etc) are being worked on too. This is intended to ease access to affordable energy to enhance productivity and good living.

NRM pledged to enhance health systems, mainly health infrastructure. As we talk, major referral hospitals are being rehabilitated and others set for construction. At Jinja, Iganga, Kabale and Mulago, for instance, major works are on.

One cannot forget Naads: such a hopeful programme had become subject to abuse and inefficiency until the president decided to salvage it by bringing on board specialised personnel from the army. Efficiency will make it easier to push for a bigger budget allocation to the sector as many aocates reason.

In the lands sector, NRM has fulfilled on organising the land offices by computerising systems and opening up regional offices. Land offices used to be in a mess, frustrating industrious Ugandans and investors who needed to utilise their land for production.

That is now becoming a matter of history. The NRM manifesto talked of setting up housing units for civil servants. Through the ministry of Lands and Housing, the project is on. In Tororo, some units were put up and handed over.

Others under the National Housing and Construction Company (NHCC) have been delayed like the works at Kasokoso near Kireka in Wakiso district and Bugembe in Jinja.

In the education sector, more teachers have been recruited to ease the teacher-student ratio and to make programmes (UPE, USE) more result-oriented. It is also during the post-2011 season that the university loan scheme was launched.

The above, and more, are no mean achievements. They have taken the goodwill and cooperation of Ugandans to be achieved. More goals can be scored. Delegates are now armed to make a judgment that Museveni is the best captain for the NRM team – if a manifesto is anything to go by.

The author is a presidential aide on media management.

Source : The Observer

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