Ordinarily, everyone who has come of age to decide for him/herself will definitely have to spare time and set goals usually referred to as resolutions of the year at the very beginning of the incoming year, after sailing through the previous one, no matter how it treated that given individual.
I indeed without any doubt in my mind know that a section of Ugandans particularly the elites, made significant resolutions of the year 2014 which will impact on their lives as individual and the Country at large since they greatly contribute to the national economy through paying taxes in the national Tax body, the Uganda Revenue Authority [URA].
These resolutions by individuals have a period of 12 months i.e. from January to December. So, this means that whoever made resolutions have 11 months to accomplish them since we have overcome January to usher into a new February of 2014, which is no longer virgin in nature.
During the last January of 2014, I am sure that we have all had experiences, good or bad, I will leave that to an individual to decide, but generally it has been a hard month particularly economically.
In his end of the year 2013’s message to the populace, President Museveni who is by law the executive head of Uganda, he gave Ugandans a hope when he said that “The projection for this financial year is that our economy will grow by 6.2%”
As if he hadn’t instilled enough hope to Ugandans who are seemingly lost hope, the President added on to say that “Last financial year, our economy survived the global economic crisis, which had been running for several years”
The President who has ruled Uganda for 28 years now, attributed the growth to the availability of electricity.
“This decent rate of growth shows us what can be achieved if you bear in mind that we only had adequate electricity in the last two years when Bujagaali was commissioned”
He indeed, reechoed his usual phrase about tax collections which one of the key achievements he has accomplished ever since he came to power in 1986.
“With a little bit of our own money, our tax collection having gone from 5 billion shillings in 1986 to 9,000 billion shillings today, we are able to tackle some of these three, provided we discipline ourselves in terms of expenditure – limit consumption and emphasize productive investment” he told Ugandans amidst giving them a new slogan in 2014.
“The slogan in the coming year must be “development and wealth creating (maendeleo na maali)”. Each homestead must have wealth in the modern sense with commercial activities for money and food security”
I might have over-spoken over the President’s end of year message, but I thought it was prudent simply because, it was his set of resolutions to Ugandans for the year 2014 which has just started.
For those of you who may be oblivious, our President has promised a number of encouraging changes in the economy almost every year hypothetically, but they are hardly complemented as the processes are being marred with corruption tendencies by his own officials who act with impunity!
Can you margin that it is the President who have been standing with some of the key influential figures which mentioning them will be for another day, who have been repeatedly implicated in a number of graft scandals involving billions and billions of money for a number of years now?
Let me pen down on this issue for now, but it is perhaps so crucial to reflect ourselves on the amount of money the Country has lost to a clique of individuals who were entrusted with positions on behalf Ugandans at the expense of these very Ugandans, without any meaningful measures to compel them face the consequences!
Coming back on the theme, my vie w is that 2014 is going to be a harder year for all Ugandans without any form discrimination in terms of tribes, religion, sex both ageing and the youths.
2013 had significant challenges socially, politically and it indeed it was worse when it came to economic hurdles. We shall not discuss economic issue now, but let us focus on the intricacies of the hardships that Ugandans are likely to face physically through a political challenge.
For those who may not be aware, of the few factors that forced the ruling government into a guerrilla war 28 years ago, was democracy which mainly survives on the rule of law in this case the 1995 constitution as amended 2005.
Its article one provides that power belongs to the people which meant that they have power to vote in and out any leader of their choice every after a given period of time.
As it was done on all other elective office bearers around the Country, duelers of Kampala voted their lord Mayor Erias Lukwago, but he has been denied a chance to perform his constitutional duties at the city hall and we speak now, he has been blocked from even accessing the office since November last year, on account that he was impeached by the councilors, who are part of the Kampala Capital City Authority [KCCA].
Much as Lukwago might be with his own misdeeds, the main issue behind his doom is that the President who championed the fight for democracy among other justified issues does not like him in Kampala and I can bet that the elected Lord Mayor would seat in his office until 2016!
So the situation where a President can dictate on what should be done in disregard of the wishes of the people is worrying because if people speak, it is God who has spoken.
Another political issue that will make an ingredient of a hard 2014 will be the opposition politicians in and out of the NRM government system.
We have the usual suspects when it comes to opposing Museveni and his government and to avoid a system of leaving you in suspense, there is Dr Besigye and likes who are maintaining that President and his government are illegitimate and they are pushing for its fall before 2016, the official year for the next general elections.
So, the determination by the opposition figures particularly who were almost banned from leaving their houses to go into the Public by government to prevent them from intoxicating them with hatred minds they have according to government, definitely translates into one thing that demonstrations on the streets of Kampala will go on the rise, with severe methods which include; not limited to usage of tear gas, but also rubber bullets by police to calm the situation.
This will mean at the end that Ugandans will hardly get time to engage in income generating activities which will definitely impact on the dynamics of the economy of this Country.
Another worrying situation in this year, is that it is the one which is going to shape the unfolding of 2016 elections because everyone with the ambitions to contest for Presidency will be doing all in his/her effort to express that desire.
Good or bad enough, among the people with ambitions are big shots subscribing to the ruling NRM whose chairman is Yoweri Museveni who is also the incumbent equipped with all resources and power.
So, we are likely to see a battle for space in all aspects including ordering for printing or withdrawing some monetary notes in circulation in a bid to prepare for the likely more commercialized 2016 general elections.
When you go to Members of Parliament who got the privilege to be the legislators of the good laws for the betterment of this Country, you are tempted to cry for your mother-land.
The August house accommodates most remunerated more than 375 MPs, but it is disappointing when you understand that the majority is being commanded on remote by the President to actually argue almost all matters in his favor and they have certainly done this!
These MPs are taking huge dates from financial institutions I would be deceitful if I told you for what reasons, but the President uses this weakness to control them under his armpits.
So, as we are coming near 2016 elections, we are likely to see a number of strange laws possibly that one which bars court bails to politicians like Besigye, introduced to Parliament and passed because MPs are targeting to be caught by the big man’s eye to combat him from de-campaigning them back in their constituencies simply because, they still need to satisfy their financial desires, using Parliament.
As I pen down today, Ugandans are facing a nightmare in 2014, without anyone who is ready to offer assistance!
The author is Journalist who is a civil rights Activist