By The Editor

The FlyoverThat every country has the right to celebrate its independent day is incontestable. But what is contestable is what the government does during the celebration relative to its responsibilities for serving all citizens equitably. On October 9th, this year, Uganda celebrated its  60th year of independence with pomp and circumstance. One thing struck me among all that happened at the Kololo Hill celebration in Kampala. It was the national Air Force flyover.

Why has this event been gnawing on my brain? To understand why, place yourself in the shoes of a sick citizen sitting outside a government clinic and being told that there is no medicine, you cannot afford to buy food or hire a bod boda to take you to your home; and you were watching the mighty jets fly over. What would you think if you were a teacher or civil servant who is not paid a living wage or salary, watching the jets flying by? What would you think if you were a foreign guest from one of the affluent countries from whom the government owes a lot of money watching this military display? What would you think watching the military air display if you were a doctor who cannot get enough medicine needed to care for your patients at a government hospital or clinic? You get the point!

Of course, this is just one of the many things the NRM government spends money on including the purchase of expensive vehicles for government officials or buying tear gas and bullets which are often used against political opponents. Wouldn’t a conscientious person wonder if government priorities are set right if serving citizens equitably is the goal? Why would a government spend money on flying expensive toys just to impress people when many hospitals are constantly short of drugs? Why would a government spend money on instruments of state violence when many schools need repair and lack adequate staff? Why would a government spend the precious little money on non-productive activities just to impress people when even when the rank and file of the security agencies (intelligence, army, police, and prison) live in deplorable conditions?

The short answer is that President Museveni, who is described by his sycophants as the fountain of honor,  does not appear to care what you or anybody else think. He does what he wants and only things which help him overstay in power even longer than all the others he called swine combined. Isn’t that something for a leader who promised to bring fundamental change? Or did the citizens misunderstand him when they thought the promised fundamental change was about solving Africa’s problem which he confidently diagnosed 36 years ago as “leaders overstaying in power”? It is your call.