“The biggest mistake for the NRM governmnent is their failure to document. This has affected their future” says Joseph Tamale Mirundi, a senior Presidential Advisor on media in his new book.
He says since there’s no documented evidence against UPC regime, the perpetrators of the past have become angels and yet their record stinks! He adds that not only the NRM party failed to document UPC failures, but also failed to document its own information regarding it’s initial stages in power that is now giving the opposition chance to demonize the ruling party and it’s leader Jjajja Yoweri Museveni.
“In absence of the past, the youth judge NRM performance without considering the past. To them, the NRM is their reference point” says Mirundi in his book entitled ‘If Museveni Returns In 2026, Challenges Facing Bazzukulu To Market Him’
The book comes at a time when the political spectrum is filled with excitement as to whether the president is returning in 2026 or this is his last term.
However, according to Hajat Uzeiye Namyalo Hadijah who heads the NRM Office of the National Chairman (ONC) and also National Cordinator of the Bazzukulu movement, Gen. Museveni is coming back in 2026 and beyond. Already, her Bazzukulu movement has launched a serious onslaught against those who want to dislodge Museveni by launching the ‘Jjajja Omalako Tova Ku Main’ campaign which has since caught wild fire among people of different generations including the youth across the country.
“We’re hopeful that he (Museveni) will not refuse (to stand again) but if he dare refuses, he will face our wrath. He should come back, stand in 2026 and beyond” says Ibrahim Kitatta Almalik, the ONC spokesperson.
As Uzeiye’s Bazzukulu movement continues to entrench itself among youths across the country, Mirundi however, says the biggest mistake facing the Bazzukulu marketing Museveni is lack of records on the side of the ruling party. The records should have included those about how NRM found Uganda and also it’s interventions at the initial stage.
He said for example in the pre-Museveni period, insecurity was high but upon his attainment of power in 1986, many people started singing ‘Twebaka Otulo’, (We can now sleep) a phrase that majorly is celebrated by couples.
The phrase for example in Buganda where insecurity was high during Obote, according to Mirundi, means that men at least are able to enjoy their women at night since in Buganda, sex is reserved for night hours.
“In Buganda, you only engage in sex during the night, day time is for work. When a Muganda talks about sleeping, it means access to conjugal rights. Since many families slept in churches (during Obote), they wouldn’t engage in sex and this explains why when NRM came to power, peasants congratulated themselves that at least they can have sex with their wives in peace at their homes” he explains.
Another milestone was proffessionalisation of the armed forces and discipline. He said during Obote, the forces were so indisciplined to the extent that the soldiers at one of the road blocks in day light, slit a pregnant woman’s belly to determine whether she was carrying a baby boy or girl. He said nothing in form of action or condemnation was done to the soldiers.
In other areas such as health and education, Museveni came up with many innovations. In health for example, he embarked on mass immunization of kids against the six killer diseases and this reduced the hitherto alarming infant mortality rate which was the order of the day under Obote. Not only did Museveni address that, but also according to the book, came out boldly on the AIDS scourge. According to Mirundi, many African leaders feared to speak out on this and it’s cause but towed a line that AIDS was witchcraft. Some countries feared to reveal the presence of AIDS for fear of chasing away tourists but Museveni boldly came out and explained the real cause of the scourge, it’s address and how to prevent it.
In addition, Mirundi says, Museveni embarked in expansion of health facilities and equipped them with drugs which unfortunately according to him, are stolen by Museveni opponents running those facilities.
“The truth is that stealing of drugs is a deliberate policy by the opposition to make governmnent unpopular. This explains why many people caught stealing drugs from hospitals get laughable court penalities” he says in his book.
Other areas of achievement is democracy where people are now free to vote their leaders at all levels unlike in the past.
He says looking at Museveni’s revolutionary programs which NRM came up with between 86 and 1990, a number of them have to a greater extent succeeded. This is because at that time, Museveni still had a strong team in government who believed in his programs. Secondly, those in government at the time wanted to prove to the public that they could deliver.
“This commitment has gradually declined and the team Museveni had at the time has been replaced by the mafia gang. For example, the health ministry which played a role in the early days of NRM was captured by sharks. Governmnent drugs end up in private clinics leaving patients to die in misery” he says adding that the supporting institutions were also captured by the corrupt who only want to accumulate wealth at the expense of helping the country.
In education sector, Mirundi says this has also stagnated and the initial achievements under UPE and USE programs have also disappeared. He says the people who were in charge of supervising the programs ended up constructing their own schools in order to undermine the government schools’ performance.
In local government ministry, many Ugandans according to the book do not know even it’s importance. He says the ministry is important in a sense that it talks about divolution of power from the center to grassroots but this was never explained to the masses. To make matters worse, the same local governments under this ministry continue to levy huge taxes which the president has always opposed but they have refused to heed his directives.
“With over 120 districts and municipalities in Uganda, it becomes attractive to the minister for local government to collaborate with local leaders and allow them levy taxes where he or she also benefits. This makes ordinary people suffer. The local leaders do not take responsibility for the consequences of such decisions but throw it on central government and it’s Museveni who takes the blame” he said.
According to Mirundi, unlike the 10-point program which brought the NRM, all Museveni’s important innovations did not receive publicity and many Ugandans never realized their importance. Secondly, the NRM secretariat which is supposed to be robust to drive the formulation of policy in government more like the communist politburo spent years in dormancy stage.
“Very few people with formal employment can accept working at the secretariat because of public perception. In fact, before current crop of leaders was deployed, public opinion regarded it as a jjirikiti (a tree where Baganda throw dead dogs to rot)” he said adding that it is therefore not surprising that the program on democratisation of Uganda under NRM never received attention at the secretariat.
Mirundi’s revelations about greed in government comes at a time when several ministers including the prime minister have been implicated in stealing iron sheets meant for underprivileged people of Karamoja. The president has directed all ministers who looted the sheets to present themselves before police and those found culpable will face the music.
The implicated ministers include Matia Kasaija, Amos Lugoloobi, Jennifer Namuyangu, Henry Musasizi, Robinah Nabbanja, Maria Goreti Kitutu among others. Another minister Betty Amongi (Gender) has since been asked by parliament to resign after she was implicated in a Shs6bn NSSF cash scandal. Amongi has however, vowed to keep her office because she is ‘innocent’.