By Isha Otto Amiza
When the NRA rebels of President Museveni took power from the Okello’s military junta on 26th August 2021, I was hardly eight(8) years old. Museveni dismantled all the existing governance structures and established new ones through the resistance Councils from the village to central government.
The social and economic infrastructures laid down by UPC government were deliberately destroyed and others possessed by individuals in government.
This gave a terrible blow to households and individual families who were reliant on already established income structures,like cooperatives ,industrial jobs and civil service. The NRA government was quick to reward their strategic people with looted public wealth and jobs, leaving the common person in a total economic and social dilemma. After a short while ,the NRA introduced the new projects disguised as projects aimed at improving household incomes in order to alleviate poverty among the common people.
They introduced the Entandikwa as a social project to help improve household incomes. Entandikwa ended in the hands of a few NRA converts who had become RC members and cadres at local governments.
The general public got nothing.
It soon became easy for Museveni and his NRA to convince the donor community and key political leaders using the projects tagged in the names of the community empowerment and poverty alleviation. The NRA government found it very strategic to generate such schemes/ projects to open up opportunities for cronies and close relatives of the regime’s managers to benefit directly from state coffers with less difficulties.
It soon became a governance tool and the shortest means to siphon public money to reward the actors in government.
After Entandikwa disappearing in thin air without any trace, there came projects like NURP,NUSAF, PRDP etc without any impact to improving the quality of life of the common people.
It became a norm, where besides streamlined programs of government,the so- called household poverty alleviation projects were later introduced one after the other. It then came NAADS,Bonagaggawale,Operation Wealth Creation, SACCOS, Emyooga, and now government has adopted a new one called the Parish Development Model.
In all these projects, three things are similar and common;
1.The titles of the projects are designed in Luganda to confuse the wider non Luganda speakers.
The projects are channelled through security or intelligence networks with little authority in the hands of elected leaders.
The beneficiaries are the same people who are selected by security and intelligence structures of government.
These initiatives are designed for political and social rewards as opposed to improving household incomes and poverty alleviation among the common person.
In the latest episodes, the President through his District and City representatives( the RDCs,RCCs,etal) and the Military have taken full control of key economic centers to ensure that those presumed to be closer or related to the President and his system are identified and rewarded with state funded projects meant for the common people.
It’s unfortunate that, most if not all these projects are either borrowed loans or donations secured in the names of poverty alleviation for the common wananchi, which either attracts debts repayment or accountability by the common people.
Before a while, there was Operation Wealth Creation(OWC) which are manned and controlled by the Soldiers or RDCs whose major roles are to ensure that the opposing voices are suppressed and intimidated for ease of the loot and malt- practices related to corruption, greed and mismanagement.
It’s therefore common knowledge, that, the new idea of Parish Development Model ( PDM) may be well conceived and yet there are no well established and empowered structures at the parishes to mann and supervise the implementation pf this project, giving an open access to looters of the regime opportunity to steal with impunity the 100 million shillings allocated to each parish. The parishes currently do not exist as an administrative structure with functional structure with exception of the PDC and the Parish Chief ( Janjago) ,who doubles as the implementing agency and the planning unit.
Today,besides the allocation of funds to the parishes, without any designed creteria for selection of beneficiaries , implemention strategy and human resources to manage the projects.
It’s now more clear to note that,after the elections of 2021, President Museveni was so
The author is political activist and former MP Oyam County South.
NB: The views expressed here are personal not those of the publisher