The topic of Presentation, is solicited and linked by the presenter, to a variety of suggested development topics, which bear profound concern and relevance to the concept of holistic human development, based on un diluted Democratic Governance.
Holistic Development in general, as duly embracing the social and economic growth, in relation to developing countries, such as Uganda, bears a significant brotherhood, as well impacting relationship to undiluted democracy, where it is taken and emphasized as an inevitable basis and root of holistic human development.
The selected topic of Democracy and Development significantly connote as well imply that democracy, in an un diluted form is an inevitable basis of holistic human corporate development and that such development should be rooted in the attributes of good, accountable, transparent, as well selfless positive democratic governance of a people.
It is, therefore, to be noted that the functional practice and presence of democracy, or the profound lack of it, or presence of the same, in diluted unconventional forms and content, in a developing country, such as Uganda, in the defined aspects of human corporate, political, social and even cultural endeavors, does also connote, as well imply a negative reversal of that development, whatever it may be.
It is to be noted further, that holistic development denotes as well as implies the physical and spiritual growth of holistic human endeavors and efforts, in the inevitable context of good democratic corporate governance of a people. This means that human beings, duly struggle and work for holistic development, as well as ensuing growth, in both the physical and spiritual worlds, as the governance and leadership structures, the implementation of such structures, their functional lay outs, practices and operations, as well as leadership styles, are democratic and rooted in undiluted democracy for democratic institutions, of democratic orientation and setting.
Note the rationalization as duly enunciated and amplified above, is quite perceivable in Uganda, as an African country, within the prescribed scenario of a developing world, (call it underdeveloped for some relative emphasis). The researcher and writer of the concept paper, is a Ugandan, working and coming from Uganda, for which the full paper of presentation, shall demonstrate and amplify, for international consumption, understanding, analysis, appraisal, evaluation, in addition to taking cognizance of the inherent concepts of diluted democracy, as impacting human holistic development, in a particular emphasis to Uganda.
2.0 THE BACKGROUND
2.1 The Recent Historical Perspective:
Since 1986, Uganda (located in the East African interland), has made acclaimed substantial progress, in promoting good governance, at the political, economic, social and even cultural fronts of Uganda.
The country, has been officially and widely acknowledged, as sustaining a positive economic development and growth, which, in the statistical opinion and assessment of the view perpetuators, averages 6%, over the recent one and half decades, the country having progressively, moved from mere economic recovery stage and reconstruction status, towards a substantial sustainable economic development and progressive growth, targeting a massive poverty reduction from among the grassroots population. It is being further stated that Uganda’s Macro economic stability much as it is progressively and positively improving, remains a major area of the country’s grassroot focused reforms and development efforts, for the express purposes of wider resource allocation.
Indeed, Uganda’s fiscal and monetary restraints, as coupled with the attributes of prudent and fugal monetary management and administration, has appropriately and inevitably, supported the country’s robust economic development and systematic growth, and has, consequently, forestalled, over and above contained the hyper inflation, to a single digit level, over most of the one and half decades of the prospective periodic review.
Nevertheless, according to the official statistics, the proportion of Ugandans, as defined and prescribed, as living in absolute poverty, did over the period of economic review, accordingly decline from 56% to 35%. It has been officially further highlighted that, the per capita income gains, between the years 1992 – 2005/6 were quite modest, allegedly because of the country’s high population growth rate at 3.4 per 1000 people. The same has remained so.
It has been further stated, that significant challenges are poised, for the economic attainments, as stated and highlighted, in the acknowledgement reports of international nature for Uganda’s economic and even political appraisal. These, among others, include:
The setting up of sustainable fight and impactive mitigations of abject poverty, at grassroot levels.
Putting up impacting measures if mitigating high level economically retrogressive corruption which is endemic in the country’s top and middle level leaders.
Resolving the political and military conflict in the Northern Region of the country, which has persisted, for over two (2) decades.
Addressing others, but not duly specified subterranean forces which hamper, as well as derail the country’s democratization process and positive economic development of sustainable growth, as already highlighted.
All in all, Uganda’s political, social and economic development, is duly linked up with improvement in democracy and democratic governance, of the country, if all things, and the political will associated thereto, and the systems and practices established for the due installation of an undiluted democratic dispensation, were not merely cosmetic and inherently, distracted by the country’s leadership.
2.2 The Instruments and Measures to Address the Development Dimension, but Rife with Diluted Democracy.
This is to be properly demonstrated and amplified in the paper as follows:
2.2 (1) Diluted Democracy and Misguided Political Governance
One has to note inter alia that Uganda, as an independent country and nation of colonial creation has became of diluted democracy and misguided political governance; went through a tumultuous checkered political history, since the attainment of independence and standing, as a new country in the year 1962. The country has gone full circle from assumed parliamentary form of diluted democracy, to the years of full vetted and sporadic concealed military benevolent dictatorship of quasi civilian rule, of tactic political cajoling, to the present day.
The short lived burst of apparent prospective political enthusiasm; to independence, and soon after it, was soon replaced by a long, almost unremitting period of near despair and disappointment, up to 1986, when Yoweri K. Museveni, of presumed liberator NRM and an accomplished disciple of diluted democracy syndicate took over state power by force of arms. In the minds of many democratic foresighted Ugandans, this was in essence, not different from the 1966 Crisis, where the consensus ridden, and generally accepted independence constitution of the country, was violently overthrown and abrogated by similar force of arms by benevolent dictatorship of the Late Milton Obote. He did this, in his capacity as second Executive Prime Minister of the Country, after Uganda had become internally self governing in March 1961.
However, the distinguishing political feature between the Museveni and NRM Military take over, of power in 1986, and the Obote’s UPC take over of power, after abrogating the 1962 Constitution, was that in 1980 a Uganda grassroot people’s mandate, to govern the country, had been violently infringed and violated by a massively rigged general elections, which brought back Obote, to power, for yet another time, after his first violent overthrow from power by General Idd Amin in 1971.
The inherent advocacy and justification of the Museveni’s NRM’s take over of Government by force of arms, was, therefore, made on the commensurate pretext, that there had been massive rigging of national elections by Obote, and his UPC party, in December, 1980, and that there had been fragrant dictatorial misrule of the country, by Obote and his party, which provided Museveni, with a blank Cheque of governance, in Uganda, after the military take over of power, in January, 1986..
It is, therefore, to be noted here, that since the year 1966, to the present day, despite the positive and inherently appreciable Museveni and NRM cosmetic democratic innovations, as well as plausible features, of due reliance to the military, rather than the established democratic institutions, to govern, has over the time, persisted in Uganda. Hence the assertion that the army, has to be represented, as an organ of state, in the Parliament of Uganda, a prerogative of civilian rule and governance, in well oriented democratic states of the world.
Therefore, with diluted democracy in Uganda, at the centre stage, the country, has been characterized by civil wars; repressive governance policies, as well as statute laws of mere political expedience; a war monger governance style; a persistent refugee influx; and to big extent, a reversal and retrogression of would be attained social and economic gains, as presumably having been acquired, in the positive wake of the rather cosmetic democratic systems; which unfortunately have duly and inadvertently, persuaded committed and uncommitted political observers both locally and internationally.
The negative impact of the political, social, economic and even cultural instability and overlapping political confusion, brought about as a result, is destined to leave a lot of deep scars in the general fabric of the country, for many years to come, across the country’s political and social spectrum.
Nevertheless, there are, as it were, undeniable overt development, since Museveni and NRM captured state power in Uganda in year 1986. It is also to be noted that the progressively concealed military regime change in 1986 was incidentally hailed locally, most especially in the country’s central region of Buganda and even across the globe. The regime brought relative peace and security in those areas, of the country, where it was not resisted, for obvious reasons. While one part of the country, was at war with the regime, for now over 20 years, the part not at war, got the economy of Uganda, partially and somewhat rejuvenated as well as resuscitated, under the mistaken guise that the whole country was not at war.
The regime, has to some debatable extent, safeguarded the conventionally accepted principles of human liberties, through selected and guided promotions of relative press freedom, allowing some form of multiparty political dispensation, while limiting the fundamental freedoms of assembly and also did selectively, put an end to the fragrant open human rights’ abuses, as exercising appreciable controls over the army, from being an arm of repressive tact political abuses, and to progressively make the same an apparently friendly organ of the civilian population, which was not the case before, for any of the past Government regimes of post independent Uganda.
However, amidst these fairly positive attributes and apparent overt achievements, Uganda faces a momental task, as well a challenge for establishing and nursing, as well as fostering visible and feasible functioning democratic institutions, which shall be beyond the whims and outright undemocratic dictates of incumbent Executive Presidents of the country.
3.0 WHAT HAS DODGED THE CURRENT UGANDAN GOVERNMENT IN INSTITUTING DURABLE DEMOCRACY FOR DEVELOPMENT IN UGANDA
This is to be the major subject of address and presentation by a fully indented paper on Democracy and Development in Uganda.
3.1 The Paper Objectives
The Key Objectives for the paper therefore shall be:
3.1.1 Objective One:
To outline the brief events of thwarted democracy in Uganda, which has resulted in the checkered post independence history of the country, which has bred overt and covert military dictatorships.
3.1.2 Objective Two
To state and demonstrate the profound failings, as well as shortcomings of Uganda’s post independence dictatorial Government regimes including the NRM, in entrenching undiluted democracy which is the root and sound sanctuary of holistic genuine corporate development of the country.
To show why despite the apparently commendable progress in putting in place a plethora of regulatory institutions, policies, a constitution and statutory laws for building and establishing a democratic state of Uganda, there is unfortunately a looming and impending political catastrophe which might reverse and retrogress all apparent economic, political and even social gains, if nothing is done to forestall the same genuinely.
3.1.4 Objective Four
To illustrate a lack of genuine commitment and political patriotic will to mitigate and fight the rate of high level corruption, which duly impacts democracy and holistic development, in Uganda.
3.1.5 Objective Five
To demonstrate, as well as show that Museveni and the NRM duly displayed undiluted democratic tendencies and practices from the beginning, up to the 12th year of his rule in Uganda. It is in these years, that the country did genuinely develop and built the impetus that has pushed the NRM regime, to live up to the present day, albeit the diminishing fortunes, arising out of the incessant repressiveness overtime.
By the end of the paper presentation, it is hereby envisaged and anticipated that the presentation, as envisioned, by this concept note, shall lead to an international understanding, appraisal and evaluation of the democratic and developmental overtures, in Uganda, to lead to an appreciation of functions, innovations of fitting approaches and their due rationalization, in a Ugandan African context of congenial democratic development.