I cannot countenance why my mind has been shifting to colonialism and ownership of the country. These topics do not elicit as much excitement as the mother of all bicycle kicks as superbly executed by Christiano Ronaldo in a recent match. The matter kept tagging at my hem; muck like the diseased woman who surreptitiously tagged on the Son of Man and he felt power moving from him. I think a catalyst to this matter was the UMEME creative numbers amidst increasing and soaring tariffs in, this, our banana republic.
Recalling the telling observation in George Orwell’s animal farm, an epoch is reached where the animals looked from pig to man and from man to pig and found an uncanny resemblance of the two. All the laws that held them together in the spirit of animal-ism had fallen and the handshake between the pigs and the man, who was an enemy of animal-ism, had grown tighter and tighter and was now even moving more towards an embrace.
In our political discussion group, patriotic discussion group, a distinction had been made on the ownership of the country and ownership of the resources of the country and ownership of the commanding heights of the country. The commanding heights of the country are those sectors that are so central to lubricate the economic propulsion, if you like development, of a country that by design it was necessary to be held by the people who have the best interests of the nation and nationals. Some of these sectors are: Energy,(in all its manifestations), Finance and banking, and Agriculture.
In Uganda today we have auctioned energy to the highest bidder, Finance and banking is left to whom it may concern and certainly not in the hands of persons who have the best interests of the nationals and Agriculture lies neglected; her lover has found a new and more engaging bride. This explains why despite it providing gainful employment to over 80% of the population and livelihood to over 92%. According to Uganda Bureau of Statistics agriculture contributed 23% to the national Gross Domestic Product.
This in spite of the low injections in the sector. A conscientious effort towards value addition and application of scientific methods to the commercial development of agriculture would save the nation looking for elusive funds through the “whatsapp” tax; but that is a subject for another debate.
A effective way to economically sabotage a nation is by profit repatriation. Huge chunks of funds generated, siphoned, from the populace is charted off to far away lands. We saw this during the brazen colonial days; we get a few mirrors and gold and precious metals were shipped off to the so called developed nations. This exploitation exists today and its being encouraged by our leaders either by omission or commission.
We must ask ourselves some critical questions by way of reflection: Why and how can Uganda Telecommunications be pushed to its financial knees?, Can’t we be more effective in managing the tariffs to better Uganda?, Should we not have more leverage on how business is conducted to minimize profit reparation?, and Lastly do we really own our country or we are in the proverbial Orwellian paradox; how can we take back our country?