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Date: Mon, 02 Jan 1995 22:40:40 -0400 (EDT)
Message-id: <01HLDWFKIKWI005D3A@CC.OWU.EDU>

New Year's Resolutions for Uganda

By Dr. Emmanuel K. Twesigye,
Ohio Wesleyan University
2 January, 1995

Resolutions are important in the lives of individuals and the nations that make them. Some people, just like nations are scared of the unknown future, freedom and decisions are not made with ease, in case they are wrong or difficult to implement. Resolutions are major decisions in the life of a person or an organ- ization and they must be made if the person or organization has to continue living a healthy, growing and productive life in the context of the rest of the world and total environment in which that person or organization happens to be located either voluntarily or involuntarily, as determined by nature, history or geographical location.

In the case of the nation of Uganda, the involuntary factors of nature, history, and geographical location apply, and little can be done about them. However, the future can be changed depending on what we do now. The future of Uganda, and the future of Africa is a future which must be shaped by the Africans themselves. The Europeans and former Western African colonialists can not develop Africa for the Africans. Only Africans are truly able to develop Africa for the Africans. The former European colonial masters in Africa were only interested in colonizing and "developing Africa" for themselves and not for the Africans. As a result, all African roads, railways, harbours and airlines lead to Europe! Even the Uganda Railway was never built to connect Uganda with Kenya, but to give the European imperialists, traders and miners to Uganda wealth and that of the Kenyan highlands.

Now that the railway is there, it can be used to serve the true interests of the Africans in terms of trade exports and imports, travel, tourism and the like. East African Community can be truly turned into a political and viable trade body itself. Kenya can provide industries and the rest can supplies raw materials, and market for the finished goods!

If I were the Uganda leader (for the future), the following would be my resolutions for the New Year:

  1. Stop blaming current Ugandan and African evils on the former European colonialists. Most of the current problems, such as those of corruption, ethnic and religious rivalries are carried out by the Africans themselves just because they are too greedy.
  2. Punish corruption by getting rid of corrupt officials, seizing the property, they had purchased with ill-gotten money/wealth. Impose jail sentences on those found guilty of misuse of office, embezzlement and bribe seeking.
  3. Punish all those engaged in bribery, both the giver of the bribe and the taker of the bribe.
  4. Declare amnesty to all armed groups i.e. the Lord's Army, Lakwena's followers, Idi Ami and his followers, and the others.
  5. Pardon the political detainees and exiles, including Obote, Amin and their followers.
  6. Formalize the new constitution with provisions for kings and death penalty for:

    a. Violence against the state as in the cases of coups or coup attemps.

    b. Armed robbery.

    c. Violence against the government leaders as in the case of plan- ning assassinations.

    e. Murder.

    f. Gross cases of corruption and theft of government/public funds or property.

    g. Other acts of treason.

  7. Provision of free universal primary education by the year 2000.
  8. Radical reduction of the military force, and cutting the military budget by 60% in order to fund education and free health-care for the poor.
  9. Elimination of disease by the year 2000.
  10. Provision of clean drinking water in all the villages.
  11. Funding research at Makerere University and UTC in how to make solar power goods cheaper and affordable, so as to provide electricity for lighting and cooking in the villages. This is necessary to stop deforestation in the rural areas as people caut down trees for firewood.
  12. Making more effort in the attraction of tourists to Africa and particularly, Uganda.
  13. Working to make East Africa a reality and annexing both Rwanda and Burundi to this body! Rwanda being attached to southern Uganda and Burundi to Northern Tanzania.
  14. Cleaning up lake Victoria to make it more habitable for fish and attractive for tourists.
  15. Providing the country with a national system of multi-party electoral system and democratic representation which prohibits the formation of political parties along religious, ethnic/tribal, racial or class lines.
  16. Diversification of cash-crops to avoid overdependecy on coffee for export income.
  17. Creating more colleges and universities so as to create a learned labour force which can generate its own industries, and establish sound businesses. Ignorant business people or farmers are not efficient or helpful in the devepment of the nation. More technology and business courses should be included in the school and university curriculum.