Scholars call for reforms
Posted Thursday, January 24 2013 at 09:16
Uganda needs to embark on a radical reform of its political-economy structure is to be transformed into a better society, leading academics have argued.
Debating under the theme: “Does Uganda have a future?” at the 7th Makerere University Business School (MUBS) public economic forum on Tuesday, the dons blamed politics for the slow pace of economic growth.
To give the government easier access to land for development, for instance, Dr Fred Muhumuza, an adviser to the Ministry of Finance, and an economics lecturer at Makerere University, advocated an Idi Amin-style land reform decree.
He decried the billions of shillings spent on compensating people who lost land to the construction of the Entebbe Expressway highway, saying such expenditure paralyses development programmes yet it would have been avoided had land belonged to the government.
But such radical reform, he said, cannot be adopted under the current political arrangement, requiring a radical change in the way the country is managed.
Dr Muhumuza was discussing a paper presented by Prof Samuel Sejjaaka, the deputy principal of MUBS, who was the key note speaker.
First presented at the presidential lecture in the run-up to the jubilee independence celebrations last year, the paper raised questions, the most controversial probably being whether we can have democracy amidst poverty, and who should control the most important sectors of the economy.
Prof Sejjaaka argued that widespread poverty makes meaningful democracy difficult to realise, getting a lot of support from the audience.
He blamed the slow pace of development on the government’s decision to privatise public enterprises and give up doing business,.