35 years of NRA’s 10-Point Programme that never was

Sunday May 09 2021

Joseph Ochieno

By Joseph Ochieno

On Wednesday, May 12, Mr Museveni will be sworn in – chest thumping – claiming another NRA/NRM election victory, another ‘term’ for ‘securing’ your future but, false. He will almost certainly claim top marks for his so-called 10-Point Programme, a blue print – presented as panacea for our national challenges – yet equally false.

Claiming that the previous post-independence governments were somehow responsible for ‘alleged’ continued disparities in national economic composition, contents and fortunes, it was another myth, now confirmed as froth. A myth because the programme never existed except, on paper as a desperate attempt to seek national attention and present themselves as ‘new guys in town with some, exotic big idea’.

In context; first, promising ‘real democracy’ that would allegedly ensure citizens were capacitated to ‘resist’ unprincipled politicians. False, politics today is as dirty, monetised, personalised and so corrupted that poor citizens scramble for luck to get Shs1,000 every five years as fortunes from their representatives. 

Second, that insecurity had allegedly been ‘State inspired’ and, they would eliminate this through their backward lining-up-democracy and the politicisation of army, police and other agencies in order to mitigate ‘corruption’. False; as 35 years later, with a fully militarised-State and starting with the likes of junk-helicopter scandals, ghost-soldiers to military men heading the civil police, that more than 54 Ugandans died last year during campaigns and hundreds went missing (some to-date), is manifestation of the farce.

Third, that national unity would be ‘swiftly’ achieved through killing of ‘sectarianism’ at a stroke. False; this country is more divided today than has ever been since independence. Composition of key positions in the army, police, permanent secretaries, top-cream army generals, Cabinet compositions and guess what, even the composition of Parliament based on population per capita. Okay, go research.

Fourth, elimination of foreign ‘interference’ because the new guys were all Ugandans and mbu, they would focus on priorities of ‘national interest’. False, just think the chunks of land thrown away to foreigners in the name of ‘investors’; think the theft of UPC-built national assets like Uganda Commercial Bank ‘sold’ abroad; our national energy supplies now a monopoly with questionable contracts while power blacks out (it did an hour into this piece), yet in Kampala.


Fifth, the creation of an independent, integrated, self-sustaining economy that would ensure Uganda’s wealth remains with citizens in charge. False, simply check the recent Budget deficit, foreign loans and Entebbe Expressway being the second most expensive road in the world – built by foreigners – with borrowed money to be paid-back by your grandchildren. That’s if you are lucky the new owners do not repossess it.

Arriving at sixth; that they would ‘restore’ and provide excellent basic services like water, electricity, housing, health and sustained livelihood. At this stage I am exhausted and hence, can only enumerate the rest: Seventh was the destruction of corruption. Okay, is it dead? Eighth, restoration of land and other properties previously taken by government. Kisozi was once government, wasn’t it? Ninth, that Uganda shall seek the creation of larger markets by ‘expanding’ itself; like ‘new roads’ in DRC, a permanent visit to South Sudan as was Rwanda.

Tenth, that they would maintain a mixed economy where private enterprises thrived side-by-side with the State, continuing to lead in public education and health. Check out the leading schools in town and how many ‘private-lives’’ hospitals.

The writer is a former UPC spokesperson