Address grievances ahead of 2026 polls

The NRM Secretary General, Mr Richard Todwong launches the Kisoboka Emwanyi Maanyi Campaign in Wakiso District on May 16, 2024. Photo | Noeline Nabukenya

What you need to know:

  • The government should promote economic development and job creation, not merely in words. This will alleviate poverty and reduce inequality...

Last Friday, the National Resistance Movement (NRM) laid out strategies to recapture Buganda Region, among which is fighting household poverty through promoting coffee growing, a widely planted cash crop in the region. Ms Rose Namayanja, the NRM deputy secretary general, said her party lost in Buganda during the 2021 General Election because of the Covid-19 pandemic, which could not allow proper mobilisation and reaching out to individual members of the electorate. Mr Richard Todwong, the NRM Secretary General, said the difference between NRM and other political parties is that the former is solution-oriented.

However, analysts say unfilled pledges, enforced disappearances coupled with rampant land evictions, amid growing corruption and impunity among government officials partly contributed to NRM’s dismal performance in Buganda during the last general election. In addition to above reasons, Buganda Kingdom has for long claimed restitution for assets, including land and property, that were confiscated or redistributed during past political upheavals, such as the abolition of kingdoms in the 1960s. The return of these assets or fair compensation for the loss should not be taken for granted.

To address these grievances and more that cut across most parts of this country, the NRM party, through the central government, needs to keep channels of communication open for people to express themselves freely. Our Constitution provides for freedom of expression. However, what is being witnessed is that while people sometimes express their grievances through available means and platforms, freedom after expression is not always guaranteed. We should also encourage transparency and accountability in government operations, budgets, and decision-making processes for citizens to hold officials accountable. Uphold the rule of law by ensuring that all citizens are equal before the law. This includes addressing corruption without fear or favour, ensuring fair and impartial justice, and protecting human rights for everyone.

Government also needs to enhance the delivery of public services in healthcare, education, and infrastructure, among others by focusing on improving the quality, accessibility, and affordability of these services, particularly in underserved remote areas. This can be achieved by strengthening institutions and local governance structures, thereby empowering communities to address their own issues and participate in decision-making processes.

The government should promote economic development and job creation, not merely in words. This will alleviate poverty and reduce inequality, especially among the youth, who constitute the biggest percentage of the population. Implementing these measures will effectively address citizens’ grievances, promote good governance, and build a more inclusive and prosperous society beyond the rush for votes.