AN OPEN LETTER TO JOSEPH OCHIENO: UGANDA’S STEADY PROGRESS & NATION BUILDING IS A TASK ABOVE POLITICS

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On 16th January 2022, Joseph Ochieno, a regular columnist with the Daily Monitor Newspaper authored an article titled; Trial of building for the future.

In this piece, Mr. Ochieno highlighted that education, health services, environment, and major national infrastructure have been outsourced. For once, this sounded more of mockery on the long list of the glittering NRM government achievements.

For about 36 years now, Uganda has enjoyed a single stable leadership that has out worked itself to see Uganda where we are.  Like any developing country, it is a journey and the current government has made big strides that deserve applaud not ridicule.

The 36 years of stability in power has however come with extreme NRM leadership dividends to Ugandans, of course, this is never a blockage to those with divergent views against these achievements.

Over the years, Uganda has recorded tremendous progress in various sectors which need no more elaboration and perhaps the political justification of which I’m convinced that Mr. Ochieno and associates need no lecture about.

In 1986, our education, health, democracy, and infrastructure services were with no doubts in appalling states but thanks to this government that has extensively rebuilt and drastically changed the state.

I keep finding it unfortunate for many Ugandans to remain blind to these delightful achievements regardless of their political affiliations.

The government introduced several educational programs including UPE, USE, and scholarships for both University and tertiary students, and recently the student loan schemes, all intended to support bright but needy students.

The infrastructure of Uganda is no doubt one of the solid and most priority networks to the government.

Over time, the roads infrastructure has grown from about 3,160km of tarmacked Road to about 5500km and the country has gone ahead to explore more digital and classy roads aimed at hitting the first-class status as a country.

The health sector has continued to progress daily that all Sub-County’s now have health center III. Back in my village, my parents receive free medication and other medical services.

I need not remind you that Uganda was named among the best countries in the world that managed to control the Covid-19 pandemic. This can only mean that the health infrastructure is solid and functional.

To say that the government has left its critical roles to private capital is really unjustifiable and irrelevant, this reveals how misinformed someone is regarding the development of this beautiful country.

If you say, except for existence, delivery is only by accident unless you live in a foreign country otherwise such utterance could easily earn you a village community anger. Are you now saying that health, infrastructure, education, and others are not a necessity but accidents in our lives?

Claiming that government delivers projects by accident is inappropriate because it would also mean we exist by accident.

Joseph claims that subjecting the Entebbe Express Highway road users to pay fees is out of order.  This again exhibits lack of research on things that have led to development in some other countries.  Uganda is not the first country to introduce road tolling which most developed countries adopted long ago.

Like the UNRA ED Allen Kagina said, fees generated from this road tolling shall help in financing quality maintenance and repay the loan used to construct the road. All emergency vehicles on the Kampala Expressway have been exempted from paying the tolls.

If you must know, all ambulances, fire rescue cars, and the presidential convoy are exempted from paying the toll.

On Monday, President Museveni commended UNRA for ensuring maximum maintenance standards on this road and called this value addition to service.

Ochieno seems not to like the idea of Value addition otherwise we should have seen value added to his writings other than rants with accusations that indent to blind people from the path Uganda is at. I can only say you need to become more ideological other than being one that misleads the public.

Peddlers of lies with the intent to ridicule Uganda’s achievements and the desire to keep relevant should find solace in reading scripture. Proverbs 17:28, “Even fools are thought wise if they keep silent, and discerning if they hold their tongues.”

 

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