Kato Joseph Sserusiba; Political stability the master groove of prosperity in Uganda under the NRM

Between, 1962 to 1986, Uganda was termed as a rogue nation with high levels of insecurity mainly due to the political instabilities in the country. The reigns of Dr Obote I, Idi Amin and Obote II contributed much to the collapse of the country Uganda which by 1986 had totally sunk below recognition economically and politically..

As we all know, without security and a stable political climate, no business can move, no foreign investors are willing to risk their huge capitals in such an environment. Dictator Idi Amin in 1972 took a hilarious decision and expelled the Asian businessmen that ran over 70% of the trading business in Uganda something that led to the total collapse of the economy. Basic consumable items like sugar, Salt, rice and other needs like soap, cooking oil became so scarce. Only those who could access these items were the inner circle of the President while the army went on looting and getting involved in black market business.

By 1986 when President Museveni came in, Uganda as a state almost never existed. One would be right to say that President Museveni has built the nation from scratch considering how the country looked like in January 1986. When he came in, he looked at the tasks ahead and realized that nothing could move on before the county is stable in terms of security.

With the stable security now, we can realize that the environment is so smooth which has attracted foreign investors from all corners of the world that have brought in huge sums of capital.

By 1986, Ugandan only had 80 functioning industries country wide. The number has since multiplied and grown to over 5000 of them. The entire industrial sector now contributes 21% of the country’s GDP, employing 7% of the labour force.

The government through the Uganda Investment Authority has managed to set up a number of industrial hubs in the different parts of the country like in Mbale, Mbarara, Nakasongola etc that have hugely contributed to the growth of the economy. Investors come to Uganda knowing that their capital is safe and the environment is clean enough to carry out business. No one would risk to do business in a country where2 you’re not sure of tomorrow, NRM should be appreciated for this.

The NRM government has fought and defeated over 29 rebel groups that had tried to destabilize the country like LRA of Kony, Holy spirit movement of Alice Lakwena, Force Obote Back and most recently the ADF. Those who lived in the North between 1986 to 2006 can tell you that there was no economic activity that could take place in the area as people were always on the run and being gathered in IDP camps. After the LRA was defeated and forced out the country, people returned home and business resumed. Today, Gulu and other cities in the North have grown economically.

During the days of the war in the North, buses carrying people and goods would be escorted by convoys of military men and trucks taking one over 24hrs to travel from Kampala to Gulu and Arua. This meant less movement of good and services something that affected the growth of the northern part of the country. Today it takes less than 6 hrs to reach Gulu and roughly 8 hrs to Arua from Kampala. The fast movement of goods and services leads to growth of the areas.

We should all remember that before anything else, security and political stability are the core foundations for the growth and development of a nation. Without the two, you cannot talk about industrialization, agriculture, technology, entertainment, infrastructural development because all the above mentioned cannot flourish in a war torn country.

Today Uganda is a peaceful country border to border with no prescence of foreign peace keeping troops just as you see in Somalia, DRC and Central African Republic. These are all contributions of the NRM government.

President Museveni might have some short comings as a person in so many other areas but when it comes to security and political stability, he and his government need to be applauded for the tremendous work they have done for this country Uganda.

Compiled by Kato Joseph Sserusiba