It is true. There can be no Prosperity for All if, instead of targeting the whole community or whole society for prosperity so that you have a prosperous community or prosperous society, you consistently, persistently and perennially target a few individuals in the orthodox individual merit approach introduced by the NRM/A soon after capturing power in 1986. If the selected individual collapses, there is nothing left in the community or society of prosperity worth talking of even in individual terms.
The myth is that if one individual is prosperous, he or she will share his or her prosperity with others in a trickle-down manner continually. But that never happens because the money, which is given to the select individuals for reasons such as politics or nearness to power, ends up being misused by the beneficiaries.
The beneficiaries stand out as islands and shadows of prosperity, become spendthrift, manifest as arrogant people and then collapse, leaving no trace of prosperity in the community or society.
Those who tend to stand the test of time as islands of prosperity are those who have special station in and firm connections with power, because they have continuous supply of money to renew their otherwise inefficient business occupations.
What this depicts is that rather than ensuring everyone prosperity, the aim is adversely to keep the majority of Ugandans in debilitating poverty. Indeed recent published reports indicate that the way Government handled Covid 19 did not only enable a few people to become extremely rich because of Covid 19, but almost 24m sank further into the abyss of poverty.
This is about half the human population of Uganda. We can reason that while those in power have been preaching the Gospel of Prosperity for All, they used Covid 19 as a tool to concentrate prosperity in the hands of a small group of people that had no constraint accessing Covid 19 funds – both legally and illegally.
How else would one explain the fact that a few connected person’s were able to erect hotels, hostels, supermarket, mansions, and other islands of progress during the difficult time of Covid 19? Those who were supposed to manage Covid funds for the benefit of everyone failed to do so.
Many businesses, mainly informal ones, collapsed as did their owners into the abyss of poverty. Unlike what happened in civilized countries, nothing was done in Uganda to help especially the small business owners to stand the deleterious effects of Covid 19 and the attendant lockdown of the country.
Therefore, in Uganda Prosperity for All has become both a lie and myth as gigantic as the lie and myth of Health for All, Security for All, Education for All, Opportunity for All and all those other things we have heard those in positions of power have kept on recycling. Despite the high tax imposed on internet use in Uganda, we might soon hear the people in power hatch another slogan: Internet for All.
All this amounts to one thing: Deception as a tool of governance. The exacerbated use of this tool in governance is denying us meaningful development, transformation and progress.
We have reaped more in terms of fear, docility and silence, which is converting us into a very vulnerable people, who may sooner than later be more dangerously penetrated by more powerful forces. Under the NRM rule, we are indeed on our way to becoming the Maoris, Aborigines and Red Indians of Africa: reduced to non-entities in our own country.
For God and My Country.
The Writer is a Ugandan Scientist And Environmentalist
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