Economy

ORIENTATION OF ECONOMY

Uganda’s economy is distorted by corruption, racketeering and discriminatory tax policies.
The drivers of our economy are small-scale farmers, small-to-medium size business operators and entrepreneurs. They are housewives, single mums or fresh graduates who have turned into entrepreneurs. Instead of being rewarded and supported through reasonable rates of interest loan schemes, and moderate and fair taxation, they are punished with heavy taxes.
With an economy distorted by corruption and racketeering, Uganda is not an attractive destination for genuine and long term investors, largely because of rampant corruption. In 2006 more than half of business firms reported making informal payments to public officials to ‘get things done’; 80% of the companies reported making, on average, more than 30 unofficial payments per year.

Objective

An economy which benefits the people of Uganda as a whole and is run on institutional processes and procedures; promotes free competition and rewards entrepreneurship, particularly the growth of small and medium size enterprises.

Plan and Commitment

• Pursue an economic policy which promotes strategic free enter prise and entrepreneurship, with limited measures of government intervention (when the broader national interests warrant it).
• Attract and reward genuine investors who bring capital and innovation; who are prepared to assume reasonable investment risks and who are adding value to our economy.
• Through fair taxation, investments, soft loan schemes and other targeted programmes, to place particular priority on promoting and supporting, small-scale farmers, small-to-medium size business operators and entrepreneurs; this will particularly benefit women who predominate these sectors.
• Eliminate corruption and bribes to public officials which increase the cost of doing business.

OIL AND GAS EXPLOITATION

Oil exploration, extraction and sales agreements between the government of Uganda and foreign oil companies are shrouded in secrecy, giving rise to suspicion and fears. Given the high level of corruption and impunity at the highest levels of government, citizens and local communities have well founded fear that those close to power are plotting to cut them out from benefitting from the oil revenues.
Oil exploitation can have serious environmental impact that is best addressed preventatively.
Objective
Oil resources managed for the development and benefit of all.

Plan and Commitment

• Review the law and policy relating to oil prospecting, extraction and sale.
• Immediately establish National Petroleum Board to manage all matters concerning exploration, extraction and sale of oil
• Establish a special Trust Fund into which oil revenues are deposited.
• The Trust Fund (i.e oil revenues) will be devoted to the development of three sectors: schools, hospitals and agriculture.
• Eliminate all secrecy surrounding the exploitation, production and revenue sharing agreements between the government and the oil companies.
• Ensure that local communities are the immediate beneficiaries of oil revenues by allotting 25-30% of the revenues for local
development.
• Review land acquisitions around the oil extraction area since 1990.

THE ENVIRONMENT

The current poverty, population pressure and incidences of natural disasters are directly linked to problems of natural resource degradation and depletion. Nine in every ten Ugandans have their livelihoods directly tied to nature-land, water, rain, plants, animals, birds, mountains, etcet era. Unplanned, uncontrolled and unsustainable use of these resources has direct link to productivity. Unplanned and unsupervised agricultural practices in highland zones of Kabale, Kisoro, Kasese, Bushenyi, Kapc horwa and Mbale Districts have resulted in high rates of soil erosion, land slides and displacement of communities. Many areas of the country show signs of intensive erosion. The problem of soil degradation has been exacerbated by the fact that productivity is rapidly declining as human population is rapidly increasing (3.2% per year) demanding increased acreage on limited carrying capacity.
Loss of ecological integrity, particularly of delicate ecosystems such as wetlands and mountain slopes are due to misguided policy informed by politics; poor economic management; politically engineered population pressure compounded by the government’s inability to reinvest in the environment and other socially desirable sectors.

Objective

Comprehensive National Environmental Policy Framework providing strict governance and regulatory measures for Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), Social Impact Assessment (SIA), conservation and restoration to maintain essential ecological processes and life-support systems on which human survival and development for the present and future generations depend.

Plan and Commitment

• Ensure permanent legal protection of Mabira Forest and similar national environmental patrimonies, so that they will never be sold or in any way destroyed.
• Review the existing national land-use policy and develop a comprehensive one to ensure prudent land use.
• Provide funding for continuous monitoring of land, forest, fisheries and water use at a national and district level.
• Provide institutional support and independence to the National Forest Authority, Uganda Wildlife Authority, the Wetlands Department, and the National Environment Management. Authority for effective environment and natural resource management.
• Restore public ecosystems that have been fraudulently appropriated through corrupt practices under the current NRM regime and carry out reforestation for destroyed forests within 48 months.
• Propose the establishment of a multilateral Great Lakes Ecosystems Regional Environmental Authority / Framework (GLEMA/F) that brings together Uganda, Congo, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi, Sudan, in the sustainable management of the natural resources-water, fisheries, marine transport, forestry, etc-in the Great Lakes Watershed.

I.ABOUR AND WORKERS’ RIGHTS

Like many ordinary Ugandans, ordinary workers have been stripped of their rights and dignity. They have been abandoned at the mercy of their unscrupulous employers, including predatory State House certified ‘investors’. They work long hours under unsafe conditions for low wages. They are denied union rights, and therefore robbed of the opportunity for collective bargaining.

Objective

Workers enjoying full rights at work, free to organize and belong to unions and benefiting from collective bargaining for better wages, decent work environment in mutually beneficial relationships with employers.

Plan and commitment

• To review and re-examine the status of key national institutions.
• To revive, rebuild, and modernize critical institutions of development.
• To re-institute a government that is run on the basis of ideas, professional expertise and long-term planning.
• Review the status of and where necessary revive the Cooperative Bank, Uganda Commercial Bank, Uganda Railways, Uganda Airlines, Uganda Development Corporation, Uganda Cooperative Transport Union, Uganda Electricity Board, Uganda Posts and Telecommunications, Dairy Corporation, Produce Marketing Board, and National Housing and Construction Corporation.
• To re-establish clear procedures for conducting government business and for holding officials accountable.

DEEP MORAL CRISIS

Our struggle is about much more than political, economic and social transformation; it is significantly also a struggle for the soul of our land. Uganda is a country in the throes of a deep moral crisis.

Objective

Rebuild the moral, spiritual and solidarity fabric of the nation under God.

Plan and commitment

• Work closely with spiritual and community leaders to revive the moral fabric, responsibility and conscience of the nation.

VIOLENCE AGAINST CHILDREN

The now routine killing of children in so-called human sacrifice and the serial burning down of schools, (this has included the burning to death of little girls in their school dormitories at Budo Junior) are among the new and horrendous developments that bedevil our country.

Objective

A safe and secure society for our children.

Plan and commitment

• Strengthen child protection laws and enforcement mechanisms to prevent violence against children.
• Conduct a major campaign against child sacrifice and other forms of violence against children.
• Create a dedicated investigative and enforcement agency within the police to fight child sacrifice and burning of
our schools.
• Strengthen child protection laws and enforcement mechanisms to prevent violence against children and ensure their safety.

CORRUPTION

The breathtaking and galloping corruption in Uganda is state sponsored and it is the principal reason no basic social services is being delivered to the people. There is a long list of mega scandals, which have become all too routine. These include; Uganda Commercial Bank scandal; junk helicopter scandal (US$10 million); Valley Dam scandal (Shs. 4 billion ); UPDF ghost soldiers (Shs. 600 million); Global Fund scandal (US$367 million) GAVI fund scandal (US$87 million); NUSAF scandal; Temangalo; CHOGM scandal; NRM delegates conference scandal (Shs. 4 billion).

Objective

A vigorous war on corruption, where top leadership leads by example, and there are serious laws and a potent enforcement agency free from political control; in using institutional mechanisms and governance proc esses to quickly detect and punish corrupt practices.

Plan and Commitment

• Demonstrate leadership by example, from the President,
cabinet ministers, military and other security leaders, and
senior civil servants.
• Establish independent and non-political anti-corruption enforcement agency.
• Create National Assets Recovery Commission to review status
and sales of former national assets and take action where fraud and corruption are detected.


 
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