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Ten Point Program of Uganda's National Resistance Movement (NRM) - 1984

Ten Point Program of Ugandas National Resistance Movement (NRM) - 1984

Ten-Point Programme of NRM

First published in 1984 by NRM Publications

The National Resistance Council of the National Resistance Movement, together with the High Command and Senior Officers of the National Resistance Army (NRA) under the chairmanship of President Yoweri Museveni, have worked out proposals for a political programme that could form a basis for a nationwide coalition of political and social forces that could usher in a new and better future for the long-suffering people of Uganda. This proposal is now popularly known as the TEN-POINT PROGRAMME.



  1. Democracy
  2. Security
  3. Consolidation of National unity and elimination of all forms of sectarianism
  4. Defending and consolidating National Independence
  5. Building an independent, integrated and self-sustaining national economy
  6. Restoration and improvement of social services and the rehabilitation of the war-ravaged areas
  7. Elimination of corruption and misuse of power
  8. Redressing errors that have resulted in the dislocation of sections of the population and improvement of others
  9. Co-operation with other African countries in defending human and democratic rights of our brothers in other parts of Africa
  10. Following an economic strategy of mixed economy


Uganda is a backward former colony of Britain that was given formal political independence in 1962. It inherited the economic distortions characteristic of many other colonies: reliance on a few export crops like coffee and tobacco which suffered from the problem of having unexpanding demand on the world market. These are non-essentials and merely beverages that are moreover produced by many rivalling backward countries.


Uganda also lacks industries of a basic type e.g. iron and steel, chemical industries and others. The population is illiterate with a high infant mortality rate, a low income per person, a low life-expectancy, a high number of persons per available doctor and has a low calorie and protein intake. As a result, the population still suffers from diseases that are no longer known in civilised countries e.g. worms, malaria, malnutrition, jiggers, etc. etc.


Crowning all this is the perpetual flow of resources from the country, indeed like other developing countries, to the advanced economies due to uneven economic relationships. The post-independence governments of such countries identified these distortions rather than attempting to rectify them. A recent book, “The Africans” by David Lamb, cites the fact that 60% of the 270 million Sub-Saharan Africans are malnourished; 150 million are facing mass-starvation in the 1980s, and the per capita income is only US dollars 365 per annum – the lowest in the world.


Lamb also points out that by the year 2000, one out of every two Africans will be eating imported food. And that, while a decade ago a Zambian farmer needed to produce one bag of maize to buy three cotton shirts, today, he can only buy one shirt for the same one bag of maize; the Tanzanian farmer, who could buy a Timex watch with 7.7 pounds of coffee, now needs to use 15 pounds for the same purpose.

In short the value of the African products is declining while the value of the foreign manufactured goods the African buys is climbing. The African’s terms of trade are declining. To compound all this the post-independent governments of Africa and Uganda in particular, espoused wrong politics e.g. sectarianism, a repressive style in dealing with the masses and a conspiratorial approach in dealing with political colleagues and opponents.


The most disappointing thing, however, is that up to now – 22 years after independence and a million persons massacred in the course of political violence – many of the political actors have not even reappraised this course. They are still using sectarianism, intrigues and dishing out empty talk about “the Pearl of Africa rising and shining again”. None of the concoctions of people like Obote can work in spite of the “advice” from the top brass of the IMF.

The basic phenomenon that has been responsible for African underdevelopment for the last 500 years – the phenomenon of African value being exchanged for no value and the stunting of our productive forces (science, technology and the managerial capacity of a society) – is still the main tendency. While 200-500 years ago African slaves were being exchanged for beads and trinkets for the African chiefs of the day, today African coffee, cotton, gold, copper, oil or uranium are being exchanged for toys, wigs, perfumes, whisky or Mercedes Benzes.


In fact this tendency is getting re-enforced and the gap between the developed economies of the world and ours is ever widening. Four hundred years ago, Europeans were using steam and wind power to do heavy jobs; today they have reached a stage, were they use nuclear energy and are investigating solar energy, having gone through the use of electric power and the power of oil while much of African backbreaking jobs are still being done by muscle power.


While a hundred years ago we possessed, at least, enough technology to extract iron from its ore and use it to make agricultural tools (e.g. hoes and pangas), now even these most primitive tools must be sold to us by foreign firms, and we must, in order to get them, pay in precious resources, many of them exhaustible (e.g. copper, gold, oil where available, iron, uranium, etc.), There is therefore a qualitative regression. What some people call “development” is nothing but the development of an “enclave economy” – i.e. an enclave of pseudo-modernisation of night-clubs, neon lights, tourist hotels or shiny office blocks for coffee or a cotton marketing board, surrounded by a sea of backwardness.


Not only in the countryside where millions walk with bare feet, but, right in the cities, marked in terms of the under- development of the productive forces (science, technology and the managerial capacity of a given society at a given time) and the profitless extraction and export of exhaustible natural resources (e.g. oil, copper, iron or uranium). It is also marked in terms of the deterioration of the only means of sustenance our people have been surviving on, namely, land and the climate in some cases – all due to mismanagement. In respect of the fore-going, it should be pointes out that while in the Netherlands people are reclaiming land from the sea, in Africa the Sahara desert is advancing at the rate of 120 miles per year in some places: without bothering to mention the phenomenon of acute soil-erosion in many parts of Africa, Uganda inclusive, largely due to the use without being conscious of social cost-benefit analysis. The latter is exemplified by, for instance cutting of forests on top of catchment areas without regard for the effects of such on the rain patterns os a climate zone, hence the growing erraticness of the weather.


Responsible for this all round stagnation in the economic, social, political or cultural fields are some of the present African rulers who even prevent the mere discussion - let alone the resolution of these immense problems – through dictatorship. Like the African chiefs of yore who sold Africans in exchange for beads, their historical role continues to be to supervise the expatriation of African value in exchange largely for no value.


First and foremost it is this haemorrhage that must be reversed if the downhill journey of Africa is to be stopped. The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) is now talking of 24 countries in Africa that are on the verge of mass-starvation this year!! This is quite an achievement for the present generation of leaders – e.g. to manage to pauperize a whole continent even after it has attained political sovereignity. Of course “the drought” is now being blamed. Of course droughts kill crops, etc., ets. It is a mark of civilisation however that man is able to tame nature and adapt it to his own needs and does not have to adapt himself to nature by, for instance, growing a hump like a camel” because he lives in a dry area!! It is an indictment of the present generation of African leaders that 20-25 years after independence half the continent has got to be rescued from starvation by international donations of food. Of course, the medicine droughts is irrigation to ensure that we do not have to rely on erratic rainy seasons. Since Africa has got some of the mightiest rivers in the world (the Nile, the Congo, the Sambezi, the Rufiji, the Ruvuma, the Niger, the Kagera and the Senegal apart from the big fresh water lakes like Victoria) this proposition is not beyond reason. Since we ar e living in the “State of Nature”, however, we have no alternative but to

be victims of the capriciousness of natural phenomena or sometimes pests. Moreover, even with the rainfalls of the immediate past years, provided the cultivation of food was itself taken seriously instead of only concentrating on beverages and other stimulants that are part of the colonial distortion we talked above, there should have been food surplus. This food surplus would have come in handy in the lean years. A country like Uganda alone, with its still relatively stable rainfall in spite of the continued destruction of the environment, can produce enough food to feed much of East and Central Africa. The variety of foods, that can be produced by Uganda are impressive e.g. maize, cassava, sorghum, sweet or Irish potatoes on the side of carbohydrates; beef, mutton, goat-meat, chicken, pork, eggs and milk on the side of animal proteins not forget planted proteins in the form of beans, peas, cotton-seed, cooking oil, etc. for fat; and inexhaustible fishing resources. There is also great potential for wheat and rice – the latter in the marsh-lands of Eastern, Central and Western Uganda.


The best example is the neglect of producing very valuable food-crops and concentrating on producing cash crops needed by foreign countries. The regression in the production of millet, sorghum, peas and other rich food stuffs is a good example of colonial distortions. Research findings in the nutritive value of different drops show that millet is a very nutritious food – quite close to wheat in protein and carbohydrate content. It is easily storable and transportable and could be milled, packed and sold. With concentration, it is probable that many finger millet derived dishes could be developed. The research findings also show that soya-beans are very rich in proteins – quite ahead of wheat and even meat; and that cow- ghee is far ahead of wheat in its calorie content. All these rich food stuffs – finger-millet, sorghum, soya-beans, cow-ghee – are easily produced in Africa and Uganda in particular. What has happened, however, is that people have been discouraged from producing these crops or animal products and have been diverted to producing foreign –demanded crops that happen to be less essential for human survival. In Uganda, finger-millet has been replaced in many areas in the subsistence sector by bananas because the latter, being perennial, were more compatible with the diversion of labour to the production of foreign-demanded cash crops. Yet it has been proved that it takes three units of the edible weight of matoke to provide the same energy in calories as that of only one unit of the edible weight of millet. The protein comparison is even more dramatic: It takes eight units of edible weight of matoke to provide the same protein as that of one unit of millet.


The production of finger-millet which is a seasonal crop requires more labour input and with its production, less labour would be available for the production of, for instance, coffee. There is need therefore, to re-orient the economy in such a way that food production, while not abandoning the production of cash-crops needed in foreign market, is given due emphasis. Millet for instance, should be grown for local consumption and export. The current phenomenon of threatened mass-starvation in Africa is more of a commentary on the post- independence African leaders than on the droughts.

Consequently the leadership of the NRM and the National Resistance Army think that, in view of the fore-going, a political programme around the following points could form a basis for a national coalition of democratic, political and social forces, that could, at last, bring some motion in the centuries-old stagnation. Accordingly we have enunciated the following points:

  • ·-  democracy, security of all persons in Uganda and their properties;
  • ·-  -consolidation of national unity and elimination of all forms of sectarianism;
  • ·-  defence and consolidation of national independence;
  • ·-  laying a basis for building and independent, integrated, self-sustaining national


  • ·-  restoration and improvement of social services and rehabilitation of the war-ravaged


  • ·-  elimination of all forms of corruption in public life;
  • ·-  settling the peasants that have been rendered landless by erroneous “development”

    projects or outright theft of their land through corruption;

  • ·-  Settling the long suffering Karamojong
  • ·-  and ensuring a decent living wage for salaried workers in the light of the cost of living.

- Encouraging co-operation with other African countries and defending the human and democratic rights of our long-suffering African brothers.

All this is to be achieved by following an economic strategy of a mixed economy – e.g. use of state and private sector as well as co-operatives with all round efficiency being the main criterion. Let us deal with these, one by one.


1. Democracy

Democracy, as defined by one political thinker, means “government of the people, by the people and for the people”. The only problem is that rarely do we get governments that are really all these three. There are lot of mockeries of “democracy” around the globe. In our case, for democracy to be meaningful and not a mockery, it must contain three elements: parliamentary democracy, popular democracy and a decent level of living for every Ugandan.


In other words, there should be an elected parliament, elected at regular intervals and such elections must be free of corruption and manipulation of the population. In addition to this exercise, however, there must be people’s committees at the village, muluka, gombolola, saza and district level. We do not mind if the saza level is skipped. These committees would deal with each level’s local affairs subject to superior laws. The committees could deal with law-breakers in co-operation with the chiefs and police, take part in discussing local development projects with government officials, but, above all, they would be political forums to discuss relevant issues concerning the whole country and act as forums against the corruption and misuse of office by the chief government officials – medical and veterinary, market officers, headmasters, police men, soldiers, etc.


They would be a channel of communication between the top and the bottom. They would also take part in such projects like screening applicants to join the national army, police and prisons in order to avoid anti- social elements worming their way into these institutions as has been the case in the past. In fact, we had already implemented this system before the enemy – Obote disrupted the life of the population in the liberated zones. We had committees at village, muluka and zone (several gombololas) levels in the following gombololas: Makulubita, Semuto, Kapeeka, Nakaseke, Kikamulo, Ngoma, Kikandwa, Bukomero, Kiboga, Bukwiri, Kasanda, Busunju, Sekanyonyi, Kakiri, Masuliita, Gombe, Wakiso, Nyimbwa, Migyera, Kalungi, Wampiti, Wabusana, Zirobwe and Wabinyonyi.

Through these committees people could criticise anything they disapproved of e.g. NRA soldiers misbehaving. It is, indeed, people’s power. In fact, now, “Abobukiiko” (committee members) is an integral part of the National Resistance Movement. Apart from the open committees in the above gombololas, there are thousands of secret committees all over the country. These, however, are not as democratic as the above on account of still being secret.


Democracy in politics, however, is not possible without a reasonable level of living for all the people of Uganda. An illiterate, sick, superstitious Ugandan does not really take part in the political life of the country even when there is formal democracy. It is normally the local elite, pandering to the various schemes of the unprincipled factions of the national elite that manipulate the population on behalf of the latter with bribes, misinformation, taking advantage of their ignorance.


Therefore, the NRM, after removing Obote must think of democracy in a total context of real emancipation. Hence the importance of some of the subsequent points on our programme. Before leaving this point, it must be pointed out that the immediate problem of Uganda is not economic, but political. When the political questions were mishandled, the economic problem ensued; and unless the political question is amicably resolved, there will be no economic recovery in Uganda.


2. Security

Ugandans and many other Africans have been living under insecurity in the very elementary sense of the word. Obote and Amin must have by now killed over 800.000 Ugandans between them over the past 22 years of so-called independence. Even at the time of independence, the people were apprehensive about security, remembering the tyrannical rule of the pre-colonial days.


This was because British colonialism in Uganda was more subtle than, for instance, Belgian colonialism in Rwanda or Portuguese colonialism in Mozambique or even British colonialism in Kenya. After independence, Obote and his colleagues have done everything to discredit the whole concept of independence. It is only now in the liberated areas of NRM that Ugandans are beginning to know that African rule can provide security. As soon as NRM takes government, not only will the state inspired violence disappear but so will even criminal violence. Given democracy at the local level, a politicized army and police and absence of corruption at the top as well as interaction with the people, even criminal violence can disappear. Thereby, security of persons will be restored and so will security of legitimately earned property.


3. Consolidation of National Unity and elimination of all forms of sectarianism

One of the principal causes of strife in Uganda and Africa in general has been lack of national unity. Not only did it enable foreign powers to colonise Africa and ensure the perpetuation of colonialism for much longer than would have been the case, but sectarianism has enabled dictators and idiots to emerge, take power illegally and perpetuate their stay in power with much greater ease. Obote has been thriving on division as did Amin. The politics of Uganda at independence was unabashedly sectarian: DP mainly for Catholics, UPC mainly for Protestants outside Buganda and KY for Protestants in Buganda. In the army there were opportunistic factions emerging according to the opportunistic politics and manipulation of the day: Bantu versus Nilotics in 1966 (where the Bantu included the Itesot who do not speak a Bantu language and where the Nilotics included the West Nilers most of whom do not speak Nilotic languages).


In 1970, the West Nilers versus Acholis and Langi; then when Amin’s rule progresses, Moslems versus Christians; after the downfall of Amin, the reintroduction of DP and UPC, having undergone some fresh permutations of sectarianism; and Obote, following the elections, trying to erect a new alliance of Acholis, Langis and Itesot against the “enemies” – principally Baganda and Banyankole.


What is the end result of all this tragicomedy? Fragmentation of the people so that they can never unite to confront their common enemy – underdevelopment emanating from foreign domination working through, precisely, the same opportunists like Obote (foremen of foreign interests and enemies of their own people).


What enmity is there between a Muganda peasant and a Langi peasant? Or between a Christian peasant and a Moslem peasant? On the contrary they have got a common enemy: the Obotes and the Amins who misuse their peasant-earned foreign exchange to buy whisky instead of improving rural water or building industries that would employ their sons.

Therefore, unity is in the interest of the people and is feared by all exploiters – actual and prospective. A united people cannot be duped. Therefore, the NRM and its army, the NRA, tested defenders of all the people of Uganda, will not tolerate any sectarian opportunists of any shade.


The fundamental causes of suffering of the people of Uganda must be ended. As has always been our line, the National Resistance Movement is a home of the former DP, UPC, CP and UPM members; one’s religion, colour, sex or height is not considered when welcoming new members into NRM: rather we consider one’s goodness or badness (e.g. corruption) or contribution. We rigorously fight tribalism and religious sectarianism and have always aimed at uniting as many people as possible, around the principled programmes, in order to isolate the enemy to the maximum. Anybody that impedes the unity of the people of Uganda is an enemy of the people in more than one way.


On the one hand he fragments the people’s efforts towards emancipation and, on the other hand, he mis-defines the enemy so as to encourage fratricidal conflicts where brother fights brother, peasant resents or fights peasant, worker resents worker, student suspects fellow student – all under the banners of tribalism, religion, linguistic groupings, regionalism or chauvinism.


Obote tried to convince the Acholi and Langi people that they stood in mortal danger if the NRA won. Using the correct tactics of exposing the manipulators of the people, we have of recent dealt Obote mortal blows by releasing some of the prisoners of war we captured, including the Acholi and Langi.


Going back to their colleagues after treatment (for the wounded), the prisoners of war we released have caused pandemonium in Obote’s army. The wall of fear and hatred which had built up among the Acholi and Langi has evaporated and Obote is in mortal danger at the hands of the same people he had been using as cannon fodder.


4. Defending and consolidation National Independence

Some may assert that this is superfluous as Uganda became independent as per October 9th, 1962. This, however, is not the case. We were supposed to be independent within circumscribed boundaries. Like democracy, we were not supposed to be too excited about this idea of independence. This can be shown in many manifestations of post-independence Africa.


Take for example, the conflict between Tanzania and West Germany on the issue of whether Tanzania, its “independence” not-withstanding, could have diplomatic relations with East Germany and, at the same time, remain a recipient of West German aid!! This once led President Nyerere to say that there had been a “misunderstanding” between the African patriots and the ex-colonial masters, with the former being under the impression of having acquired real independence while the latter advised them not to be too literal in their interpretation of the notion of independence.


Nevertheless, the main blame for the failure of African independence must be on the African leaders themselves. It is escapist to merely blame the former colonial rulers or the United States. After all decolonisation – although tactical – was, nevertheless, a retreat resulting from the worldwide transformation of relations between the masters and subject peoples. If the African leaders had wanted, they could have exercised their independence. Many of them were, however, not equal to the task – intellectually, politically, and particularly morally. They saw independence as a concession to be used for purposes of self-enrichment by all means including smuggling.


Without genuine national independence, a country can experience a lot of problems, or even, be derailed. The history of our struggle alone – i.e. the struggle for democracy in Uganda - illustrates that clearly. We shall start our recapitulation over this matter in 1971, leaving out the 1966 affairs.


In 1971 Idi Amin staged a coup against the dictatorial government of Milton Obote – just a question of jumping from the frying pan to the fire. Nevertheless, certain leading circles in the West lauded Amin with eulogies about “native wisdom” and “nobleness”. He would save Uganda from Obote’s “socialism”. Those backing Idi Amin at this time were: the British, American and Israeli governments.


Of course, none of these would have had Idi Amni as a Police Station Sergeant in their own countries. When it came to Africa, however, a buffoon could be a statesman in spite of being “a bit short on the grey matter”!! The “good thing was that he was the stupidest”!! Suffice it to say that for us we knew that Idi Amin was not good for Uganda or for Africa. Hence, he had to go whatever his outside friends said about him or about us. Those who wanted Amin could take him to their own country to rule them.


As the struggle against Amin went ahead, a quarrel developed between Idi Amin and his erstwhile allies. Amin jumped from the Western camp to the Soviet-Libyan camp. Up to that point the Soviets and the African left-wing regimes of the day (most of which are now right-wing) had been friendly with us. In fact, some of them had even offered troops to use in the invasion of Uganda in order to restore Obote. Since Amin had stopped being an “imperialist agent” and had now become an “anti-imperialist” exhibiting “progressive tendencies”, our former friends started advising us to stop opposing Amin and to even “work” with him. The western camp started denigrating their former ally but they, at the same time were supplying his State Research Bureau (the dictator’s notorious secret police) with necessary gadgets for their trade.


In the meantime, the toll of Amin’s victims was climbing into the hundreds of thousands. This line-up went on until the overthrow of Amin in 1979. In 1980 our long-time allies in the struggle for democracy – the Tanzanians – deserted from the side of the people to the side of dictatorship. They tried to induce us to work bilaterally with Obote. We told them that would be tantamount to treason and that we could work with Obote only under the UNLF. Our Tanzanian brothers with whom we were backing our Southern African brothers with the slogan of “one man, one vote,” were now de facto agreeing with Ian Smith in respect to Uganda. Our American and British friends, who had been erroneously calling Obote a “socialist” and who passionately called for democracy in Poland and the withdrawal of Soviet troops from Afghanistan, were talking of “giving Obote a chance” as he was now a disciple of the IMF, his crimes notwithstanding.

Now comes the question: suppose our movement had not had its own line, and we had to listen to the “advice” or pressure of all these friends of ours – all of whom were invariably wrong – where would Uganda be? Of course, even now, Uganda’s condition is not particularly endearing to any observer or to its own suffering people. It is suffering, however, with the hope of redemption. Had we listened to these advisers, we would be suffering without any hope and without any capacity for reprisal against our people’s decades-old oppressor – Obote. Hence, the importance of an independent line in politics.


To have a healthy situation, the people – working through their democratic institutions – must be the basic determinant in the economy, politics, culture, or even diplomacy. Other considerations, while important, should be secondary. We should always maintain an independent line in economics, politics, culture and foreign relations. We should judge friend or foe according to how they relate to our own interests irrespective of the social system obtaining in the various countries.


We may add that in the short time that we were part of the UNLF government, we never encountered any difficulty in dealing with the various foreign interests on account of the independent line we characteristically follow in all national issues. The Americans even promised to “study” our shopping list for arms at the same time as we were heading for Moscow, Peking and Pyongyang for different arms purchases. Nor did the West Germans have any hesitation in being ready to sell hundreds of Mercedes Benz trucks on favourable terms proposed by us, including building eight workshops for repairing the same, and also manufacturing some of the spare parts locally to reduce the continued outflow of convertible currency. They had also agreed to give us all the necessary know-how as part of the deal.


We were also proposing to deal with Canada for the purchase of buffalo transports for the army; with Britain for the purchase of military radio communication sets; and with Italy for the Augusta Bell helicopters. They all seemed ready to do business on mutually favourable terms. In fact, they looked to be flabbergasted by the corruption of those good-for-nothing traitors who made deals unfavourable to their country in exchange for money put on personal secret accounts in Switzerland.


In the non-military fields we found the Belgians who were building wagon ferries across Lake Victoria and a dry-dock – in effect a second railway line for Uganda to diversify the overdependence on the Mombasa line – more than enthusiastic and so were the West-Germans building the Lake Katwe Salt Factory.


Our conclusion was that, provided the national leadership is clear in its own mind, budgets its resources frugally, identifies the fulcrum-like points in the economy and evolves overall politics that are in consonance with the actual dynamics of the situation (as opposed to the subjectivist positions), a country like Uganda with its good soil and climate, dynamic people with a tradition of relative civilisation and considerable resources can easily overcome its difficulties and deal profitably with countries of divergent social systems. We are not yet convinced that the biggest hindrance to the exercise of real national independence are the external forces in spite of their obvious interests to keep us dependent.


We are convinced that some of the post-independent African leaders are the ones that are just hopelessly out of depth and have got to look for scapegoats. Africa, since independence, has been tossed between, on the one hand, idiotic quislings that are mere “caricatures” of the worst aspects of the European middle class and, on the other hand, muddle-headed “revolutionary” ideologies of Fabians, murderers and a variety of other opportunists, who spend more time putting people in preventive detention, when they are not murdering them, and spew out policies and papers that are not within a thousand miles of the real dynamics of the situation, than solving the problems of the continent. That is why African independence has almost begun to look as if it is a non-viable proposition.


5. Building an independent, integrated and self-sustaining national economy

This is probably the most important point of the whole programme. In the introduction we pointed out that Uganda, being a microcosm of the African situation, is a backward, underdeveloped country whose only progress is the “development of the under-development” to use one scholar’s words. The fundamental cause of this under-development is the structural intertwinement with the economies of the developed countries of the West on an unequal basis.


This phenomenon which started almost five centuries ago has caused basic malformations that will never allow us to develop. This is because, among other things, there is a constant outflow of resources (what I have called haemorrhage elsewhere) from our economy to the economy of the developed countries – the metropolitan centres of the world system, while we content ourselves with the role of outlying villages. Resources flow out, in the present era in the form of: cheap raw-materials (some of them – notably minerals which are exhaustible); repatriation of high dividends on investments (which investments do not contribute to the disengagement from foreign economic domination but rather re-enforce the dependence); payment for highly priced manufactured goods (most of them just trash consumer goods – e.g. whisky, toys, wigs, lipsticks, perfumes, sodas, foods that could be even grown by grandmothers for instance tomatoes); theft of the nation’s convertible currency by a multiplicity of state officials including topmost leaders; flight of capital due to insecurity; purchase with convertible currency of items that could easily locally produced (e.g. soap, toothpaste, tooth-brushes, toilet paper, etc., etc.); brain drain due to scientists seeking better opportunities or simply security for their skins; wastage of labour and resources in the over production of export crops – e.g. coffee – which, being beverages, are less essential in comparison with items like grain that have a more reliable market, apart from assisting our own economy in many ways including nurturing a healthy population; etc., etc.


The fore-going do not include the incalculable loss due to failing to do things that could help the economy if they were done – e.g. lack of scientific education, distorted infrastructure of roads and railways, running from the interior to the coast and never from an interior point to another point, or an under-employed population . all due to the ideological deficiencies of the elite elements that have been wielding power since independence because of colonial education that turned them completely myopic.


A fundamental solution to all this is making deliberate efforts to build an independent, integrated, self-sustaining national economy. This means that we should shift from the present asymmetrical situation where, on the one hand, there is the “enclave” – pseudo- modern export-import sector that exports, cheaply, raw materials (mainly agricultural and minerals) to the advanced capitalist countries while it imports mainly consumer goods at exorbitant prices and, on the other hand, there is the subsistence sector that subsidizes the pseudo-modern sector by keeping the families of the industrial and mine-workers in the rural areas living a half-life. The latter technique saves the firms in the “pseudo-modern” sector from having to pay wages that would enable a worker and his family to subsist in the town which would considerably raise the subsistence wage and therefore, eat into the profits of the firms (largely foreign until Idi Amin caused more mess by “nationalizing” – actually donating them to his cohorts).


This asymmetry is characterised by almost a total absence of manufacturing industries; and the few that exist, are, unduly dependent on foreign inputs, which inputs, however, could be locally procured if there was any element of integration in the economy. Sometimes it is merely assembling components already made in foreign countries or rolling and wrapping toilet tissue. That sort of thing is dubbed “manufacturing” industry. You find there is no linkage between the raw material producing sectors and the so called manufacturing sectors, with the exception of items like cotton.


Take copper, for instance. Uganda produces copper at Kilembe. Uganda also consumes copper-derived manufactured goods, mainly in its electrical installations. The electrification programme in the country would provide a good market for finished copper goods using Kilembe copper. Although we are at present unable to lay our hands on the necessary statistics, we are not aware of any significant linkage between the Kilembe copper and Uganda’s electricity industry. The rock is mostly got from Kilembe, smelted at Jinja and exported. Then Uganda has got to import the copper wires necessary in the generation and transmission of electricity from foreign manufacturers probably using Uganda’s copper. The finished copper products are, moreover, much more expensive than the copper that was exported. There is, therefore, no linkage between the copper mining and the copper consumption in the country. This is precisely what lack of integration means. Of course, such an economy as exemplified by the copper mining and copper use is not independent. It is dependent on importing finished copper products that it could economically manufacture itself. It is also exclusively dependent on foreign markets for its raw copper. It does not, however, mean that an independent economy is not inter-dependent with other economies. It is inter-dependent with other economies in fields where it cannot economically be self-sufficient.


Even in the so-called free markets, it is normally competition among “equals” although at the moment USA, West- Germany and Japan are “more equal” than the other developed “equals”. Uganda’s reasons for not using its copper in its industries as raw materials are not concerned with “inter- dependence”. They have got more to do with the colonial malformations already referred to and, therefore, the unhealthy dependence of our economy on foreign economies in fields where it could be profitably independent.


Having seen what the “integrated”, “independent” aspects of our proposed national economy mean, let us briefly refer to the “self-sustaining” aspect. A “self-sustaining” economy means an economy that can move under its own power and is not just a puppet of outside economies on which it is dependent. There are some internal factors that cause motion within that economy or between that economy and other economies. These are called endogenous factors. There may be other “external” factors contributing to the same economy which we call exogenous factors. These, however, are not the primary moving force; but rather, the secondary one. The internal elements of the economy would be, for instance, the capacity of the economy to make machine-making machines or to extract a metal from its ore and use the metal to manufacture finished products. Foreign capital or importation of inputs are examples of external factors. Therefore, a self-sustaining national economy, while it may be inter-dependent with other economies, has got an internal cohesion that enables it to exist with a measure of independence. This may mean, for instance, ability to use one’s raw- materials in his manufacturing industries while one’s industries are contributing machinery and other inputs to the raw-materials producing sectors, e.g. agriculture and mining. Therefore, with an independent and self-sustaining national economy, one would have to ensure, above all, the forward and backward linkages between the different sectors of the economy, e.g. between industry and agriculture, industry and mining, construction and industry etc, and vice versa.


To give some examples agricultural raw materials would feed agriculture and industry while bricks, tiles and tar would feed industry and industry would feed construction with tools, etc. Such an economy is a dynamic one. The present economy of Uganda apart from the cotton industry is not integrated. This includes the much talked about tourism. Even in its hey-day in the pre-Amin days there never was, for instance, sufficient linkage between tourism and agriculture. Who was producing the cornflakes, the butter, the oats, the bread, the tomato sauce, the chilli, the whiskies, the wines and the champagnes, etc., etc. that were feeding the tourism industry? The linkage was, indeed, limited to probably milk and meat.


You could find that Uganda’s tourist industry was interacting more with South African agriculture or with agricultural-based industries in other countries than with Uganda’s agriculture. When the tourist industry of Uganda imports a carton of butter, which could easily be bought locally with proper restructuring apart from being yet another unjustified transfer of resources in the endless haemorrhage to our detriment, the economic activity resultant to the buying of this extra carton of butter will be realised abroad and not within the national economy. That is to say that the butter producer whose carton of butter was bought by the Uganda tourist industry will be able to buy extra pairs of socks, thereby benefiting the textile industry of their own country, attend a film show, thereby benefiting their entertainment industry etc. etc. Conversely, our textile and entertainment industries will be that much poorer. Hence this haemorrhage causes both direct and indirect losses.


The building of an independent, integrated and self-sustaining national economy will usher in interaction and interdependence within the national economy which are currently almost totally absent. Interdependence with foreign economies that will remain will be healthy because it will be necessary. What we have today is not interdependence but dependence; it is not symbiotic but parasitic; it is not progressive but regressive. In short, the following steps ought to be taken in order to move towards an independent, integrated, self-sustaining economy.

  1. Diversify agriculture away from the present narrow confines of just producing requirements for external markets and produce, in addition, things needed by our industrialisation process and, especially, food that can be exported to the Arab world, North African and Sub Sahara Africa apart from eliminating the food import bill.
  2. Building industries in the import-substitution sectors so as to eliminate the import bill for especially consumer goods e.g. soap, tooth-paste, paper, textiles, etc. etc. – taking pains to build industries that will use local inputs as much as it is technologically possible. It is of little value to build industries that are heavily dependent on imported inputs as much as it is technologically possible. It is of little value to build industries that are heavily dependent on imported inputs if it is scientifically possible to have local alternatives thereby limiting the outflow of resources. Import-substitution should also be undertaken in producing agricultural tools following, again, the principle of maximum self-sufficiency.

Aggressive industrialisation should take place along the entire spectrum of our agricultural products. Things like butter, jam, sausages or fruit juice should be locally made for home consumption and export. The carbohydrate, protein and fat foods we produce should be processed and packed for both local sale and for export to especially other African and Arab countries. This industrialisation cannot take place without a research institute to identify the scientific techniques necessary for processing, preserving and packing various foods we produce for internal distribution and export. The industrialisation should not confine itself to just processing and packaging. Extraction of industrially useful substances could also be done.


Construction of basic industries – e.g. iron and steel, chemicals or construction and engineering – should be undertaken where feasible. If one African country cannot do it alone, then several of them could co-operate on one project or a number of projects. Without these basic industries – e.g. iron and steel it is impossible to industrialise or develop because steel is required in so many things – housing, road construction, machine-making, agricultural tools, automobile- manufacture etc. etc.


We should ensure that we eventually develop a capacity to make locally machine- making machines. We cannot content ourselves merely importing the whole range of foreign plants to use in our manufacturing sector. Similarly, we would ensure that we acquire, eventually, the computer technology. In short, we reject the notion that we should be dependent on others for all our technology. To do otherwise, is the best recipe for perpetual subservience.


We are dependent on foreigners for the making of even safety pins or drawing pins. It is a shame and an unpardonable crime for African leaders to accept this situation. Moreover, we wish to point out the fact that without the building of an independent, integrated and self-sustaining national economy, Uganda or indeed other African countries will never stabilize. Much of the present turmoil is as much due to political mismanagement as it is due to a narrow economy that cannot accommodate the aspirations of so many groups within the individual countries.


A local example: in the colonial days, there were only 55 Gombolola (sub-counties) and 10 Saza (counties) chieftaincies, the Enganzi (chief minister) the treasurer, the Kihimba (head of civil service) and the Muramuzi (chief-magistrate) in Ankole District with a population of 555,000 people. These were the only high-level jobs in the whole district that people had to compete for. This accounted for much sectarianism in the politics of Ankole as the various factions of the elite tried to use the population in their unprincipled struggle for jobs. These factions of the elite were Bahima chiefs, Bairu- protestant and Bairu catholic elites. Proof that the whole struggle was for jobs is given by the fact that when the Bairu-protestant clique took power in 1963, it soon split up between the Nkomba and the Mufunguro factions.


Another good example is that the Bahima chiefs, although in power from 1900 to 1946, did absolutely nothing for the Bahima population. It was during this period that the Bahima people were forced by the adverse economic situation created by the colonial situation, (tsetse flies, unplanned cultivation) lack of education and their own ignorance (and consequent arrogance) to disperse from their homeland to many other parts of Uganda.

In respect of Buganda much of the trouble was caused by the protestant clique of Mengo while they were trying to defend the colonial rewards for collaboration with colonialism as per 1900 Agreement. Eventually the catholic elite elements of Buganda joined the DP to fight for “truth and justice” – i.e. “justice” for the elite – never for the masses. If you talk of “justice” for the masses, the DP leaders accuse you of communism.

Similar wars over the narrow prospects were to be seen in Busoga (Mwangu-Bakaswirewa), Acholi (Lakidi vs. Ojera) etc. etc. In fact, much of Uganda’s problems have been due to these unprincipled line-ups. If the economy, however, was expansive, interest in state offices would somehow decline. In fact, with a few opportunities in farming and the commercial sector, the situation was relieved somewhat. These days you can notice retired civil servants in farming or the commercial sector. Try to imagine what would happen if there were no such, albeit limited, openings. The pressures on the cohesion of society would be that much more. The situation would further improve if we embarked on the implementation of the points enunciated above to ensure the building of a self-sustaining, integrated and independent national economy, accompanied, of course, by a correct line in politics.


6. Restoration and improvement of social services and the rehabilitation of the war ravaged areas

As has been alluded to above, the situation if social services in Uganda and Africa in general is appalling. As far as the overwhelming majority of the people are concerned, there is no clean water, hygienic housing, literacy, adequate level of calorie or protein intake, doctors available to treat people etc. etc. It is our policy to ensure that, within our means, essential social services are provided for everybody. Many of these are actually within our present means if the country could manage to get the right type of leadership.

Take, for instance, health – the elimination of diseases like malaria, syphilis, worms, gastro-enteritis etc. etc. The only thing we need to ensure is a large number of medical assistants, health assistants and the availability of medicine; and the former two should not be a problem given the large number of school-leavers. The most important pre-requisites, however, apart from staff and drugs, are the elimination of corruption among the medical staff and the mobilisation of the masses to know the consequences of the diseases they suffer from but which are easily curable or preventable.


During this war, for instance, we have discovered that syphilis is very rampant in Luwero District. The most pathetic aspect, however, is the fact that the people are relatively unconcerned about it. You can find somebody with syphilis skin marks completely unaware he is still sick, arguing that this is due to the past sickness and that it is normal!!

All this is due to the abysmal ignorance of the people. The only way to eliminate this ignorance is through political mobilisation in order to conscientize the people against diseases and have them develop faith in modern medicine. There is, for example, widespread belief in Uganda (particularly in Buganda) that “Obusukko” (cellulitis- inflammation of the connective tissue due to bacteria) or “ttalo” (pyomyositis) is incurable by modern medicine; that it is due to somebody stepping over a magical charm which could have been buried in one’s path; and that the treatment for it is by “mumbwa” (clay plus some herbs) and red soil, which form ideal breeding ground for tetanus. Busukko or ttalo are actually treatable with antibiotics. This erroneous belief, however, was so widespread among the people that a prominent member of our National Resistance Council was about to die of cellulitis, secure in the knowledge that it was beyond the potency of modern medicine and within the elusive jurisdiction of charms-men and spirit medium-man.

Quite a lot of our political work entails educating the people that “ttalo” is curable by antibiotics, that the narrowness of the pelvic bones is not caused by angry “Lubale” (ancestral spirits) and that the caesarean delivery is the answer and quite easy and that cerebral malaria is not caused by Lubale. Ministry of health budgets and World Health Organisation’s (WHO) programmes will remain dead letters as long as the people are not mobilised politically to combat their own diseases. Three-and-a-half years in the bush have transformed us into small “general practitioners” because diseases are so rampant and are, therefore, inseparable from politicisation.


The same goes for housing and literacy. Why should people live in their grass huts when all you need to build a good brick house is making bricks from the soil and then burning them? One can even dispense with cement. Brick-making, however, requires a lot of labour, which problem could be easily solved through mobilising communal labour at the village or butongole (sub-parish) levels – after all the villagers are made to do a lot of communal tasks for visiting potentates – from ministers through the whole galaxy of officials accompanied with edibles that are forcibly collected from them.


As far as literacy is concerned, there are enough form 6, form 4, and primary 7 leavers to wipe out illiteracy in Uganda and to be used in ensuring universal primary education for everybody and ultimately, universal secondary education although the latter would have to be planned for more carefully. Again the premises could be built on a self-help basis if the people are mobilised and the government would only be required to put in a small percentage of inputs e.g. assisting the timber industry that would provide the windows and doors and a construction industry to make other construction materials e.g. “mabati” (corrugated iron sheets) pattas, pails, ventilation nets and cement.


While the restoration and improvement of social services will be tackled in the medium and long terms, a special programme must be worked out to start rehabilitation of the war-ravaged areas of Mbarara, Masaka, Mubende, Mpigi, Luwero, West Nile, Madi, Karamoja, Kitgum, Lira, Soroti and even Bugisu. The rehabilitation programmes should start even in the short run and international aid agencies should be involved actively.


7. Elimination of corruption and misuse of power

Africa, being a continent that never has a shortage of problems, has also the problem of corruption – particularly bribery and misuse of office to serve personal interests. Corruption is, indeed, a problem that ranks with the problems of structural distortions that we have been talking about. We have just referred to the way in which corruption can neutralise any disease-elimination programmes as the medical staff invariably ensure that government drugs are diverted for private sale. Consequently, the patients get underdoses which render some of the microbes resistant to those drugs and create many chronic cases.

In development planning or trade, a cheaper option can be ignored in preference to a less efficient one, because the officials concerned see a chance of making 10 percent illegal commission by adopting less useful options. These types of decisions can cause distortions of great magnitude. Therefore, to enable the tackling of our backwardness, corruption must be eliminated once and for all.


8. Redressing errors that have resulted into the dislocation of sections of the population and improvement of others

Under this point three groups came to our attention:

  1. a)  people that have been displaced from their lands by illegal land-grabbers for erroneously conceived development projects;
  2. b)  the long-suffering Karamojong people;
  3. c)  the salaried people that have been impoverished by the inflation of the 70s and 80s.
  1. a)  Uganda is a country of approximately 95.000 sq miles and 14 million people. A population of 14 million is not really big for a country almost equal in size to the UK with a population of 50 million people. In spite of the small population there is already a problem of landlessness beginning to emerge. This is caused by largely incredible misuse, and even destruction of the very texture of land. There is hardly any land that is optimally utilised.

    Hence, on the one hand there is landlessness beginning to emerge and on the other hand, there is insufficiency of food. This is all due to sub- optimal use, and even misuse of land. If land was intensively and optimally used, it could support much bigger population and products. This, however, needs thorough examination of what and how to produce maximally, using the land. Our immediate concern is the tens of thousands of people – or possible hundreds of thousands – that have been displaced by ill-thought out development projects or sheer illegal land- grabbing by businessmen or state officials using corruption. An outstanding example are the15.000 people with tens of thousands of cattle that have been thrown out of Nshaara by the UPC regime in order to make the area a game reserve. Such people ought to be settled on alternative land by the government. Apparently, this practice is quite widespread in many parts of the country.

    b)  Settling the Karamojong: The Karamojong people have suffered a lot at the hands of various post-independence governments. Settling these people, according to our investigation when we were in the UNLF government, is not at all difficult. One of the crucial elements should be the provision of water. Karamoja being a dry country, people will be attracted to these water points and government can use that opportunity to reach them. International aid agencies could help in this aspect.


    c)  Reliving the plight of the salary earners: Owing to the destruction of the productive sectors and the emergence of the speculative activities as the principle economic activities, the worst hit have been the fixed income earners. The real solution for inflation is production in order to create abundance and lower prices. Salary rises, however, assist in the short run. There should be an functional relationship between the cost of living and the salaries earned by the workers and the civil servants; otherwise the pauperization of salary earners would further destroy the economy due to these workers abandoning their duty in search if ways of reinforcing their meagre incomes to enable them to cope with inflation.

9. Co-operation with other African countries in defending human and democratic rights of our brothers in other parts of Africa

One of the weaknesses of Africa is its balkanisation into small and, sometimes, uneconomic units. You hardly find an individual African country with resources that would match those of the USA, USSR, Canada, China, India, Brazil, South Africa or Australia simply because these countries are often too small. Diversity of resources, natural and human, gives a country greater potential. That is why former world powers like Britain, France, Holland or Belgium have declined when they lost their colonies in spite of their advances in technology. The resources available to them are simply insufficient. Hence, countries with a greater diversity of resources would have a higher ceiling in terms of potentiality.


The European countries with limited potentialities – Britain, France, Holland, West Germany, Italy, etc. are striving to broaden their spectrum of resources by working through the EEC (The European Economic Community). They are even talking of an eventual political union of Western Europe to counterbalance the USA and the USSR. Greater unity gives them a larger market for their industries and a diversity of resources. In Africa, we have got more reasons to search for this type of cooperation.


The existing boundaries of Africa have no logic at all except the colonial interests they were designed to serve. Even the present boundaries of Uganda were in an off-hand way, At one time the Northern boundary of Uganda was almost put north of the cataracts of Nimule and the whole of the Agoro range would have been in Uganda if the British, who were representing Uganda had not deliberately sabotaged the idea because they did not want to have the responsibility of patrolling the difficult Agoro mountains. The same is true of the Kenya-Uganda border, Uganda- Rwanda-border, etc. etc.


The point here is not to encourage wrangles over borders but rather to highlight the irrationality behind the present entities and to re-enforce the argument for close cooperation among African states in order to defeat the balkanization and maximise advantages among themselves to be able to usefully compete with other world powers. A good example was East-African co-operation. This co-operation would have benefited all of us, but for reasons unknown to the rational minds, some East- African leaders decided to destroy this market of 50 million people and the common services and the common infrastructure e.g. railway system that could run from Kasese to Mombasa and from Pakwach to Kigoma or from Pakwach to Kapiri-Moshi (Zambia). Is it not real treason to do such a thing? You find the same people trotting around the globe saying that they are looking for “markets”!! Why look for markets when you failed to use the guaranteed market of East Africa?


The diverse resources of East Africa, as a whole, present better prospects than the resources of the individual countries used as a basis for development. Uganda is particularly rich in agriculture (we could feed much of Africa as far as maize, millet, sorghum, rice, wheat, bananas, cassava, beans, peas, ground-nuts, etc. etc. are concerned) apart from the export crops of coffee tea, cotton, tobacco, as well as fisheries and hydro-electric power. There is talk of minerals – e.g. iron and uranium – that is not yet confirmed as far as we are informed, on top of copper, cobalt, salt, cement and fertilisers that we already have been producing. Some parts of Kenya are also rich in agriculture (able to produce wheat, dairy products, beef, tea, coffee, Irish potatoes. maize, cassava, millet, pyrethrum, etc. etc.) and fishing on Lake Victoria and the Indian Ocean.


Kenya also, has got access to the sea- a great resource in itself, which Uganda, for instance, lacks. Tanzania is more diversely endowed with agricultural capacity, minerals, hydro-electric power and fisheries – partly on account of its larger territory. Although many parts of Tanzania are arid, there are still large areas that are capable of producing a variety of agricultural products e.g. Arusha, Moshi, Mara, Mwanza, Tabora, Bukoba, Kigoma, Iringa, Ruvuma, Morogoro, etc. Agricultural costs are, however, always higher in Tanzania than in Uganda. In Uganda for instance, there is little need of using fertilisers while in Tanzania artificial “mbolea” is a must in many areas. Tanzania, apart from the diamonds at Mwadui and cement, is reported to have coal and iron ore in the south, uranium in the West Lake Region, and natural gas in the Lindi area. Tanzania has also got hydroelectric capacity from the Ruaha River (but not comparable to Uganda’s capacity with the mighty Nile). It has also got fisheries potential along the lakes Victoria, Tanganyika, Malawi as well as the sea. Of course, like Kenya, Tanzania has also got the advantage of having access to the sea.


One can easily see that East Africa would have benefited greatly working together not only because of the obvious points like historical links and geographical proximity but also because of the complementarity of the available resources. Kenya, for instance, would have benefited from Uganda’s electricity instead of having to rely on oil generation of electricity or more costly hydro-electric power, and Uganda would, of course, have earned considerable amounts of foreign exchange from the sale of electricity. This is an export that is much more reliable than coffee, being at per with oil in usefulness.


In fact, the Jinja dam with reinforced capacity could supply power, not only to Kenya but also to North Western Tanzania, Eastern Zaire and Southern Sudan, thereby earning a lot of foreign exchange for Uganda while saving Uganda’s neighbours the cost of trying to get electricity from more costly sources. With cheap power in Uganda, agriculture and fisheries in all the three countries and minerals like iron-ore and coal in Tanzania and a big market, a basis for industrialisation would be created. The present fragmentation of the markets and a narrow spectrum of resources available to each country almost exclude, for instance, the development of heavy industry or any other industries that require large markets for their products. This, in turn, means perpetual dependence with all the attendant problems, some of them already referred to. Apart from seeking co-operation with other African countries, Uganda, having suffered so greatly at the hands of primitive dictators ought to play an active part in defending the human and democratic rights of the African people in general. Dictatorships impede progress because they stop debates on development and allow nincompoops to remain in power doing whatever damage they are capable of.


Without democracy and the human dignity of the African people Africa will never develop if, even mere debate about, let alone the actuality of, development is hardly taking place. The people are too frightened to comment on the actions of the omnipotent rulers that have got powers of life and death over every citizen of their countries, Rulers can squander resources with impunity, they can violate human rights of the people with impunity. Democracy, therefore, becomes a sine quanon of development. We ought to oppose dictatorship in Africa.


10. Following an economic strategy of mixed economy

In doing the above we shall follow an economic strategy of mixed economy which means allowing the majority of economic activities being carried out by private entrepreneurs. – small, medium and even big – with the state, however, taking part in selected fulcrum-like sectors that the state can use to guide the economy as a whole towards the desired goals. In this way we are rejecting the laissez affaire of pure capitalism – which is particularly injurious for backward economies juxtaposed with developed capitalist economies whereby the operative law is the law of osmosis.


We are also rejecting the option of over-nationalisation of the socialist economies that burdens the state at the microeconomic level. These nationalised projects have got a tendency towards inefficiency due to the managers having no personal interest in the projects and without adequate ideological conviction to rely on. In any case some of the economic units – e.g. retail shops – are too small to be managed by managers, cashiers, shop assistants with auditors coming along to check on the former. Some of the so-called socialist countries in Africa have made a lot of errors in this respect. With the benefit of hindsight, we should be able to see that the state should have combined itself to the crucial sectors and let private enterprise deal with the rest.


In our opinion the crucial sectors that should be handled by the State to enable it to guide the economy as a whole are: import-export licensing with very clearly defined priorities, intended to enhance the productive capacity of the economy rather than making the economy into a dumping ground for consumer trash, paid for with convertible currency from developed countries; commercial banking so as to control the loaning policy and, of course, the central bank to control the monetary policy; the ownership of certain basic industries like iron and steel as well as the construction of the physical infrastructure (education, health, etc.).


These with the added powers of the State to control taxation, wages and prices, in addition to some state investments in selected fields on the basis of profitability (e.g. hotels under UDC) could enable the state to guide the economy without bogging itself down with the heavy responsibility of ensuring the profitability of thousands of microeconomic units. It should not be forgotten that the state would be controlling the overall economic planning of the country. For those who argue that there should be a free flow of resources between backward countries and advanced economies without controlling, for instance, the use foreign exchange, it should be recognised that such are simply enemies of Africa and do not merit serious attention.


The present indebtedness of South America amounting to 350 billion US Dollars is the living example of that line. In fact, the crucial element to be tackled at this juncture is not so much the fair distribution of the little that there is through socialising economic units, but rather the restructuring that can, at last, allow wealth to be generated and retained in the national economy. This can be done through the rectification of the phenomenon of unequal exchange between our economy and the advanced economies, and the building of an independent integrated and self-sustaining national economy. We ought not to care whether this is done by capitalist or socialist means, as long as it is done, either way, Uganda is bound to benefit.


In any case either of them is a modern system much superior to the some-what pre- capitalist or quasi-capitalist modes of production we have currently. Hence, we think that a combination of capitalist and socialist techniques in the form of a mixed economy may be more appropriate for this purpose than opting for either socialist or capitalist methods. A mixed economy will combine the best of both worlds.


Several European countries – including Britain and the Scandinavian countries – have benefited from this strategy to some extent. Even some of the socialist countries like Hungary and Yugoslavia, have gravitated towards something similar and their economic performance has improved – although, of course, the emphasis of either is different.; one group is uses capitalist methods to serve capitalism while the other group is using socialist methods to serve socialism.


In our case we would be using capitalist and socialist methods to overcome terrible backwardness and start the development of our productive forces (science, technology and managerial skills). While the current debate between capitalism and socialism is a valid one, our problems are somewhat incidental to this debate. We are aware of the revolutionary content of capitalism in its youth when it ushered in the concept of profit, the balance sheet and reward for enterprises rather than merely belonging to the aristocratic classes. This ushered in efficiency and rationality at the microeconomic level which was, however, not reflected at the macroeconomic level. This discrepancy matured in the 20th century with the depression of the 1930’s. Thereafter, the capitalist economies of Western Europe had to borrow an element of social control, through the state and other interventions, from socialism. At that juncture socialism came in with microeconomic planning - thereby introducing rationality at the level of the whole economy. At the micro-economic level, however, there has been a tendency of the inefficiency, wastage, etc. Some socialist economies, as already pointed out, have already gravitated towards giving private enterprises a longer lash than previously.


 In view of these historical experiences, and in view of our extremely backward levels of development, a synthesis of the two modes – in the form of a mixed economy – may be most appropriate for Uganda.


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