Tag Archives: Yoweri Museveni

Keep an Eye on Museveni

I just read an article that brought up a number of red flags for me about the direction Uganda is taking right now. It is well-known that President Museveni is living in fear of what has happened in north Africa. … Continue reading

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Uganda in Flames

I haven’t written for a while because I have been in transit for the last few weeks moving back to the States. As I have tuned back into what has been happening in Uganda, I am in total shock. Museveni … Continue reading

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President Museveni – Remember When YOU Were a Rebel?

It is more than a little hypocritical when President Museveni criticizes the West for getting involved in the Libya crisis. If countries really should be left to work out their own issues, even when “the people” are vastly out-gunned, how … Continue reading

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Uganda is Broke

According to a Valentines Day article in The East African, Ugandans won’t be feeling the love for at least three years as the government tries to recover financially from the incumbent party’s looting of the treasury to fund their campaigns. Continue reading

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Uganda Presidential Elections 2011

A guide to the on-line presence of the Uganda 2011 Presidential Candidates. Continue reading

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Why Does Uganda Need the World’s Third-Largest Cabinet?

This is a story about political patronage at its best, and a view into what a master President Museveni is at playing the game.

A recent article in The Independent by Andrew Mwenda presents one of the most wide-ranging and well-researched explanations I have come across for why Uganda’s political structure, both local and national, is set up the way it is.

The global average of Cabinet Ministers is 30. Uganda has 71. The only two countries in the world with a larger cabinet are North Korea and Kenya – definitely two models of good governance (ahem).

He explores different possible explanations for why the number is so high (tribal-based politics? Religious divides?), and gives well-reasoned arguments why these don’t serve as good answers.

Then he looks at the timeline of the ballooning of many government and quasi-governmental posts. Not surprisingly, it corresponds with the years when Uganda was switching over from a benevolent-military-dictatorship to a democracy.

“Thus between 1992 and 1995, Uganda’s cabinet fell from 78 to 40; the army from 100,000 to 40,000; the civil service from 278,000 to 146,000 and the public enterprises sector from 150 parastatals to 43. However, beginning with 1996 to the present (i.e. 2011), things began to change in the opposite direction; the civil service, the number of districts, the size of parliament, the number of presidential advisors, the size of cabinet and the number of semi autonomous government bodies begin to grow. It is therefore not only the cabinet that has grown but the size of government.

While the official army did not grow, the number of auxiliary forces grew from zero to 78,000; the number of districts from 33 to 114, the number of semi-autonomous government agencies from 11 to 178, the number of presidential advisors from six to 124, the number of security organisations from 12 to 36 by 2009 and the size of the civil service from 146,000 in 1995 to 320,000 in 2010.”

The article then goes on to explore how these Ministers and other African elites justify their lavish lifestyles in the face of the poverty of their constituencies.

The one shortfall of the article is that it doesn’t articulate the cost of this large cadre of Ministers to the country. My guess is that it is staggering in the context of Uganda’s budget. The article has a place for the “official” political patronage budget, but the numbers have either been stripped from the article or the numbers weren’t confirmed before the article went to press.

Read the rest of this fascinating article: Uganda Has Third Largest Cabinet in the World

Mark D. Jordahl – Kampala
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Leaked Uganda Cable

Some pretty astute observations, if you ask me, and a good summary of the state of Uganda at this time. Can’t imagine any of it comes as a big surprise to Museveni. For more of the Uganda cables, go to The Guardian:

Monday, 19 October 2009, 11:29
EO 12958 DECL: 10/18/2019
Classified By: Ambassador Jerry Lanier for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d). Continue reading

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Murchison Falls Continues to be Museveni's Punching Bag (or Punchline)

Can this really be happening? Murchison Falls National Park seems to be Museveni’s punching bag. First, it was opened up for unlimited oil drilling, and now he is demanding that the Madhvani Group, the owners of Paraa and Chobe Lodges, be allowed to build a golf course within the park. Clearly he does not take the concept of “National Park” seriously.

I think building a Wal-Mart or a 24-hour Nakumatt at the Top of the Falls would be a reasonable next step. Continue reading

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