THE TEN-POINT PROGRAMME INTRODUCTION
THE National Resistance Movement together with the His Command and Senior Officers of the National Resistance Army under the Chairmanship of Yoweri Kaguta Museveni have during the past five years of the protracted struggle the Movement, 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 new and better future for the long-suffering people of Uganda. This proposed programme is popularly known the "Ten-Point Programme" of NRM.
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 incurable problem of having unexpanding demand on the world market. These are non-essentials and merely beverages that a: moreover, being produced by many rivaling backward countries Uganda also lacks industries of a basic type e.g. iron and steel chemical industries and others. The population is illiterate with high infant mortality rate, a low income per person, .a low life expectancy, a high number of persons per every 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 civilized countries e.g. worms, malaria, malnutrition, jiggers et etc. Crowning all this is the perpetual outflow of resources from this country indeed like other developing countries to the advance economies due to uneven economic relationships. The post independence governments of such countries intensified these distortions rather than attempting to rectify them. A recent boot "The Africans" by David Lamb cites the fact that 60% of the 3 million sub-Saharan Africans are malnourished; 150 million of them are facing mass-starvation in the 1980s; the per capita income is only US dollars 365 per annum—the lowest in the world.
Lamb also points out that by the year 2,000 one out of every tow 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 could buy a Timex watch with 7.7 pounds of coffee; he 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—independence 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 re-appraised their 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 being reinforced 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 where 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 back- breaking 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 so to us by foreign firms, and we must, in order to get them, pay precious resources, many of them exhaustible (e.g. copper, gold and where available, iron, uranium etc.). There is, therefore, a qualitative regression. What some people call "development".
Uganda, "The shining pearl of Africa that shall rise and shit again," according to Obote—is nothing but the development of "enclave economy"—i.e. an "enclave" of pseudo-modernization of night-clubs, neon lights, tourist hotels or shiny office blocks f 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 be surviving on, namely, land and the climate in some cases—all due to mismanagement. In respect of the fore-going, it should I pointed out that while in the Netherlands people are reclaiming land from the sea, in Africa the Sahara desert is advancing at a rate of 120 miles per year in some places: without bothering I 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 exemplified by, for instance, the cutting of forests on top catchment areas without regard for the effects of such on the rain patterns of a climatic zone, hence the growing erraticness of the weather.
Responsible for this all round stagnation or regression in the economic, social, political or cultural fields are some of the preset 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 hemorrhage that must be reversed 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 African leaders—i.e. to manage to pauperize a whole continent even after it has attained formal political sovereignty. Of course, "the drought" is now being blamed. Of course droughts kill crops etc. etc. It is a mark of civilisation, however, that man is able to tame nature and 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 for 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 of the world (the Nile, the Congo, the Zambezi, 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 are 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 distortions we talked of 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 could be produced by Uganda are impressive e.g. maize, cassava, sorghum, sweet or Irish potatoes and bananas on the side of carbohydrates; beef, mutton, goat-meat, chicken, pork, eggs and milk on the side of animal proteins not to forget plant proteins in the form of beans, peas, or cow-peas; and ground-nuts, 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 crops 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, soybeans, cow ghee—are easily produced in Africa and Uganda in particular. What has happened, however, is that people have bee discouraged from producing these crops or animal products an 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 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; defense and consolidation of national independence; laying a basis for building: an independent, integrated, self-sustaining national economy; restoration and improvement of social services and rehabilitation of the war-ravaged areas; 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 Kamajong 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 to be achieved by following an economic strategy of a mixed economy—i.e. use of state and private sector as well as cooperatives with all round efficiency being the main criterion.
Let us deal with these, one by one.