BY W.B. KYIJOMANYI VIA UAH FORUM
“He(Bobi Wine) was only telling me, mobile money tax will be raised. we will use that to pay the elderly in the districts, doesn’t it make sense?”—-Hon.Odongo Otto
Interesting. Why tax mobile money? Why target mobile money? Because it is easy. I guess his camp is lightening to UAH’s Mr Edward Mulindwa’s advise to target money transfers to Ugandans as if those sending money to Uganda pay nothing. Why double taxation? But who are the majority recipients of mobile money in Uganda? Are they not the bawejjere/ordinary/majority Ugandans?
MP Odonga Otto and others, should continue to talk with all potential candidates. They should be prepared for wicked ideas in Uganda as the time ticks towards elections. The message Ugandans needs to be told is this: if you want to have a voice and aspire towards civilization, volunteer to pay taxes. Good things cost money. Yet somehow some politicians are lying to Ugandans that they can have good schools, good leadership, god health care, descent living aka better quality of life by simply free riding. hell No.
Because of the election and perceived threats YKM has even given Ugandans more freedoms to free ride. Ugandans is going through the equivalent of positive feedback. The more YKM is accused of overtaxing Ugandans by perceived rivals, the more he will try to demonstrate the contrary. Yet what he needs is the equivalent of negative feedback.
So who will talk about the population question which in my view is the biggest elephant in Ugandan society. People are poor because they are having too many children. Because of the population, land resources are dwindling as families subdivide the small family plots to unproductive levels. As plots get smaller, more and more Ugandans are becoming food insecure. That sounds like common sense but hey, common sense is rear not just in Uganda these days.
In plain English, Ugandans are the authors of their misery. Really some will wonder? Why? The people and their so called leaders-really politicians are delusional. Delusional that the best way to raise revenue for example is to tax mobile money?
No. The best way to get Uganda moving again is to restore work effort among most able bodied Ugandans. what must Uganda do to get Ugandans wanting (emphasis added) to work again? I mean do any work to earn a living. I do not know the regional data but it will not surprise me if in EA or Sub Saharan Africa, Ugandans rank very low in terms of work efforts. For instance why are most juicy jobs now dominated by Kenyans even in Uganda? Surely it is not lack of qualifications but rather effort/attitude towards work.
And why has work effort/attitude declined among Ugandans? If you have been reading my comments you know my thesis by now . Now, have you heard or seen anyone, from incumbent YKM to pretenders, revisit the linkages?
Okay, now let us talk about culture. And I go straight to the Chinese. Why is China today a major economic power? Part of it is through FORCED savings through the one child policy. In other words by limiting most Chinese to one child, the govt was bale to trigger excessive savings. Money is either spent or saved. With fewer children to spend money on, even poor families in china were forced to save.
There is only so much clothes they could buy for their one child. Now let us be clear: the one child policy was mostly an urban phenomenon because exemptions were made for farming families in villages. But all in all, China’s take off is rooted in its one child policy. And obviously Confucian culture of modesty.So culture can actually be the boost NOT the hindrance to envelopment/take off.
Now should Ugandans have a population policy? Absolutely? what should such a policy look like? How about YKM goes back to what he had in mind with UPE when he initially limited free UPE to 4 children per mother not father because of the polygamous nature of Ugandans society.
Must YKM legislate in favor of 4 children per mother? No. He should simply enforce the following:. First make UPE mandatory for all Ugandans irrespective of religion. Yes religion cannot and should not be an issue or excuse after all, all religions are alien to Ugandan culture-see Mazrui’s triple heritage arguments.
Second YKM must say and enact it in law that UPE shall be free for the first 4 children of EVERY mother in Uganda. You have 4 children they attend UPE free. You have 5 children or more children you must pay for the other candidates who MUST all be in school or else the mother is fined.
Third, the four children per mother shall enjoy free USE which to shall be mandatory up to the age of 18. In plain English, all Ugandans children until the age of 18 shall be in School period. I know what the religious people-screw them-will try to say but let us see those shameless religious leaders who do not want to see 18 years old Ugandan children in USE schools.
In other words YKM can usher in a demographic transition and its attendant benefits without EVER resorting to excessive measures. Notice that Ugandans women who want to produce more than 4 children can still do so as long as they pay for the extra children from their pockets. So majority of Ugandans shall have the benefit of having their 4 children per mother enjoy free UPE and USE and I would ad in health care benefits as well.
QN: can anyone justify why free education and health care to 4 children per mother is not enough contribution/subsidy from govt? in other words why should Ugandan women continue to produce more than 4 children? Let us hear from UAH.
Let us talk about transformation. What does it entail etc. From my angle YJM or anyone for that matter must usher in a demographic transition. Btw, dictators Kagame is doing so sort of by force but we are not hear to debate the merits of means vs ends. To be sure fair means matter but sometimes the end justifies the means as in Rwanda.
Why is it that in many African states we have never had a developmental state like those that emerged in what became known as Newly industrializing nations in Asia. How come African leaders ignored the wisdom of the Afro intellectual from Antigua, Nobel Laureate Arthur Lewis who offered that for labour intensive countries like Uganda, their best shop at progress lay in modernizing agriculture and not so much bias towards industrializations. Those insights won him a Nobel in economics. And he did some work in African countries.
Arthur Lewis’ idea is so cogent that you wonder what the hell African leaders and policy makers were thinking. Today I say it again, Uganda’s best hope for take off lies in better returns from agriculture. That will surely sound like what to many but it is okay. The unemployment rate as many lament about could have been mitigated with better policies in agriculture.
So let us give taxation a break and talk about agriculture. YKM said Bob Wine or something of the sort. What did he mean? What did he do policy wise? What incentives did he put in place etc? Btw, and this is telling, even without a coherent agricultural policy, Ugandan farmers grow more than enough maize to export to Kenya. Actually, Kenyans farmers are now afraid of cheap maize imports from Uganda. Think about that. The sector r is neglected yet it still performs. What if YKM cared and paid attention to agriculture.
In his new year message he apparently promised to do better looking for markets for Ugandan produce. Hmm. What about supporting these people who told to produce.
Strangely the urban riff-the bure kabisa community-have the audacity to whine and demand cheap food. Hello!. Think about it, the urban riff raff influence food prices in Uganda whereby YKM fearing or responding to rising populism from the likes of Bob Wine and his supporters robs farmers to buy peace with the urban crowd who occasionally riot about high food prices. Really!. Thinks about the priorities, the govt denies farmers work hard afair return to buy favour with the urban tangatanga folks. What the hell is going on?
I labour to show that the transformation some of you talk about -it came with simple things like fencing in England-is not on the radar in Ugandan society.
Is its fair to say Ugandan society is disorganized? hello Mr. Bwanika. If so who will try to mitigate the disorganisation. Abbey Semuwemba lamented about okuwemula /sex talk and obwenzi in Ugandan society, and pleaded with the Katikiiro to say something. Sorry Abbey, as they say,” kakyama mameera”– spoilt from the beginning.
Btw, how did Ugandan society get to that level? Because YKM gave them too much leisure. Folks, accuse YKM of something else but to talk about freedom and stuff, no. He gave Ugandans the ultimate space for maximum leisure. Yet somehow some pretenders lie to fellow Ugandans that the solution to their glory/respect/dignity/take of lies in even more and not less leisure.