LONDON – The 8th Uganda – UK Convention 2018 was a huge success despite the envisaged ‘People Power demonstration on Saturday.
The demonstration, according to our London source was thinner than expected. “It took place with organizers and supporters shouting People’s Power from a distance of the Troxy’s London venue, where the Convention was taking place,” our source told this news website Sunday.
Unlike past Conventions, the Saturday meet faced hard-hitting questions and concerns from enraged audiences, like: Uganda has become a torture cell; Uganda’s corruption is now institutionalized. Uganda is a high tax country, and Uganda no longer respects the rule of Law and its Constitution and is headed by a dictator.
With such unconducive business environment, how can she [Uganda] convince anyone from the Diaspora to come and invest home? One asked.
Hon Betty Amongi Akena – Lands, Housing and Urban Development Minister who’s also the Oyam South MP presented a paper on: ‘Unleashing Investment and Enhancing Economic Development’ explained to the audience agrees that there is indeed corruption in Uganda.
“It’s true there is corruption in Uganda just as it is in every country in the World and Uganda has put in place a range of statutes to handle the menace,” Minister Amongi ‘convinced’ the gathering.
She further explained the President’s determination to end corruption by issuing out publicly two hot-lines and help desks where cases can be reported.
Amongi added that now the onus is on the Wanahinci to report any form of theft to these newly created desk, all in the Presidency office.
On tax, Hon Betty explained that all countries in the World levy taxes on its citizen. She says tax is the only chief source of generating revenues to fund social services and infrastructure.
“Uganda has shelved many taxes like poll tax, graduated tax and only levies those that the citizens are able to pay,” she further explained.
Without tax, Amongi opines that Uganda would depend on borrowed money to finance its budget which is unsustainable.
Amongi on torture in Uganda
On torture, the Minister explained that the security heads in Uganda are identifying all officers who were involved in beating demonstrators and all will be brought to book.
However, on the Arua incidence, she said it’s now a Court matter and would be subjudice for her to discuss it. The MP however stressed that the Court will make a final judgment on the Arua fracas.
Amongi applauded UK people and her Police over peaceful demonstration unlike in Uganda where protestors are dispersed violently.
“In Uganda, we don’t do that. They want to damage property, burn tryes, disrupt business etc. So in an attempt by police to stop them from such misbehavior, we end up with ugly scenes we always see on our TVs”.
The Annual Freedom World Report (a global democracy research agency) has classed Uganda’s status [democracy] as having improved from NOT free to Partly Free – Amongi revealed.
According to the report, 45% of countries in the World are free, 30% are partly free (where Uganda falls) and 25% not free.
This is an indicator that Uganda’s political environment is conducive for investment and increased economic growth. She implored Ugandans in the Diaspora to go and invest in Uganda.
The Ugandan born Lord Dollar Popat (Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy to Uganda & Rwanda) explained that democracy is a function to the level of development in a country.
Popat also stressed it is unfair to the Western World especially UK and U.S. to compare themselves with Uganda.
Meanwhile, Hon Cecilia Ogwal, a Member of Forum for Democratic Change and Dokolo district Woman MP, also an ardent critic of Mr Museveni and his government, stunned audience by stating that the issue of Uganda must be solved by Ugandan and in Uganda and others to keep away.
She urged ‘her children’ in the Diaspora not to forget home but go and invest. “Home is home,” Atat Ogwal said.