Presidency Minister Esther Mbayo
As preparations commence for this year’s NRM/NRA 31st anniversary, Ugandans have been urged to always look back at where President Yoweri Museveni and his government found the country and what they did to bring it back on track.
The so – called Liberation Day is held annually on January 26 to commemorate the day that Museveni’s led National Resistance Army captured power back in 1986.
Ahead of the celebrations slated to be held in Masindi District, the Minister for Presidency Hon Esther Mbayo Mbulakubuza emphasized that Ugandans should never forget that before 1986, the country was on the verge of collapsing.
“It was a perfect example of a failed African state, it may not have reached the likes of Somalia of 2006 but we should all accept that Uganda had degenerated into irremediable political and socio-economic doldrums,” said the Minister on Monday.
While addressing press in Kampala about the national celebrations, the minister noted however that the country’s young population, understandably continue to care less about the country’s dark history.
“Of course, 31 years of life can be a long time for some people but the memories of life before 1986 is still very fresh in the hearts and minds of many Ugandans that were of age then,” said the minster.
“Even some of us that were small then at least remember “Panda Gari” and “Dukaduka”
Minister Mbayo then proceeded to remind the young population that before 1986 Uganda’s GDP had fallen by 25% between; there was an acute shortage of essential commodities which were bought either through Government allocation or on “Magendo” (black market) and that to access some essential commodities one had to get a chit from a government minister or a well-placed General in the military.
Today, she noted, even a four-year old can be sent to a nearby shop to buy mobile phone airtime.
“Inflation was 216%, it is now in single digits…Infant mortality was 122 per 1,000 live births, currently it is below 60 per 1,000 live births and it is on the decline, HIV/ AIDS prevalence rate was so high, now at 7%...” she went on.
“This was our Uganda by January 1986. It is the Uganda that the NRA/NRM led by General Museveni inherited after a five-year struggle.
Reversing such conditions, the minister said, hasn’t been a bed of roses, but nonetheless, the NRM government has managed to get the country’s economy back on track; revived the rotten infrastructure, and revamp the health and education sectors, while securing all parts of the country.
This year’s Liberation Day celebrations will be held in Masindi Town at the Golf and Sports Club grounds under the theme, Uganda’s Success Story Under NRA/NRM Leadership Is A Shared Victory.”
President Yoweri Museveni Museveni is expected as chief guest and a number of regional and overseas dignitaries.