Dr. Kizza Besigye’s opening remarks drew attention and even if he was put on the spot for changing his mind to attend the debate, he called in for his right a right to change his mind. Trust Dr. Kizza Besigye he threw the ball at Justice Ogoola who was in the audience, i actually disappointed that Mr. Museveni is not here. Unlike me, Mr. Museveni is our servant who we pay, he has an obligation to be here. He went on to make his case clear and to define what the debate should have been about. In this election where there is an incumbent seeking for the same office, it is prudent to have accountability on the forefront.
Dr. Besigye came with a message on Liberation and Transformation. He made his case on how the Citizens of Uganda need to take back their power and determine a leader of their choice.
On Economy: Not long ago our (national) debt was forgiven but that debt has accumulated again without showing anything for it. Here Dr. Besigye proposed that if we must have the will to fight corruption and the government must be ready to account to the people.
On Agriculture: 80% of Ugandans derive their livelihood from Agriculture. We need to put our money where our people are. This means that he was calling for more investment in Agriculture where the majority of Ugandans derive their livelihood.
On Infrastructure: The cost of constructing 1km of road in Uganda is 10 times higher than anywhere else in the region. Dr. Besigye here was emphasising that there is a lot of waste in the infrastructure building for example on roads and dams.
QN: In the last 30 years the NRM government has the NRM reached halfway the tarmac covered by the governments that came before them?
If we can’t get the foundation right, then we will be pouring our water in basket and that means it will be pouring down. Building of strong institutions and systems of governance is our key to getting the change we all deserve.
He spoke strongly on fighting corruption by empowering institutions designated to champion the fight of the cancer, also he pledged reforms on the laws that we have and all leaders to declare their wealth they lead this transparent can oil the will to champion the fight of corruption and theft.
On Health: He highlighted the need to concentrate first on 3 things; Health Education to take care the challenges of preventable diseases, and funding of the health sector which includes building of the infrastructure and renumeration of the medical staff. He pledges 15% of the national budget to health for 5 years so that a good health care system can be seen to work for the people.
Quote: We must have strong institutions and strong systems of accountability then increase health expenditure.
On Women: He was clear as FDC we believe in empowerment rather than emancipation. Women need to see themselves in budgets framed by government, in business and they must be involved in decision making.
Quote: Looks of government can be very deceptive, appointing people does not answer the question of women empowerment.
On Governance and Rule of Law
There are many changes in the Constitution that I consider necessary especially to increase citizen participation. Here Dr. Besigye seems to suggest that the powers of the president should be reduced and have more citizen participation and this calls for opening of civic space and recognising Civil society as partners rather than as competitors.
He articulated the point on sharing and separation of power. He was clear on creating regional power centres and he declared a federal system of government as a solution for the much concentrate power around the person of the president.
To me Dr. Kizza Besigye covered more policy issues and pledged to the voter. Again the problem of Uganda is not that we are a poor country this is where i disagree with Abed Bwanika, Uganda has wasteful leaders we want to run faster than their strength. If we had a leadership that believed in a lean government and efficiency our country would be better than where we are right now.
Solution: We need to liberate ourselves from the gang of thieves and rebuild government, reform the state and civil service and then we will direct the money where the people are at.