I believe an understanding of Uganda’s history right from the colonial era to date would help enhance the sense of appreciation by all citizens of Uganda for the National Resistance Movement’s (NRM) struggles to achieve tremendous development in the works and Transport sector.
However, it’s quite illogical and unreasonable when some of our political leaders keep applauding the minimal ‘achievements’ of the colonial era vis-a-vis those of the 33 years of NRM in power.
For a fact, the road network is the most dominant transport mode in terms of scale of infrastructure, volume of freight and people movements in Uganda.
It is, therefore, important that it is developed and maintained in a condition that allows effective, efficient, and sustainable movement of goods and passengers.
After critically analyzing that road transport is one of the key cost pushers for producers and manufacturers, we are therefore forced to believe that the cost of transport adds up 25% to the cost of goods in the country.
It should be noted that 68 years ago before Uganda got her Independence in 1962, our colonial masters registered very minimal developments of the Uganda Road network.
At Independence in 1962, Uganda as a country had approximately a meagre 844km of tarmacked roads.
In fact, combining the British colonial rule and all Uganda’s post-independence leaders up to 1986, contributed approximately a scrawny 2800kms of tarmacked roads in the country.
In the past five years alone, the NRM government has tremendously macadamized our roads to astounding mileages from 3,264km in 2010/11 to 4,000km in 2015.
This makes NRM’s overall road network performance extra ordinary more so after the national road network increased from 10,500km in 2011 to 21,000km in 2013/14, representing a 5% increase.
Some 70% and 80% of the paved and unpaved roads, respectively, are in good condition.
Now it is possible for one to move on first class tarmac roads to regional centers and borders with neighboring countries of Rwanda, Democratic Republic of Congo, South Sudan, Kenya and Tanzania with a slight exception of Butogota border point in Kanungu District which is also being fixed.
In reference to the Agenda 2063 of the African Union, whose mandate is entailed in the strategic framework for the socio-economic transformation of the continent over the next 50 years and among the components outlined was the Program for Infrastructural Development in Africa (PIDA), it gives a clear reason for the NRM government to be applauded much more for being in line with the planned status quo.
It’s therefore still evident enough that Infrastructure development still remains a priority of the NRM government, for example, the budget for the roads was raised from Sh398 billion in the Financial Year 2005/06 to Sh4.786 trillion in Financial Year 2017/18.
As stated in the NRM manifesto of 2016-2021, Uganda is yet to experience several developments in the roads infrastructure where we shall as well witness a whopping 2,205km of gravel roads being upgraded to tarmac, 700km of old paved roads will be rehabilitated and 2,500km of paved roads and 10,000km of unpaved roads will be maintained.
I should categorically make it clear that President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni’s government is already putting in place strategic roads to support exploitation of minerals, oil and gas, as well as, tourism activities will be highly considered not forgetting the community access roads that will also be opened to link farmers to markets and social services.
Therefore, these prodigious achievements by the NRM government in the Roads Sector after only 33 years in government put to total shame enemies of steady progress (opposition) who for a long time have mendaciously inculpated government of not providing better roads to the citizens of Uganda.
In my own opinion, I would like to state that it is rather justifiable for all citizens of Uganda regardless of political affiliation to celebrate the forth coming liberation day on 26 January in Tororo as an appreciation for the Fundamental Change brought about by Mr. Museveni and the rest of the NRA.
Mr. Dickson Namisi works as a Communications Assistant for Government Citizens Interaction Centre (GCIC) at Ministry of ICT & National Guidance.