Tuesday, January 03, 2006

President Museveni leaves Kampala dispirited but not broken

As questions about his 20 year rule continue to mount, the president struck a conciliatory tone in his New Year address. Museveni joined DP candidate Sebaana Kizito in highlighting the need to urgently end the war in the north. It also appears that Museveni has given a greenlight to his government to enter into negotiations with the DRC about the damaging ruling by the International Court of Justice pinning Uganda for illegally invading the DRC and committing war crimes. Museveni's campaign in Kampala was a tough one that fell apart after DP PresidentSebaana Kizito pinned him for attacking KCC's administrative failures yet he had singly set out to frustrate KCC's revenue collection efforts. In a surprise rapid fire response, Sebaana Kizito chided Museveni for having a short memory having signed the Property Rating Act in April 2005 only to turn around to "repeal" collection of property taxes. Another opposition party FDC finished the icing on the cake by pointing out the the Central government gave KCC only Shs 23.5 billion a year in appropriations ($10.5 million) while State House consumed Shs 85 billion a year. Museveni has moved shop to Kabale. The end of year economic news was also mixed. Inflation rose at its highest level in three years while annual exports only fetched US$ 1 billion about the same dollar level as 1991 casting further doubt on the Museveni economic machine peddled by donors who have pumped in more than $5 billion in the economy since 1986.

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