FDC and the economy: are these wrong moves?

Pardon us for the indulgence in politics but some things must be commented on. Politics and business are two sides of the same coin. The priorities of the ruling party can make or break the economy. Without a strong opposition to cause the executive to account, the public may be taken for a ride. A strong opposition keeps the ruling party in check (take the example of USA and UK) by providing clear policy alternatives for improved governance of the country’s resources.

The recent changes in the FDC party top leadership are a cause of concern.

The notable one being the replacement of Hon Nathan Nandala-Mafabi as the Leader of Opposition in Parliament with Hon Phillip Wafula-Oguttu.Hon Mafabi is an ambitious accountant turned politician with a good track record. As a Public Accounts committee chair during the 8th Parliament, he made corruption a risky venture, as many a public servant dreaded coming before his committee. Again, as Chairman of the Bugisu Cooperative Union (BCU), he turned it around until his controversial suspension in 2010 – something believed to have been intended to reduce his increasing influence in the local community.Hon Oguttu, the new Leader of Opposition (LoP), worked briefly as a junior banker with Bank of Uganda in 1973. He later founded The Monitor newspaper with Ogen John Kevin Aliro (RIP) (commonly known as Kevin Aliro), David Ouma Balikowa (DOB), Jimmy Serugo, Richard Olal Tebere and Charles Onyango-Obbo. With such fine team of people, The Monitor was set for unprecedented success. Unfortunately, with Oguttu at the helm as the company’s managing director, The Monitor is said to have drowned into huge debts and was about to be put under receivership. And that is how the Nation Media Group came upon us, acquired the paper and made it The Daily Monitor of today. The rest is history.Wafula-Oguttu’s leadership at The Monitor is also said to have led to divisions among the founding members which saw Kevin Aliro move on to start The Weekly Observer (Now The Observer), a weekly newspaper, which had until his death in 2005 become a very successful and darling of many readers and journalists.If history does prove us right, the choice of Hon Oguttu as the LoP, just a year away to the 2016 elections, is a failed attempt at strengthening the party for a spirited race to the State House or strong representation in parliament. And the economy will lose. For example, in response to the State of the Nation address, in June 2013, the then Leader of Opposition pointed out: “Bank of Uganda is reported to have made a loss of Ugx 650 billion in FY2011/12 and for the past 14 years, the country has failed to conduct population census which is critical for national planning.” Such comments keep the government in check.In this issue, we continue with our series of board effectiveness with the 10 tell-tale signs of a bad board. We also analyze the business opportunities from the impending visit of Pope Francis in October 2014.And help us in our project of promoting financial literary in schools by sponsoring a monthly subscription of Ugx 50,000 to a school of your choice. Young Ugandans need a magazine like Summit Business Review to sharpen their financial skills so as to open their minds to entrepreneurship. And you can help us reach them. Send emails to editorial@sbreview.net for more information. SB

March 19th, 2018 | by

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