RUDE NEWS FOR GOVERNMENT AS OPINION POLL CLAIMS OVER 70 PERCENT DISSATISFIED
Ugandans will be waking up to news today that the latest opinion polls carried out across the country peg the level of dissatisfaction and disillusionment by the people with the governments performance to well over 70 percent, a stark change from a year ago, when the country had just gone through a general election.
Most polled cited worsened living conditions, inflation, the state of the economy, constant power outages and the removal of subsidies, excessive spending by government on wrong areas and poor economic management overall. Surprisingly the opinions are almost identical in the city of Kampala, urban areas around the country and in rural areas, the latter the biggest surprise as in the past rural folks were strongly united behind government. Recent street skirmishes between police and opposition have also done little to bring the two sides closer as divisions in parliament seem to get deeper instead the gaps being bridged. Said a leading tourism stakeholder, not surprisingly on condition of strict anonymity: What we need is a national dialogue now, where all sides, all stakeholders come together for the good of the nation. One side cannot forever claim to be the only one knowing the way forward, claiming to be right all the time and everyone else is wrong. Tourism has for a very long time demanded better funding, and it is not about launching a tourism police, the second time by the way, it is about consistent support we can count on year in year out. This is supposed to be Ugandas year, we are turning 50 years as a state since independence, Lonely Planet has pushed us to the top of their rankings and in Berlin we just scooped 3rd place as best African exhibitors. What we lack is the funding, implementing the existing tourism policy, not talking about writing a new one when the present one has not been used to propel us forward. Other countries have taken our ideas and made them work. We need a new hotel and tourism school in Jinja, we need a stronger and better facilitated tourist board, we need UWA to get back on their feet after all the upheavals caused by the former minister of crocodiles and we need a permanent regime of sector incentives for safari vehicles, boats, equipment like tents, for the hotel sector, not just one off things. Government now has to put their money where their mouth has been for too long. Otherwise, this opinion poll shows where we are heading.
Sentiments upon sentiments, so watch this space to find out in coming weeks were we are heading as the country slowly counts down to this years Independence Day, celebrating our Golden Jubilee of becoming a nation.