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As a citizen who pays taxes and exercises my right to vote, I am disappointed and frustrated by the actions of our leaders. The blatant misuse of public funds and lack of accountability for those in positions of power has become a recurring theme in our nation. It pains me to see the funds that should be used for the development of our country being misappropriated for personal gain. It seems that even in times of crisis and need, our leaders are still more concerned with their personal gains than the welfare of the people who elected them.

The recent revelation of the service awards given to Former Leader of Opposition Matthias Mpuuga, While service awards are not uncommon for politicians, the timing and amount of the award have raised eyebrows. In a country where the majority of the population lives below the poverty line, the news of a politician receiving a hefty award is not something that sits well in us the average citizen and the rumored retirement benefits to the Auditor General Muwanga creates a furor among us. We are left to ponder what the average Ugandan gains from these exorbitant benefits while we struggle to make ends meet.

And just when the dust was settling on the service awards saga, rumors started swirling about the retiring Attorney General, Muwanga, proposal to whoop a half a billion (Shs 500 million) on top of his already generous retirement benefits. This once again sparks us outrage and led to questions about the priorities of the government. The average I is left wondering if our leaders are truly working for the betterment of the country or using their positions to enrich themselves. The most respected institute in the country, the government, is acting in a manner that does not align with the needs and concerns of the common people. This raises the question of whether our leaders are serving their core mandate as laid out in the constitution or pursuing their own personal gains.

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As a Ugandan, it is disheartening to see our hard-earned money being used to reward individuals who are already well-off and have served in public office. Our roads are in a deplorable state, the health infrastructure is lacking, the education system is failing, and youth unemployment is at an all-time high. We have to pay high tax rates, yet we do not see the benefits of these taxes.

The situation is even direr when it comes to youth unemployment. With no job prospects in sight, our youth are forced to engage in illegal and often dangerous activities as a means of survival. The government, as well as the opposition, should be more focused on finding solutions to this crucial issue rather than politicking and making backdoor deals. But what is even more painful is the role of the most respected institute in the country, the Parliament. It is now known more as a rubber-stamping block for corrupt and self-interested politicians than a body that works for the people’s welfare. With the recent scandals and controversies involving some of its members, the parliament’s image and credibility have taken a severe hit, with little to no regard for the welfare of the people they represent.

The parliamentarians are more interested in serving their own interests rather than the interests of us the voters who elected them. This creates a sense of hopelessness and disappointment among the citizens. It begs the question who is truly representing the interests of the people? The recent strikes by traders against high tax rates are a clear indication of the struggles faced by the common man. These traders are the backbone of our economy, and yet their cries for help fall on deaf ears. The government’s response to their concerns has been lackluster, which only shows that they are not genuinely concerned about the well-being of their people.

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In a country where poverty and inequality are rampant, it is unacceptable to see our leaders using their positions for personal gain. It is a slap in the face of the everyday citizens who are struggling to make a living. The only hope left for the people now is in the hands of God, as even the institutions that are supposed to protect their rights have failed them. As a result, the only hope left for the citizens is to rely on divine intervention, as our leaders seem more interested in lining their own pockets than serving the people. It is time for our leaders to start prioritizing the needs of the people and start serving the nation rather than themselves. It is time for them to remember that they are elected to serve our community and not to enrich themselves. The citizens of Uganda deserve leaders who are selfless, honest, and truly committed to their duty.

As Ugandans, we can no longer sit back and rely on the hope that everything will magically fall into place. It is our responsibility to demand better from our leader. We must speak up and demand transparency and accountability in the governing system. Change can only come if we, the people, stand united and demand it. I urge our leaders to act with integrity and transparency, keeping in mind the needs of the people who have put their trust in them. We need leaders who will work towards building a better future for our nation, rather than using their positions for personal gain. It is time for a change, and we must demand it from our leaders. Let us hold them accountable and ensure that they fulfill their duties towards the people of Uganda.

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By Wabusimba Amiri,
Diplomate, Journalist, Communication Specialist, Human right Activist

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