I have observed the development of two countries in East Africa over the last 10 years and how those countries have used their Social Security Funds. In Tanzania the rulers there built the largest a Public University in East Africa and they funded thousands of housing units, constructed over 20000 km of tarmac roads, and built more than 50000 new classrooms and a new secondary school in every sub-county. The hospitals in Tanzania have enough drugs, teachers are paid well and the corrupt people are sincerely punished.
The Government in Dodoma (you may read Dar es Salaam) has used its Social security funds to build over 50 high rise ultra-modern buildings in four cities and 34 municipalities. Tanzania has gone further to establish a Social Action Fund from which the poor expect a regular income.
But in Uganda, the leaders behave like the proverbial prodigal son in the bible and take the National Social Security Fund (NSSF) like their garden. It is reported in Kampala government that the money from NSSF meant to benefit people is embezzled by some government officials.
A new and ultra modern University in Tanzania that has facilities to accommodate over 50,000 students has been built in Dodoma. The Dodoma University is bigger and better facilitated than Uganda’s Makerere University.
The Tanzanian cities of Mwanza, Arusha and Dar es Salaam have planned and developed infrastructure as well as high rise buildings. Students in Tanzania don’t need to first acquire statehouse connections to get sponsorship in tertiary institutions. Tanzania has a Student’s Loans Board that handles all applications for students who wish to get admitted in public and private Universities. International level scholarships in Tanzania too have no connection with Ministers or President’s office approval. In a nutshell Tanzania democratically replaces her presidents every 10 years at most. In Tanzania, like it is in Ghana, Zambia and Botswana, no president claims to have monopoly of a nation vision. In Uganda, one to get a job, ministerial post, tender, government contract, one has to sing the supremacy of the government in power or that the ‘only person in Uganda who has a vision is president Museveni.’
The writer, Walakira Nyanzi is LC III speaker of Makindye Sabagabo and an LC III councilor representing Namasuba to Makindye Sub County.