Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) presidential candidate Kizza Besigye has said oil in Bunyoro region, western Uganda, shouldn’t be a curse but a blessing to the nation.
The former military officer, now a leading opposition figure, was speaking at various political rallies in Hoima district in Bunyoro this weekend as he lobbied to be elected the next president of Uganda.
“Oil can never become a curse to a nation when there is good governance & a leadership that believes in equal opportunities and shared prosperity,” Besigye, who faulted the sitting government for keeping the people of Bunyoro in poverty, stated.
He promisingly added that “Our government will ensure that the people of Hoima benefit from their resources especially oil that is ozzing from their ground. Our government will make sure their resources (oil) will work for”
There is increasing unrest in Bunyoro region that government is not doing enough to see to it that indegineous people benefit from the natural resource. The fears have also been expressed by kingdom officials including the King of Bunyoro, Omukama Rukirabasaija Agutamba Solomon Gafabusa Iguru I.
Besigye’s sentiments are also shared by a wide section of Ugandans who believe that the current government lacks the moral capacity to use oil revenue appropriately. They fear oil money will be mismanagement and lead the country into a resource curse or what many call oil curse.
The resource curse, also known as the paradox of plenty, refers to the paradox that countries and regions with an abundance of natural resources, specifically point-source non-renewable resources like minerals and fuels, tend to have less economic growth and worse development outcomes than countries with fewer natural resources.
Countries that are rich in petroleum tend to have less democracy, less economic stability, a decline in the competitiveness of other economic sectors (Dutch disease), and more frequent civil wars than countries without oil.
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