Focus On Prospering Ugandans: Museveni Urges Leaders

President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni has urged district leaders to focus on promoting politics of interest because it’s very crucial to the prosperity of Ugandans, saying that after getting independence, Uganda faced a lot of challenges that were caused by leaders who wrongly diagnosed the problems affecting the citizens.

“When we got independence in 1962, each one diagnosed the problems affecting the country in their own way; some emphasised the politics of identity in the form of federalism. Four years after independence, the country had already encountered a lot of problems, which included the abolishment of the constitution by Obote, and then we entered into wars, Amin, among other challenges. All that was caused by the “doctor who wrongly diagnosed the patient”,” he stressed.

The President made these remarks while addressing 472 district leaders at the closure of a Transformational Leadership Development Course at the National Leadership Institute (NALI) Kyankwanzi.

The leaders were drawn from seven (7) districts: Hoima, Kakumiro, Mubende, Kasanda, Nakaseke, Kamwenge, and Kyankwanzi.  The course ran under the theme: “The Role of Local Leaders in the Implementation of Government Programs and Projects.”.

President Museveni explained that when the National Resistance Movement (NRM) came into leadership, it rightly diagnosed Uganda’s problems, thus coming up with the four core principles to deal with the challenges. The four core principles of the NRM;- Patriotism, Pan- Africanism, socio-economic transformation, and democracy—are aimed at promoting the prosperity of Ugandans.

“Like in my area in Rwakitura, to be prosperous, I will need a person to buy my milk, meat, and bananas. If I get those who buy my products continuously, I will be prosperous. But you realise that the Banyankore in Ankore don’t buy my milk, meat, and bananas because they also produce the same products as me, and when we meet along the way, we greet each other in our local language. Unfortunately, that greeting cannot build a house for me; to build my house, I will need money, and I can only get that money from the other people who buy my products, and most of those people are not Banyankore,” he urged.

“When you go to Kampala, and you look at a muganda in a shop, the people who buy from his shop are not only the muganda. Therefore, Uganda as a whole will help us to get prosperous, not the identity based on tribes and religions. That is why, we say patriotism—you love your country because you need it for your prosperity.  Poverty or any other challenge affects all of us the same way, irrespective of our tribe or religion. All our problems are the same, so that is why we said our politics would stand in the interest of the people. And to achieve this, we needed patriotism, which is the NRM principle number one.”

President Museveni added that when the country is peaceful and produces more, it needs an external market to ensure the prosperity of its citizens.

“You will realise that the Ugandan market is not enough, and to solve this, we need East Africa and Africa at large. That is why we add pan-Africanism. We need all these principles because we want to be prosperous,” he noted.

“This place (Kyankwanzi) was so underdeveloped, but when we came into power, we came with the gospel of wealth creation with “ekibaro.”You accepted to rear cows for milk production; you now see that Uganda produces a lot more milk than what we consume. We now produce 5.3 billion litres of milk annually, yet here we consume only 800 million litres, so we have a surplus of more than 4 billion litres of milk. That is why we need an external market. For maize, we produce 5 million metric tons annually, yet here we only use 1 million metric tons; therefore, we have a surplus of 4 million metric tons.”

On socio-economic transformation, the President said leaders should ensure that their people work towards transforming themselves through wealth creation and free education for all.

“Through those two avenues, the welfare of our livelihoods will change. If you work for the stomach alone and you forget about the pocket, you cannot get out of poverty,” he emphasised.

President Museveni further advised that Ugandans should fight poverty through the four-acre-model form of agriculture.

“On one acre, grow coffee; on the other acre, grow fruits; on the third acre, grow pasture for zero grazing, on the third acre, grow food crops. In the backyard, rear poultry, pigs, and fishponds. Those seven activities are medicine for the poor Ugandans to fight poverty. But then, there are industries, services, and ICT. This will also help us make money,”

“The fourth principle, which is democracy, is clear,”

The Prime Minister, Rt. Hon. Robinah Nabbanja, revealed that the training was informed by the issues that were identified by the local leaders and residents during the meetings they held in the many districts across the country.

The Minister of Works and Transport, Gen. Edward Katumba Wamala, urged leaders to utilise the Shs1 billion sent to them to work on the roads in the districts.

He also assured leaders that the merger of the Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) would not in any way affect the operations of roadworks across the country.

“In the near future, districts will receive graders for road rehabilitations. This shows that His Excellency gives infrastructural development priority,” Gen. Katumba said.

The Director of NALI, Brig. Gen. Charles Kisembo, said the leaders comprised District Executive Committee Members of the NRM, LC3 Chairpersons, NRM Chairpersons of Sub counties and town councils, leaders of the youth and people with disabilities, as well as cadres.

On the other hand, Mr. Kwefuga Elijah, the Mayor-Kyankwanzi Town Council, thanked President Museveni through his NRM government for steering development in Kyankwanzi district.

“Your Excellency, thank you for delivering Kyankwanzi to the promised land,” he said.

On behalf of the participants, Mr. Wasswa Tadeo Zilitwawula, from the Workers’ League-Nakaseke District, informed President Museveni that the training has made them better leaders and ready to serve their people better.

The event was also attended by the Minister of State for Luwero Triangle-Rwenzori Region, Hon. Alice Kaboyo, Members of Parliament, and Resident District Commissioners (RDCs), among other leaders.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of The State House of Uganda.

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