President Yoweri Museveni has said that Uganda now has a unique opportunity to take off and become a middle income country. He said that with security prevailing in the whole country, coupled with an educated population and enough electricity supply for the first in the history of the Uganda and national unity as reflected in the last elections, the country will definitely take off.
The President, however, stressed that for that transformation to be fully achieved, a number of weaknesses hampering that objective, have to be tackled. He mentioned some of the challenges such as strengthening of the laws that govern law and order, especially targeting those who organize riots that end up giving a bad image to Uganda and scare away investments and tourists as well as the issue of discipline within the NRM, among others.
He said that the issue of weak laws is a serious problem that allows criminals, including rioters, to go scot-free with impunity. He, therefore, called for the amendment of article 23 (6) of the Constitution to ensure that repeated offenders do not get bail and, when sentenced, they get a serious punishment such as long stay in jail, pay for the damage caused as well as being criminally liable for the murders that occur.
The President, who is also the National NRM Chairman, was today addressing members of the Movement’s National Executive Committee (NEC) at State House, Entebbe. Today’s one-day meeting was preceded by the Central Executive Committee meeting and NRM Caucus at the beginning of the week.
President Museveni noted that in the 41 years since the NRM became a full-fledged politico-military organization, a host of tasks have been successfully handled such as building a liberation Movement and Army, building a grass-root political organization (NRM) that is non-sectarian and patriotic, repaired the national economy, bringing peace to the whole country inspite of challenges, working with regional partners to build the EAC and COMESA to ensure wider markets for the people of Uganda, successful funding of old and new infrastructure projects like roads and discovering oil, among others.
Mr. Museveni noted that in the four-decades of the NRM, there have been other attendant challenges from those opposed to the objectives of NRM and opposition from within. He however, explained that “owing to the NRM’s work methods of patience, sacrifice, clarity and the maturity of the people of Uganda, we have, finally defeated these opportunists as was seen in the last elections of 2011 – when we got almost 70% vote in all the regions. This, again, is an unprecedented achievement which this generation should use for the benefit of Uganda and the NRM. We shall not tolerate new opportunists with fresh schemes.
The President talked the problem of low mobilization of the NRM after the elections which he said is partly linked with the problem of Party funds. He suggested to the NEC meeting the construction of the 27 storeyed NRM House a project he noted would give the Party reliable income from rent.
Regarding the challenge of rationalizing agricultural production, the President said that the recently concluded 3-week zonal conferences that took place at State House,, Entebbe had the major aim of solving mainly one age-old problem of getting the 68% of homesteads still in subsistence farming out of the moneyless form of life so that country achieves plantation agriculture, large-scale commercial farming and small-scale but high value farming.
The President announced that he is looking for a way of implementing the students’ loan scheme that is in the NRM manifesto. He also said corruption must be rooted out because it does not only waste resources that could be used to build infrastructure but that it wastes opportunities by delaying investments. He made it clear that this state of affairs is not acceptable. He said that the government’s monitoring units are already exposing the corrupt.
President told the meeting that Uganda is going to move and become an oil producing country and described some elements in our society that look at the resource as a curse as not being serious. He explained there is no way “Uganda’s oil can become a curse, guarded, as it is, by the capable NRM, the people of Uganda, the UPDF and other security forces.
Mr. Museveni also stressed the need to organize the long postponed LC1 elections to be conducted cheaply. He said that it is very crucial for Uganda to generate more electricity to power factories adding that the country cannot industrialize without having a skilled population. He declared that UPE and USE have solved the problem of literacy and numeracy and so it was now time to give the people of Uganda skills. He said that as government has always emphasized science teaching, equal emphasis must also be placed on imparting of skills, namely metal work, carpentry, masonry, ICT, ceramics, electrical appliances, among others.
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