President Yoweri Museveni who is also the Commander in Chief (C-I-C) of the Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF), has announced that government is to launch the Parish Development Model on February 26, 2022 to ensure that all Ugandans eradicate poverty in their households.
“We have been begging you to create income in your houses. There are some things you can do but up to now some people are not bothered,” Museveni observed.
General Museveni made the revelation this afternoon while officiating at the celebrations marking the 41st Tarehe Sita Anniversary.
The rotational celebrations were this year held in the Elgon region, covering Sebei and Bugisu at Malukhu Boma grounds in Mbale City in recognition of the contribution made by the people of the area in the protracted people’s liberation struggle that culminated in the restoration of peace in the country.
The Elgon region was particularly honored because of the miraculous escape made by Museveni on January 23, 1973 at the residence of the late Maumbe Mukhwana at house number 49, Malukhu Estate where two compatriots, Martin Mwesiga and Wukwu Mpiima Kazimoto were killed by Amin soldiers.
General Museveni particularly commended the army working under Operation Wealth Creation (OWC) for their contribution in reducing the number of wanainchi still stuck in subsistence farming from 68% to the figure of 31%.
“In 1969, only 4 % of Ugandans were in the money economy. But after the struggle by NRM the number increased to 32% who have joined the money economy. And because of the efforts by the army of distributing farm inputs, the number is now 61% and those still in subsistence agriculture are 39%. That is why I thank the UPDF in OWC,” he said.
The President, however, noted that another contributor to poverty in families is fragmentation of land that must be stopped.
Museveni, therefore, urged all families to embrace the new strategy of the Parish Development Model as poverty is a product of ignorance and the mindset.
“We no longer want people to be spectators, we want all families to get involved in wealth creation,” he stressed.
He further discouraged the notion of “miracle wealth” adding that one should first work and then pray to God to bless the work of one’s hands.
“What is sure and clear is that by working you get results. Work and pray that God blesses your work,” he counseled.
General Museveni also decried the practice by some people in the East of the country of growing rice in the swamps. He instead encouraged fish farming in the swamps that fetch more money than rice growing.
He pledged to discuss with the people from the East of the country soon on how to abandon the growing of rice in swamp in favor of fish farming for more income generation.
Museveni congratulated the fighters of NRA (National Resistance Army) and UPDF, present and past for their achievements in the past 41 years.
He further thanked the sister countries that gave Ugandans the foundation for success in the people’s protracted liberation struggle.
He particularly thanked Tanzania led by the late Mwalimu Julius Nyerere as well as the people and the TPDF for supporting the struggle from the very beginning in 1971.
General Museveni also thanked Mozambique under the leadership of the late Samora Marchel for training the first 28 Ugandan freedom fighters who later formed the nucleus of the current UPDF.
“If what we were doing was not linked with the people, we would not have succeeded. We were the change agents. People did not know the capacity of the resistance,” he noted.
He further paid tribute to Zambia under the leadership of the late President Kenneth Kaunda who accommodated and offered employment to Ugandans who had taken refuge in his country.
He thanked the people and government of Kenya under the leadership of the late President Moi who, between 1981 and 1986, provided support to Ugandans in the struggle.
He further commended the government and people of Burundi for their support.
He congratulated all Ugandans for the struggle adding that the results are today evident the country is moving forwards.
The President using proverbs emphasized the seriousness of the people of Africa in handling the challenges they face pointing out that all of them are strategically sorted out citing the way COVID-19 pandemic is being managed.
He reminded Ugandans to remain vigilant by observing the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) and getting vaccinated as well as taking boosters for senior citizens and those with underlying medical issues.
“I thank you all for accepting my tough medicine of locking you up for 2 years. Thank you for your patience,” he said.
The President used the occasion to announce that he was lifting curfew on boda bodas (commercial motorcycles).
“I want to announce that starting tomorrow at 6pm, boda boda riders are open to work trans night like all others,” he announced to applause from the gathering.
He noted that some boda boda riders are engaged in criminal activities but said Government would install tracking devices in all motorcycles and vehicles to track criminals who use them wrongly.
The function was graced by military delegations from the sister countries of Tanzania_ DRC, South Sudan, Kenya, Ethiopia, Mozambique and Burundi.
Other delegations came from Russia, the Czech Republic, and Bulgaria.
The Minister of Defense and Veteran Affairs, Hon. Vincent Ssempijja said the activities carried out by UPDF in the Elgon Zone that covers Sebei and Bugisu sub regions have been appreciated by the wanainchi.
He paid tribute to all stake holders for their contribution to make the 41st Tarehe Sita celebrations a success.
The Chief of Defense Forces (CDF), General Wilson Mbadi, noted that the celebrations had a limited number of invited guests and participants because of the current COVID-19 pandemic. He explained that the activities by the UPDF in the defense week were in recognition of the pioneers of the army whose sacrifice and bravery led to the restoration of peace today enjoyed in all corners of the country.
The Chief Political Commissar of UPDF, Major General Henry Matsiko said the activities carried out in the Elgon Zone during army week included promoting hygiene,
providing general medical treatment as well as political and civic sessions to wanainchi.
He added that the activities were spiced by sports between the army and wanainchi symbolizing the bond that exists between the two parties.
Medals were later awarded to security and civilian recipients in recognition of their contribution to the development of the country.
The function was attended by the 1st National Vice Chairman of NRM, Al hajji Moses Kigongo, the Secretary General, Hon. Richard Todwong and the 3rd Deputy Prime Minister, Hon. Lukia Nakadama.
Others included Ministers, Members of Parliament Members of the Diplomatic Corps, Religious and Traditional Leaders, Senior Security, and various government officials.