The National Chairman of National Resistance Movement (NRM) President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni has strongly urged Members of Parliament and all leaders in the country to always connect and communicate properly with the people of their areas of jurisdiction and give them direction and guidance on how to properly manage programs tailored by the government like the Emyooga and Parish Development Model (PDM) that will help them get out of poverty.

“I am glad you are going to discuss Emyooga and PDM. What you really need to emphasize is you, the leader. What I saw from Independence here was the disconnection between the elite (Abasoma in Luganda) and Jomokwano in Luo (the elite). The biggest problem I saw was in Acholi and West Nile; there is a disconnection between the elite and the ordinary people. This was the biggest problem I saw in Ankole. There were a few educated people, and the majority were traditional. They were not poor. All of them had land but they didn’t know what to do. Now the problem was that of the elite or ‘Jomokwano’ in Luo language,” he observed.

The President added that the elite did not care about the people and even the few elites who cared didn’t know how to communicate to the wananchi, pointing out that on the contrary it was the turning point for NRM.

“This is where the NRM really made a breakthrough, some of us were from the traditional group and we got education and when we got education, we were able to go back and talk to our people in a language which they understand. So, the few inspection trips I have done in Acholi, in West Nile and recently in Masakayou can see some cases of lack of connection,” he noted.

The President made the remarks today at the National Leadership Institute (NALI) in Kyankwanzi during an engagement with the NRM Parliamentary Caucus. 

The ongoing 10-day NRM Parliamentary Caucus retreat that has drawn more than 400 participants is aimed at among other things enable members to review the country’s overall economic progress and basic trends as well as the progress made in the implementation, successes and challenges faced by government programs tailored at getting people of Uganda out of poverty so as to join the money economy.

Presentations as well as discussions on various topics were made by leaders who included the Minister for the Presidency Hon. Babirye Milly Babalanda who made a presentation on Mid-term review of NRM Manifesto Implementation: Role of Parliament.

The President asked the retreat participants to invite all who are handling cases of misappropriation of the Parish Development Model funds like the Head of Anti-Corruption Unit – ACU of State House Brig. Gen. Henry Isoke to brief them on some of the corruption cases unearthed.

“You can invite at some stage, Brigadier Gen. Isoke, to come and brief you about the cases of dishonesty which were found there. And some of them have been arrested, where there was outright corruption, stealing, asking for money, asking this,” he said.

President Museveni however noted that in some cases where there was no corruption, a lot of what he described as stampede was in place citing a ward in Gulu City where SACCOs were hastily formed without following the right procedures. 

“For instance, in Gulu, in one of the wards in the city, they never formed properly the parish SACCO. Why did they not form the parish SACCO properly? This is because the headquarters, that of Galabuzi who is heading the docket, the one who’s going to talk to you, stampeded them. They said you must form SACCOs by this time and he gave them I think a short time or something like that and because of that a few people under the Commercial Officer said they had formed a SACCO. A SACCO of a few people of I think eight people or something like that. Don’t stampede people to do things that are not accurate, come back and say you need more time to inform the people. To inform with a purpose to alert.”

President Museveni also observed that the whole parish was not informed and therefore urged MPs who are in touch with the people to be frank and report truthfully and not to try to stampede wananchi. 

“Come back and say we need more time to announce and inform the people. There will be a meeting in two months or to tell people there will be a meeting on this day. You must give them enough days,” he counseled.

On the repayment of the borrowed funds from members, President Museveni gave his final directive on the repayment of Emyooga money to start after 12 months and the borrower to decide to pay it all at once or in instalments but finish within a period of 24 months.

For the Parish Development Model funds, the President noted that this is mainly for agricultural purposes and borrowers can start payment after 24 months or in instalments but clear it all within 36 months.

“That is my directive now. I don’t want any other debate on this. This is finished. If I hear any deviation, you will see what I will do,” he warned. He added that for the avoidance of doubt, “I don’t want to hear that anybody has been asked to pay money in 4 months. With the group of Kasolo, they started demanding money to be paid back in four months. Four months! I came to know this from intelligence. Why do you want people to pay back in four months? When I asked Kasolo, he said, no, somebody wants to pay in four months. I said, hmm, this is a bit suspicious,” he observed. 

President Museveni noted that the Emyooga and PDM funds are a dynamite to parasites in the country who include money lenders and commercial banks.

“They are all worried about this money. Because this is cheap, affordable and useful money. So, they are trying to de-campaign the program and to make it fail,” President Museveni noted.

President Museveni added that the purpose of the funds is to make people grow, not the fund. 

The 10-day retreat by NRM Caucus is attended by the Vice President Rtd. Maj. Jessica Alupo, the Prime Minister the Rt. Hon. Robinah Nabbanja. Others include the top brass of NRM Secretariat, Ministers and MPs.