“Focus on the Prosperity of Ugandans”- President Museveni Urges District Leaders

President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni has urged district leaders to focus on promoting politics of interest because it’s very crucial in the prosperity of Ugandans.

According to President Museveni, after getting independence, Uganda faced a lot of challenges which were caused by leaders who wrongly diagnosed the problems affecting the citizens.

“When we got independence in 1962, people were less concerned, and each one diagnosed the problem in their own way whereby some emphasised the politics of identity in the form of federalism. Even up to now, they are still talking about it, yet it promotes underdevelopment. Four years after Independence, the country had already encountered a lot of problems which included the abolishment of the constitution by Obote, 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 the remarks today while addressing the 472 district leaders at the closure of the Transformational Leadership Development Course at the National Leadership Institute (NALI) Kyankwanzi.

The leaders were drawn from seven (7) districts of Hoima, Kakumiro, Mubende, Kasanda, Nakaseke, Kamwenge and Kyankwanzi.  The course ran under the theme: “The role of local leaders in the implementation of government programmes and projects”.

President Museveni explained that when the National Resistance Movement (NRM) came into light, it rightly diagnosed Uganda’s problems, thus coming up with the four core principles to deal with the challenges. 

He said, 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 when you emphatically look around, you realise that the Banyankore in Ankore don’t buy my milk, meat and bananas because they also produce the same products like 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 Baganda. 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 will stand on 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 was so underdeveloped but when we came into power, we came with the gospel of wealth creation with “ekibaro”. When you accepted to rear cows for milk production, you now see that Uganda produces a lot of milk more 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 tonnes annually, yet here we only use 1 million tonnes; therefore, we have a surplus of 4 million tonnes.”

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, fruits on the other acre, on the third acre grow pasture for zero grazing, on the third acre grow food crops. At the backyard, rear poultry, pigs and fishponds. Those seven activities are a medicine to the poor Ugandan to fight poverty. But then, there are industries, services and ICT. This will also help us to make money,” the President said.

“The fourth principle which is democracy is clear,”he added before assuring the leaders that he will consider setting up a SACCO to support them.

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

“Your Excellency, following your guidance to H.E the Vice President and me on 6th September 2021, we have been spearheading the implementation of government programmes and projects and we found out that some local leaders lacked knowledge of their roles and needed NRM ideological orientation and accordingly, I organised this transformational leadership development course for 472 local leaders from the seven districts,” Rt. Hon. Nabbanja said.

Rt Hon. Nabbanja also directed the Minister of Health, Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng to upgrade KyankwanziHealth Center II to III to improve health services to the locals.

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 merging of Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) will not in any way affect the operations of road works 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.

Brig. Kisembo asserted that during their stay at the institute, the participants were taken through ideology and leadership, time management, introduction to Patriotism studies, ways of thinking and understanding reality, transformative discipline and revolutionary methods of work, Parish Development Model, among other lectures.

“Your Excellency, we are certain that the course participants have gained knowledge which will enhance their performance levels and at the same time, help them to mobilise their people for government programs implementation,” he said.

He also lauded Rt. Hon. Nabbanja for being able to mobilise the participants in large numbers and alsofinding NALI worthy to train Ugandans in the effort of training Ugandans for socio-economic transformation.

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 Workers’ League- NakasekeDistrict informed President Museveni that the training has made them better leaders and ready to serve their people better.

“Your Excellency, we commit to be Ambassadors in our respective areas of jurisdiction to continue using the competences we have gained in patriotism, socio- economic transformation, Pan- Africanism, East African Integration, financial literacy, among other subjects.”

He also appealed to the President to fast-track the operationalization of Bunyoro University. The issue of location which is the main hindrance can easily be resolved by your intervention so that the University can open its gates to students,” Mr. Zilitwawula noted.

“Your Excellency we are also requesting you to consider increasing the emoluments of district local leaders and lift the ban and allow new creation of administrative units as earlier requested to bring services nearer to the people.”

On the issue of District Roads Committees, Mr. Zilitwawula complained to the President that the Members of Parliament have more influence as well as authority when it comes to decision making on the Committees and they use it for their political capital.

He also requested the President as the National Chairperson of the NRM to direct the party secretariat to rotate the district registrars and administrators in various districts every after an election to ensure transparency in the NRM primary elections.

“Your Excellency, we have observed that the NRM structures are not very active after elections. We therefore request you as the party chairman to devise means of empowering these structures for effective service delivery for our people.”

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