“Media Should Provide Right Information to People” – President

Wednesday, 6th September 2017
President Yoweri Museveni has called upon radio stations in Uganda to contribute to the development of the country by providing Ugandans with the right information.
The President who is currently on a nationwide tour to address Ugandans on several issues of national importance especially land matters, was last night speaking on Mbarara-based Vision FM radio station and TV West in Mbarara Municipality.
Accompanied by of Minister of Information, Information Communication Technology (ICT) and Communications, Hon. Frank Tumwebaze, State Minister for Housing, Hon. Chris Baryomunsi and Deputy Attorney General, Hon. Mwesigwa Rukutana, President Museveni said that instead of informing Ugandans about government projects and how the country is to benefit from the projects, the media and the opposition politicians are spreading falsehoods about the proposed amendment to the land law.
“I have come to tell you that government is not trying to steal people’s land. We want to change the law in public interest. We need to construct roads, the railway and electricity. When we make the road to Lyantonde or the Bypass road here in Mbarara town, Museveni does not have any shares in it. It is for everyone’s benefit,” he said.
He again reiterated that it was the National Resistance Movement (NRM) Government that legislated to give Ugandans land ownership in the 1995 Constitution and, therefore, the same government cannot be the one to take away from Ugandans the right to own land as the media and the opposition politicians are telling Ugandans.
“Long ago, land used to belong to the Omugabe (King) and during colonial period it used to belong to the Queen. When we made the constitution, we changed the clause that said, “land belongs to government” to “land belongs to the people,” he said.
Mr. Museveni explained that the proposed amendment to the land law does not aim at grabbing land from Ugandans but is rather meant to ease government acquisition of land for infrastructure development such as railways, roads and electricity.
“For government to acquire someone’s land, the owner must be compensated.  Government was also coming up with more avenues for discontented landowners to appeal in order to receive fair compensation,” he clarified.
President Museveni noted that landowners who reject government compensation offer and want more money compared to what their property was valued at, also challenge government and this in turn, delays contractors hired to do government projects. In the meantime as these delays go on, the cost of things, such as cement, keep going up.
Mr. Museveni faulted government bureaucrats who have access to government contracts and know where the projects will be constructed and take advantage of their proximity by going to those areas to acquire land so that they can benefit from the compensation as the operationalization of the projects roll out.
Regarding the fight against household poverty, President Museveni said if the 68% of the Ugandan population that is still in subsistence farming is to join the monetary economy, government has to build roads, the railway and electricity so that more employment opportunities are created.
He observed that it was a shame that the opposition politicians, who are against the construction of factories, are at the same time the ones complaining that the youth are unemployed.
“In Amuru, there are leaders fighting the sugar factories and at the same time they are the people saying they do not have jobs,” he said.
Mr. Museveni, therefore, called upon the media to educate Ugandans about the amendment of the land law and the need for Ugandans to protect their environment. He said instead of wasting time abusing and spreading falsehoods, they should teach Ugandans how they stand to benefit from government projects and about the dangers of wetland destruction and land fragmentation.
The President also cautioned the public against encroaching on government land and warned those that have planted eucalyptus trees in the swamps to remove them before the National Environment Management Authority does so.
On the issue of the murder of women in Entebbe and Nansana, President Museveni said government was going to put up cameras in urban areas to check on the crime rate. He said that in the past, government had focused much on the rural areas such as the north and the west, which had, rebels killing people; but now the focus will be shifted to urban areas as the country is now peaceful and all the rebels have been defeated.