Thursday, January 26, 2023

President Yoweri Museveni has revealed that the NRM government has managed to successfully stay in power for the last 37 years due to the party’s four core principles that enabled Uganda to build strong institutions such as the Patriotic Political Parties, the Army, the Judiciary, among others, that have guaranteed peace, up to-date. 

President Museveni made the remarks today during the celebrations to mark the 37th NRM Victory Anniversary held at Kakumiro District. 

“Congratulations to all of you on this occasion of the 37th Anniversary of the NRM victory in 1986. That victory came about because of the NRM’s four principles that we had distilled out of the chaotic politics and governance that had bedeviled Uganda for almost 556 years, ever since the rule of the last Muchwezi King, Wamala – Ruhaanja, Njoojo ebuunga,” he said. 

He noted that the bankrupt politics of identity chauvinism (ethnicity and religion), could not allow the young State of Uganda, following Independence, in 1962, or its democratic institutions, to survive.

“The crisises between Mutesa and Obote in 1966 and between Obote and Amin in 1971, forced the student revolutionaries to take up arms and lead the masses in the effort to destroy the Colonial Army, the Uganda Army, as well as putting forward the four principles of the NRM that, we had distilled out of watching the chaos between 1960 and 1986.”

The four principles include: Patriotism, Pan-Africanism, Socio-economic transformation and democracy.

“That is why we are celebrating now. Patriotism (loving Uganda) and Pan-Africanism (loving Africa) re-oriented the Ugandans from following the politics of identity (tribes, religion, gender, etc.), to following the politics of the legitimate needs (interests) of the People (peace, consumer goods, health, development, education, wealth creation, markets for our products, among others,” The President added.  

Gen. Museveni also disclosed that due to such attributes, Uganda’s economy has also since grown from a miserable US$1.5 billion in 1986, to US$48 billion by end of June 2023 and the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita will be USD 1,067.

“You remember that to enter the middle-income category, you need the GDP per capita of USD 1,039. This is now the second financial year; we have been in that category. You need 3 years, consecutively, to be recognized as a middle-income Country. However, in my view, all those are low targets, which Uganda will easily surpass. Why? You remember my admonitions about losing value through the export of raw-materials,” he observed. 

President Museveni further explained that the low middle-income economy they are now talking about, is still, actually, mainly a raw-materials producing economy, where for a kilogram of coffee, Uganda gets USD 2 for bean coffee while the wiser foreigners who roast the coffee, grind it and pack it for sale in Super-Markets, get USD 50 for the same kilogram.

“I have, finally, woken up some Ugandans from this sleep of ignorance. We are going to add value to more and more of our coffee and the other raw materials – cotton, maize, forest products, minerals, etc,” he said. 

The Head of State revealed that this broad-spectrum value addition movement will jumpstart the country's economy in a fairly short time to a- half-trillion economy (USD 500 billion).

“We now have the electricity and we are adding more, we have the varied and massive raw materials and, increasingly, we have the entrepreneurs – local and foreign and we have the African market that we have put in place with our Pan-Africanist Comrades,” the President asserted, adding that,” Therefore, on this occasion, I want to emphasize 5 points. These are: be clear about development (entunguuka, enkulankulaine, dongolobo, apolu, etc.) and wealth (obugaiga, obuguuda, lonyo, etc.); be clear that Socio-economic transformation involves the whole society to move on two axises – money-based wealth creation with ekibaro and mass-education; stamping out corruption from all Government agencies in the Central and the Local Governments; stamping out sectarianism; and protecting our environment.”

President Museveni also reiterated the need for Ugandans to create wealth by engaging in money making ventures with ekibaro (calculation), before assuring them that what eradicates poverty is wealth. 

“Those coming to Kakumiro today for the celebrations, have seen how many tarmac roads we have done in Bunyoro and how much we have extended the electricity network. The NRM has, however, all this time, been telling you that you do not eat tarmac roads, but you eat the food that you have either grown or bought. The same applies to clothing, housing, mode of locomotion, etc. The latter are all part of wealth (obugaiga) and the former (roads, electricity, etc.), are part of development,” Gen Museveni remarked. 

“Therefore, for wealth, we are telling you that every adult must engage in wealth for money with ekibaro, either as an entrepreneur or as an employee in the four sectors of: Commercial agriculture, Industry, Services, and ICT. No excuses for the bakongozi. You may have development, but if People are asleep, you can continue with the poverty. Why? It is because what eradicates poverty (obwooro, obwavu, obunaku, can, etc.), is wealth, development is a mere enabler of wealth creation.”

He also emphasized the need to ensure mass education so that the whole society embraces a Science-led Society and get out of ignorance and superstition where people believe that etalo is caused by edogo (witchcraft) and not by a bacteria known as straphylococcus and streptococcus bacteria that cause the cellulitis.

“Therefore, all emiziziko (obstacles) that interfere with education, such as school charges, must be removed. Since many families cannot yet afford the paying of money for education, the Government must provide free education in Government Primary, Secondary and Tertiary institutions. The present drop-out rate at the Secondary Schools level of 64%, is not acceptable. Stay tuned. You will hear what we shall tell you in a few weeks.”

On the issue of corruption, the President congratulated some Government agencies for trying to ensure that the vice is stamped out. He stated that he has seen people that had stolen Parish Development Model (PDM) and emyooga money, being arrested or being forced to refund the money. 

“That is good. However, it is not enough. I have heard the Bazukulu crying about the District Service Commissions selling Local Government jobs. I have heard of girls being exploited sexually as bribes for jobs. Get evidence, please, devoted members of the Public and we expunge and roast those pigs. The DISOs and the CIDs, should also be on notice. How does such corruption go on in your AOR (Area of Responsibility) and you do not know or, if you know, you do not report?” President Museveni wondered. 

“You still hear some elements pushing sectarianism of tribe and religion. We long ago banished sectarianism. I believe it is both a criminal and electoral offence. Somebody can lose his or her seat of an elected office if it is proved that he used sectarianism, even if he is already elected. Why, then, preserve such parasites? Get the evidence and we get rid of them. They can also be persecuted criminally.”

On the other hand, the President urged Ugandans to conserve the environment (forests, the wetlands, the river-banks, the Lake shores, the hill-tops, etc) since it's very crucial for their survival. 

“We need water and clean air. Both of them come from the wetlands and forests. You cannot say that you are a patriot of Uganda, but you damage our wetlands, our forests, our riverbanks, our Lake shores, our steep gradients, on which our livelihoods depend. Even food is possible because of air, water, etc. 

You become a munyanzigwa (enemy) when you damage these. 40% of our rain, comes from these forests and wetlands. It is the 60% that comes from the Oceans. How can we destroy ourselves in this way on account of some greedy People? Therefore, be alerted. In a few weeks, I will launch a mega effort, to get rid of this parasitism,” he concluded.