By Spy Uganda
Officiating at the 61st National Independence Day Celebrations held in Kitgum District today, President Yoweri Museveni said the main theme of his speech was derived from the Book of Common Prayer of 1662 of the Church of Uganda which says “They left undone what they ought to have done and they did that they ought not to have done and there is no truth in them”. He said the Scripture describes well the many situations in the world and especially in Africa.
The ceremony ran under the theme: “Sustaining a United and Progressive Nation: Taking Charge of Our Future as a Free Nation”.
“Today on the 61st celebrations of Uganda’s Independence, it is crucial to restate clearly again the essential ingredients of success for Uganda and may be the wider of Africa. So if we are not going to be like those people who the prayer book talks about, what should we emphasise on?” President Museveni noted.
The President said the first crucial ingredient is rejecting the pseudo-ideology of emphasising the politics of identity and instead emphasising the politics of interests.
“While we recognize and respect the respective identities of our People (religion, tribes, gender), we insist that, in order to ensure the economic and social prosperity of our people, we must not forget their needs (food, jobs, market for their products, sources of raw materials for their industries, shelter, etc.). Our people need the supra-tribal Ugandan market and the Pan-African market, for their products to ensure their prosperity,” he expounded.
“Hence, the two principles of the NRM of patriotism and Pan-Africanism. Otherwise, we have told you, repeatedly, we shall build a Latin America in Africa instead of building a United States of Africa in Africa. You all watch on TV channels, the misery of the Latin American populations, walking on foot fleeing man-made poverty in their respective Countries, their tremendous natural resources (the rivers, the forests, the minerals, the good climate for some of them, the ancient heritage of indigenous Indian Peoples, etc.) and culture notwithstanding, to the man-made affluence in the USA simply because the latter (the USA) emphasised integration while the former (Latin America) emphasised fragmentation.”
The President explained that emphasizing the four principles of the NRM which include patriotism, Pan-Africanism, Social-economic transformation and democracy, creates adequate space for guaranteeing the prosperity of the Wealth creators (the farmers, the artisans, the manufacturers and, the services groups), by giving them a big enough market and also, by expunging sectarianism which act helps them in building strong national institutions such as the Army, that guarantees our security.
He noted that the ideology of patriotism and Pan-Africanism, also promotes harmony among the People.
The second factor for success, is the philosophy and strategy of emancipating the private sector and encouraging it to be the basic creator of wealth in the economy.
“There is, however, a great need for the Government to play a regulatory role to ensure that the private sector does not take shortcuts and endanger the health of the consumers. It is, therefore, the patriotic duty of all Ugandans to encourage the private sector – whether they are local or foreign. They all build our GDP which means the value of the wealth on the territory of Uganda whether by our Citizens or others. In the process, it also helps us to expand our GNP which is the value of the Wealth of our Citizens whether located here or abroad. The GDP of the USA is USD 26.24 trillion. Its GNP is USD 24 trillion. That of China is USD 19.37 trillion for GDP and 14 for GNP. Delaying investors, whether local or foreign, is enemy action and we shall take it as such.”
President Museveni listed the third ingredient as economic infrastructure, especially, electricity, the railway, the roads, the ICT backbone, Airports, Ports, piped water, irrigation canals, etc. These he said are crucial so as to create connectivity by linking the producers with the consumers (roads, the railway, Airports, the ICT backbone, the Ports, etc.), lowering costs of doing business and stabilising agriculture thus making Uganda’s products plentiful and competitive.
The fourth ingredient, according to President Museveni is social-infrastructure in the form of schools, health centres and research institutions, that will help Uganda or are helping the country to deal with the health, knowledge and skills of the human resource.
“You remember some years ago we encouraged you to teach our people knowledge with science, now there’s nothing our people cannot do. A modern society and economy need healthy People that are knowledgeable and skilled.”
The President outlined the fifth factor as working on regional economic and political integration so as to guarantee a market for Uganda’s products and also ensuring their strategic security against any and all threats to their future.
“Sixth ingredient is some international contacts with those that are willing to trade with us on an equitable basis and are reliable partners when it comes to the exchange of goods and services. Some of these international contacts, apart from trading with us, can also generate investors to come to our Country, they can be sources of tourists and can bring technology into our Country. We need international contacts of friendly people who respect our independence. Like these ones who are here, they don’t tell us about homosexuality, they are here for business,” he highlighted.
“The seventh ingredient is to eliminate corruption. Corruption takes the forms of stealing Government money meant for pro-People efforts (economic, infrastructure, service delivery, etc.), taking bribes from the public looking for services (jobs, medical care, licences, etc.); and from investors. Ugandans and non-Ugandans that want to do business in Uganda, do not pay bribes. Report the scum to the State House Anti-Corruption team and Colonel Nakalema’s group. Action will be taken.”
The President further warned that the government was going to crush the corrupt people because they are parasites who don’t wish Uganda any good.
President Museveni further noted that the eighth crucial ingredient is protecting Uganda’s environment which means the Wetlands, the forests, the rivers, the lakes and the water-towers in the form of high Mountains of the Rwenzori, the Elgon, the Kigyezi Mountains, the Agoro hills and the hills of Ssiingo, Kookyi, Buhweju-Bunyaruguru, Rwampara-Ruhaama, among others.
“Why do we need to protect these environmental assets? It is because they provide us with three of the most primary life-savers. These are: air, water and food.”
“With these 8 ingredients, Uganda is unstoppable. With these eight, talk of aid is laughable. We do not need aid. It is the mishandling of these eight, that is the killer. We welcome the aid as long as it does not cripple us.”
On the other hand, the President ordered the people in wetlands to leave them peacefully and that the ones in the Bukedi-Busoga and Kigyezi areas, will be assisted to shift from wetland rice-growing to either growing that rice by irrigation on the non-wetland land or to fish-farming at the edges of the Wetlands, allowing the rest of the wetlands to regenerate.
“Those who have encroached on wetlands in other areas, must leave unconditionally because they went there, knowing it was a mistake. The ones of Busoga, Bukedi and Kigyezi, were misled by the Governments e.g. Kibimba Rice Scheme,” President Museveni revealed.
He also disclosed that he was going to come up with a more detailed Executive order to stop the damage to the environment.
On the issue of cattle rustling, President Museveni assured the people in Acholi sub region that the government has managed to curb down the criminal activity and they are now planning to intensify their operations so that they put an end to the vice.
“What I have found out is that some of your leaders were involved in criminal activities. There’s a councillor from Agago who used to collaborate with some of the UPDF officers from the Karamoja region and they sell to him the recovered cattle. In the third division, there was an LC5 Chairperson who was also involved in the crime.”
The President also launched “Bingwa” – a locally made three wheeler multipurpose vehicle, manufactured by Kevoton Motions Engineering Ltd with the assistance of Kiira Motors Corporation.
At the same event, 42 Ugandans were awarded with medals for their immense contribution towards the development of Uganda.