By Spy Uganda
The Prime Minister Dr Ruhakana Rugunda has detailed a number of successes that President Yoweri Museveni’s National Resistance Movement (NRM) government has attained during the time the regime has been in power.
Dr Rugunda made the revelation in a speech he delivered at the Uganda Media Centre, Kampala, on Friday, May 15, 2020, in which he decried rampant corruption in public offices but identified many of the achievements that the government has registered since they came into power in 1986.
Here below are the key remarks in Dr Rugunda’s speech at the launch of the Manifesto Week.
“Rt Hon Secretary General of the NRM
Hon Minister for the Presidency
Hon Minister for ICT and National Guidance
Ndugu Willis Bashaasha, the Director of the Manifesto Implementation Unit.
Ladies and gentlemen of the press, fellow Ugandans
First and foremost, I would like to thank you for the resilience you are showing in the collective fight we are in, to combat the Covid -19 pandemic. The gains we are making are largely due to heeding the guidelines given by Ministry of Health and HE President Museveni.
The pandemic has affected and continues to pose serious challenges to lives, livelihood, businesses and our whole way of life. But we are confident that we will defeat it.
As part of the duty of the NRM Government under the leadership of HE President Museveni, when this pandemic broke out, the President promptly led from the front and made the right decisions at the right time.
So, as we launch the Manifesto Week today, we do so in the context of what this Government promised the people of Uganda, four years ago—to protect the lives and property of Ugandans.
As you may be aware, Tuesday 12th May 2020 marked
four years since HE President Yoweri Museveni and the
National Resistance Movement started a five year mandate of leading the country following the 18th February 2016 General elections.
Through our Manifesto for that election with the people of Uganda, we pledged to take the country to Modernity through job creation and inclusive development.
I am pleased to launch today, activities of accountability to the country, about how far we have gone in implementing the manifesto, Four years into this term of office.
I would like to thank the Manifesto Implementation Unit, and Hon Esther Mbayo, the Minister for the Presidency for driving this process and organising this Manifesto Week. I salute Ndugu Willis Bashaasha for coordinating these accountability activities.
Four years into this term of office, we would like to inform Ugandans that we are on course to achieve the targets we set together with the people of Uganda.
We are using this Manifesto Week to take stock of what has been achieved so far, the challenges that we have encountered, the steps being undertaken to address those challenges, and the way forward.
In the course of next two weeks, different sector Ministers will be informing Ugandans about what is happening in their dockets in line with the Manifesto.
Overall, our assessment of the implementation of the Manifesto commitments to date stands at about 80 percent.
As we stand, we are on course to achieve most of the targets we set out in the Manifesto.
In the implementation of the Manifesto, we are guided by the 23 Directives issued by H.E. President Museveni at the first Cabinet Meeting in June 2016, highlighting the critical priority areas that need to be attended to, in order to achieve our goals.
To ensure smooth implementation of the Manifesto, Government initiated a number of reforms with regard 6 to policies, laws and regulations. Among these are proposals in the amendment of the Public Procurement and Disposal of Assets (PPDA) Law; free connection to the national grid; improved planning, budgeting, monitoring and reporting; and continuous implementation of affirmative action programmes in selected regions to promote inclusive growth and development.
As you are aware, maintaining peace and security has remained the core ingredient upon which the various social economic activities are hinged.
At the regional level, we continue to work with neighbours, the UN, African Union, IGAD and other partners to support efforts aimed at promoting regional peace and security.
By way of highlights, I am pleased to inform you that:
We completed and commissioned Isimba Dam which has added 183 MW of electricity on the grid. Generation of reliable energy is critical to attracting investments and driving industrialisation.
We promised the country that we would revive Uganda Airlines during this term of office. I am pleased to note, as you already know, that four aircrafts were received in the country. This will open Uganda to many opportunities, boost tourism, raise our flag and brand our country.
We completed and commissioned the Specialised Women hospital at Mulago. This is a sign of NRM’s 8 continued commitment to the health of our mothers, daughters and the new born babies. The rehabilitation of Mulago National Referral Hospital is at 95 Percent completion.
On industrialisation, you may all be aware that the President has been launching and opening several factories that produce goods ranging from food products to agricultural inputs and other essentials. Besides producing goods and services, these industries employ many Ugandans, utilise local raw materials and pay taxes into our national treasury.
We have also completed the construction of the one border stop points in the main exit/ entry points to facilitate cross border trade. These have been operationalised.
The Entebbe-Kampala Expressway was completed and was commissioned by the President.
The Nile Bridge was completed and commissioned.
We have also been able to construct irrigation schemes in an effort to support commercialisation of agriculture
On energy –Karuma Dam will be completed by end of the year and this will add an extra 600 MW on the national grid; this will bring generation capacity to around 1839 MW. All our District headquarters are now connected to power, save for the newly 10 created districts. In addition, money was mobilised to connect all our sub counties by close of 2020.
Work on expansion and modernisation of Entebbe International Airport to accommodate the volume of increasing traffic is also nearing completion.
In the Education Sector, money was mobilised and the Government policy of establishing a seed secondary school for each sub county commenced with the construction of 129 schools in sub counties where there are no secondary schools.
We have continued to prioritise investments in agriculture as the backbone of our economy with provision of pesticides, seedlings and extension services to farmers. The recruitment of extension workers in particular has provided farmers with the knowledge and skills to handle their activities professionally and with a business mind.
Through Operation Wealth Creation, seedlings of cocoa, citrus, tea, mangoes, oranges and apples have been distributed.
There has been increased coffee production. For example, coffee production has grown from 4.8 million bags last year to 5.63 million (60 kg) valued at USD 492 million which represented a 40% increase in value from the previous year.
The fundamentals of the economy that are responsible for rapid economic growth are being systematically dealt with. It is not surprising that our GDP growth rate that had declined due to severe drought among other factors has regained pace at 6 percent. We know that Covid-19 will have negative impacts on growth, but we are confident that we will bounce back.
On investments, the Government is working to improve the investment climate to reduce the cost of doing business and attract investors.
In implementing the Manifesto, we have faced some challenges, such as delays in acquisition of land for flagship projects across sectors. Compensation remains expensive and sometimes delays project executions.
In addition, there is corruption. This undermines the different efforts invested to achieve our targets. However Government has strengthened anti- corruption efforts, including establishing the State House unit led by Lt Col Edith Nakalema to fight corruption.
In conclusion, I call upon the public to take interest in these programmes, and by this launch, I am also calling upon accounting officers at the local government levels to organise to use radios and other media to tell our people about the implementation of Government programmes in their various districts.