I am not only campaigning but also celebrating the success of the NRM.
I am not only campaigning but also celebrating the success of the NRM. The Bible says whatever a man sows is what he reaps. NRM has sown vision for Uganda and we are now reaping.
In 1986, we launched liberalisation. People were used to parastatals but we said let the economy be in hands of the people. You can have some public sector services but most should be privatised.
It helped our economy recover. Sugar production went up from 0 tonnes in 1986 to now 400,000 tonnes, tea production went up from 3 million kilogrammes to 70 million kilogrammes. Production of soft drinks, soap, mattresses etc, all went up.
The recovery of the commercial sector meant widening our tax base. We now collect 13,000b from 5b in 1986.
With that, we now moved to prioritization. Many people don’t know this issue. They want to be everywhere and end up being nowhere.
It was a problem until 2002 when I put my foot down in a Cabinet meeting in Gulu. I said we must put more money in defence. We cut 23% from other ministries. In 2003, we defeated Kony, by 2006 we had resolved the issue of cattle rustlers, removing 40,000 guns.
After 2006 elections, I called special conference of Cabinet at Statistics House in Kampala. I told them our economic planners were making a mistake. We were depending a lot on donors for our development budget while our income was for the recurrent budget. We were depending on external donors, who don’t know what hurts Ugandans. I told the leaders, we must tighten our belts, spend less on consumption and spend more on development.
Secondly, I said once we had taken the principle of funding our development budget, we should do prioritization.
Apart from defence, education and health, which we had already prioritised, I said let us add tarmacking roads and generating and distributing electricity.
Because of these decisions, we are now celebrating. I have been to all parts of northern Uganda, there’s total peace. I am here at Morulinga near the road, I hear vehicles passing all night. I am in a celebratory mood. I am celebrating peace, celebrating electricity. Only four places in Uganda; Kotido, Kaabong, Nwoya and Buvuma out of 112 districts do not have electricity. When we depended on donors, you would do one project for years.
We have done very well on energy, roads and schools. There are tarmac roads everywhere. In the north the Koboko, Atiak-Pabbo, Gulu-Kitgum road is being worked on. In Karamoja we have tarmacked the road to Nakapiripirit. Even water, we are not yet spending as much as the roads but we shall prioritise later.
The same with agriculture, where we shall spend more than the current UGX510b. I am happy to see that God can use simple human beings like us to do good work.
What is remaining is wealth for all. We have launched the programme to convince Ugandans to create wealth in their homes. We started by giving seedlings to farmers using the UGX203b for NAADS but in our coming term, we shall put more money in Operation Wealth Creation.
We now have several mwanainchi funds; the first is Operation Wealth Creation/NAADS which will get more than UGX1,000b each year for seedlings and livestock inputs.
The second is the Youth Fund that currently has UGX54b. We shall add at least UGX2b per district. This will be the same with the Women Fund. That means each of these will get about UGX224b. The other is the Microfinance Fund now getting UGX44b, we shall put about UGX200b. That will translate into about UGX2m per village.
This 44b has been hijacked by the ‘nasomako’. They have even distorted it, putting there security. It’s a contradiction. I have written to the Microfinance Minister to stop the security demands. The concept of microfinance is character not security. They are character loans. Even Youth Fund, I am hearing they are being distorted. It must stop.
In Kampala, I started with 17 Youth groups in Najjera. They are metal workers. I spent UGX230m for user facilities. I am going to roll it out to all youth groups involved in metal works in Kampala, plus timber dealers, etc.
Even you the journalists could benefit from a fund instead of taking bribes. I hear politicians bribe you. That is wrong. You should not allow your ethical obligation to be abused.
Museveni’s address to journalists at Morulinga State Lodge in Napak District Thursday November 26, 2015