M7’s State of The Nation Address
His Excellency Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, President of the Republic of Uganda delivered his annual State of the Nation address at the Uganda International Conference Center Serena yesterday June 6, in fulfilling article 101(1) of the constitution of Uganda. In a true Museveni style, the speech was sprinkled with Ugandan proverbs and bible references. Here is a summary of his delivery.
He kicked off by highlighting the journey of infrastructure development in Uganda from 1986, talking about the acute shortage of power in the mid 2000s to the current nationwide coverage of electricity and tarmacked road networks. With the exception of Kaabong and Buvuma as the only places yet to be connected to the national power grid. He mentioned that 58% of the tarmacked roads have been built using Ugandan sourced funding. He forecasts that Uganda’s electricity generation capacity will reach 2216 Megawatts with the completion of Isimba, Karuma and other small hydro power generating plants. The investment in infrastructure has led to the resuscitation of Uganda’s economy growth rate in 2018, with an expected growth rate to 5.8% per annum.
There was growth in the four sectors of the economy with industry at 6.2%, services at 7.3%, ICT at 7.9% and agriculture registering a lower 3.2%. The government plans to encourage the use of fertilizers by farmers. Irrigation schemes are in plan to be established by the government. Museveni called upon industrialists to establish local manufacturing and assembly plants for irrigation systems. He urged farmers with means to set up irrigation systems on their farms. The phosphate factory to be set up in Tororo shall promote the use of phosphates as a fertilizer, once an investor to blend it with nitrogen and potassium to form NPK is on board. This shall increase agricultural output.
Between The Lines: Its Safe to mention, new taxes such as Social Media Tax that will have a negative impact on the growth ICT were not not commented on. In fact the President did not comment on the new tax reforms. Keep posted here, we will share something on these reforms in the next few days as we prepare for the budget reading.
The construction sector grew by 12.5% due to increased efforts by the government and private sector in the areas of road and housing construction. The government is encouraging production for import substitution by skilling youth groups in activities such as welding and metal fabrication, shoe making, etc.. to reduce the dollars spent to import these simple items. Enhanced micro finance shall solve the problem of absence of low interest money for the manufacturing sector. In addition to the youth fund, operation wealth creation and a recapitalized Uganda development bank, manufacturers, processors and commercial farmers shall have access to loans of low interest at 12%. To lower the cost of production, cheaper transport means need to be adopted. The government is speaking to investors to utilize the water bodies Uganda is blessed with. In addition to the standard gauge railway whose construction shall start as soon as discussions about costs are finalized by the partners.
The government has placed orders for medium and long range aircrafts that will serve as the fleet for the soon to be revived Uganda airlines. This shall promote tourism and international trade and cut-down on the outflow of foreign exchange spent by Ugandans on international travel. To counter the unfavorable balance of payments the government has negotiated for integration of regional markets (EAC, COMESA) to create capacity for the absorption of Ugandan products. Uganda has also actively participated in negotiations to access American, Chinese , Japanese and Indian markets together with other African countries.
On matters of security, Museveni blamed the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) rebels for the murders of the Muslim clerics, state prosecutor Joan Kagezi and AIGP Andrew Felix Kaweesi that shook the nation. He added that local criminals were responsible for the Entebbe women killings, Masaka new year’s eve massacre and kidnappings of Susan Magara and other women. Most of these criminals have been arrested or neutralized. Museveni thanked the Tanzanian authorities for the arrest and extradition of Jamil Mukulu, the former leader of the Allied Democratic forces rebels. The government is building the capacity of intelligence organs to eradicate domestic terrorism.
President Museveni promotes Cadet ASP Twinomugisha Steven
“I want to commend Cadet ASP Twinomugisha Steven, a Police Officer, that wrestled down the criminal and disabled him. With immediate effect, I promote him to the next rank” – President Museveni
Concerning the environment, the president called for restoration of wetlands, protection of forests, planting of new forests among other methods that ensure that the environment is preserved to serve its natural purposes. He encouraged economic activity practices that protect the environment while at the sometime benefiting the citizens such as using the outskirts of swamps for fish farming while the middle parts of the swamps are left untouched.
On governance, Museveni urged the local leaders from district level to village levels to supervise government activities diligently or else they shall be held responsible when things go wrong.
On fighting corruption, Museveni said that the weakest link in this fight is the public who are hesitant to report cases of corruption to authorities. He announced an anti corruption committee of James Twaheyo, Martha Asiimwe and Sister Akiror whose contacts shall be made public to report cases of corruption.
Blame Games: The President blamed the Inspectorate General Of Governments office for not delivering on its mandate to the letter and hence creating a new committee, the anti corruption committee.
Addressee area of sports, the government recognizes recent efforts to return to the glory days when Uganda was a sporting powerhouse despite the absence of systematic involvement of the state. The president pledged to avail funds for organizing school competitions at all levels to identify and nature talent. Also read We need to realize the potential in sports
President Museveni is soon to come to books on his promise to construct a high level training center for Olympic Gold Medalist Stephen Kiprotich. A promise he made at the conclusion of the London 2012 Olympics Games
Reported by Eric Zacharia | wakeupafrica360