BY KAINOMUGISHA CAROLINE
Recently, NRM Members of Parliament under the NRM Parliamentary Caucus concluded a week long retreat in Kyankwanzi under the theme “Industrialization for job creation and shared prosperity” which was attended by the president, ministers, about 50 NRM leaning independent MPs, NRM Historicals, and members of the Central Executive Committee. The retreat was officially opened by His Excellence President Yoweri Museveni on Friday, 14th March 2019.
The President gave a keynote address on Building a Resilient and an Integrated Self-Sustaining Economy. In his speech the President urged the MPs to use the Parish Development Model to alleviate poverty among poor households through commercial agriculture. He also noted that the government will withdraw its shares from commercial banks in order to capitalize Uganda Development Bank. This will offer cheap loans as low as 12% interest rate to the ICT and services sector, farmers and manufacturers.
In light of his recurring support for Patriotism and Pan Africanism, the president announced a ban on importation of industrial raw materials that could be made from Uganda such as steel, copper, leather, starch for drugs and many more. These and many more issues were discussed.
The above and many more issues discussed during the retreat formed a number of resolutions that were summed up into one document titled the ‘NRM Ngoma Resolutions’. These issues cut across the board, from NRM Party internal policies to general issues that affect and benefit all Ugandans regardless of their political inclination. For purposes of this article, I will concentrate on the latter.
It is important to note that the NRM Ngoma Resolutions were read out at the Ngoma state lodge, Nakaseke District after over 300 MPs together with the President trekked for about 3Kms from Kyankwanzi to the State lodge. The resolutions read by the Caucus Secretary and Bukoto Mid-West Constituency MP Hon. Kasozi Muyomba included but were not limited to the following;
Urging Government to ensure the development & implementation of an expanded education Curriculum in all institutions in order to cater for Patriotic & ideological development in the country.
Government should urgently study the introduction of the National Service for the Youth. The National Youth Service is long overdue and would go a long way in imparting the youth with the right skills, attitudes and mindset after school to appreciate values of hard work, patriotism and discipline.
MPs also resolved to fully support Government to do everything to bring down the cost of electricity to at least five cents for manufacturing industries. This was quite timely seeing as the Isimba Hydro Electricity Dam was commissioned a few days later adding 183.2MW to Uganda’s production capacity. This has increase the total electricity capacity on the national grid to over 1000MW which should facilitate the lobbying for reduced prices to 5 cents for large scale consumers.
Another resolution was adopted to ensure that four sectors of the economy i.e. Commercial Agriculture, Manufacturing, Services and ICT - absorb and render useful, all our active population so that they produce goods & services for import substitution and export promotion especially through embracing the BUBU policy to foster economic transformation to the middle income status.
The MPs further resolved to work hand in hand with the Government to ensure a more investor friendly atmosphere, free of delays and corruption of public officials. The Anti-corruption court has taken the lead in this field, hopefully our leaders will work with the division to make the business environment corruption free.
In addition, NRM MPs went ahead to task Government to avail more funds to our idle youth to convert them into owners of small businesses across the four sectors. The president on 14th March 2019 presented cheques worth sh2.5bn to youth SACCOs in Kampala, which would benefit over 1289 youth in Central, Rubaga, Makindye, Nakawa and Kawempe and each SACCO received sh500m.
The Ministry of Works and Transport was commended particularly for the steady progress in the areas of road upgrading, completion of bridges, rehabilitation of national road network, procurement and distribution of road equipment in many required areas.
Government was urged to increase budgetary support to the Ministry of Information and Communications Technology, ICT and to provide ICT and social media training to the MPs.
Last but not least, NRM MPs and other leaders were also urged and indeed agreed to actively take up the use of social media as a timely communications frontier. They also pledged to conduct close monitoring of social media activities and usage in relation to government activities.
The NRM Caucus further recommended that the technical and political leadership of the Ministry of Energy, Oil and Mineral Development together with Minister of Education and Sports organize interface sessions with the NRM Parliamentary Caucus in Kampala by the end of the month to ensure that the various issues raised during the retreat relating to the implementation of programs or projects in their sectors that were not adequately discussed are exhaustively addressed especially on the uneven distribution of hydroelectricity power and education services across the country.
In line with resolutions made at the retreat, a clear path of Patriotism, Pan Africanism, socio-economic transformation and Democracy has been set for Uganda looking beyond 2021.
Kainomugisha Caroline is a Communications Assistant at Government Citizen Interaction Centre (GCIC), Ministry of ICT & National Guidance.