By Max Patrick Ocaido
ENTEBBE. President Yoweri Museveni Sunday evening addressed the public on the current state of affairs of the country at State House Entebbe.
The address that was earlier on scheduled for Saturday morning was postponed to Sunday evening at 8pm. At exactly, 7:15pm, Museveni arrived at the conference hall to the surprise of security and journalists most of whom were taken off guard. On his unanticipated earlier arrival, journalists were seen running up and down to have their gadgets set for the address as the President took his seat and sipped his coffee allowing the scribes to get on their marks.
Museveni started his address by sending condolences to the slain police officer ASP Muhammad Kirumira who was gunned down on Saturday night around his home in Bulenga, a Kampala suburb. He also congratulated Uganda and Tanzania for the ‘good’ stalemate draw game played on Saturday at Namboole.
“A draw was a good result for me because I am both Ugandan and Tanzanian. So it was much better result for me because all my countries won,” Museveni said.
PLOT TO DESTABLISE UGANDA
In his address that lasted for over 4 hours, Museveni said that he has it in good authority that Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) are funding jobless youths to burn down this country. He blamed this on indisciplined politicians who paint a horrible picture about Uganda’s current state of affairs.
“The second bottleneck right now is conspiracy of indisciplined politicians, but they will be handled. They are now telling lies to foreigners, but this will not help them because facts are on the ground. They are disturbing our citizens, attacking women, destroying property and this must stop,” Museveni said.
He then revealed need to rescue youths from such politicians who are funding the former to cause chaos.
“There are NGOs who are funding them (youths) and I have this information on good authority that the youths are being paid Shs100,000 to burn tyres on the road and paint a bad image about this country. They were even planning to set a fuel station on fire for a fee of Shs300,000, but we couldn’t allow them, we blocked all those plans,” Museveni said.
Last month, several protests marred major towns especially Kampala town with youths burning tyres on the road protesting the alleged torture and detention of opposition MPs who caused chaos prior to the Arua Municipality by-election that climaxed with the pelting of stones on the presidential convoy resulting to destruction of the rear windscreen of one of the presidential car.
“These NGOs are using our desperate youths to cause chaos. They give money to our youths to commit arson, beat women, rig elections among others. But efforts have been deployed to accommodate the youths because they are not a problem but an asset,” Museveni said.
UGANDA READY TO TAKE OFF
He added that Uganda is now ready to “take off” and it is unstoppable.
“With Peace, health, education, regional integration and infrastructure, Uganda is now ready to gallop. Uganda is now on point of Take Off,” he said adding that Uganda’s other problem now is “suffering from too much electricity.”
“When I started UMA with late Mulwana, the membership was about 80 companies, but now there are 4725 factories. Only last week, I opened 4 new factories in and many others are up for opening. Namanve already has 31 going to be opened, over 100 to be completed and other 70 rescheduled for construction,” he said.
He urged the public to refrain from pessimism propaganda from the foreign-funded opposition who have continuously spread lies about Uganda.
“These elements can’t stop Uganda from growing. Their malice will only be threat to sectors like tourism, but factories will not migrate. This take off stage would have come much earlier if development partners like World Bank had been cooperative. They spent lots of time talking about social issues like women, homosexuality. But even homosexuals need electricity or good roads,” he said.
In a bid to curb the current assassinations in the country, Museveni said that government will channel about Shs57billion to give firearms to Local Defence Units (LDUS) especially in Kampala, until CCTV camera are installed in major towns. He further admitted that recent murders are the only factor that is worrying Ugandans and not the negative media reports or propaganda from the opposition politicians.
MUSEVENI SLAMS UN
He went ahead to slam United Nations (UN) for turning into a business under the guise of harbouring refugees from other African countries, saying that Ugandans do not need them (UN) because she (Uganda) has the capacity to defend herself unlike many African countries that rely on UN.
Museveni referred to UN as “useless” saying that Ugandans don’t need their assistance which they have turned into a business.
“When we defend Uganda, we rely on our own means. Uganda has no refugees outside her borders and therefore there is no need for UN. UN is now a business in Africa. Countries that can’t defend themselves have this useless UN hovering, but we have our own means to defend ourselves,” Museveni said.
He added, “Uganda that is maligned by some elements is a safe haven for over 1.4m refugees. It’s one of the peaceful spots in Africa where people who can’t stay in their own countries run to.”
In his speech, Museveni added that Africa’s problem is not overpopulation, but rather under population adding that Africa is 12 times and 4 times the size of India and China respectively.
“A country like Congo, is almost the size of India in terms of land but with only a population of 70m while India has 1.3bn and Congo has lots of resources. NRM rejected that line and said leave them to produce,” he said.
By 1986, Uganda had a population of about 14m people compared to the current 40m Ugandans and by 2050, Uganda’s population is projected to be 105m. Museveni attributed this high population growth rate to security and better health care that has been a success through immunization despite shortage of medicine in the hospitals.
Despite the hurdles of pushing the economy into a commercialized agriculture where over 65% of households are still engaged in subsistence farming, Museveni reechoed that illiteracy levels among households has tremendously reduced since 1986.
“You will have quite a hard job looking for Ugandans who can’t read or write. In fact, if you are looking for ignorance then find another address because the literacy levels is now over 70%,” he said.
He added that the NRM government has played four fundamental roles that among them include; providing good health to its citizens through mainly immunization, protecting them from war and terrorism, providing education and minimum economic recovery through infrastructure.