By Kampala Post Reporter
President Yoweri Museveni, who is also the National Chairman of the National Resistance Movement (NRM), today opened the 5-day retreat of the Central Executive Committee of the National Resistance Movement, highlighting government’s major achievements in infrastructure development and service delivery and emphasizing that the weakest point now is economic empowerment of the 68% of the population who rely on subsistence agriculture mainly in the rural areas.
He advised the party’s top organ that the retreat’s number one pre-occupation should be finding a solution to the 68% of the population that are not in money economy and are stuck in absolute poverty.
“These 68% population is our weakest point that we need to discuss, the rest is easy. Let us agree and talk the same language and act together,” he said.
President Museveni, while addressing CEC this morning at Chobe Safari Lodge in Nwoya District in Acholi Sub-Region, said that whereas the NRM is on track in provision of the development infrastructure including roads, electricity and service delivery, the presence of a big fraction of the population living a subsistence life is a big challenge to the party and the country.
The CEC retreat is being held under the theme “Building on solid achievements, consolidating the unity of the NRM and the transformation of the wanainchi towards achieving vision 2040”
President Museveni told the meeting that he woke up at 4am to read a paper on national economy by Ezra Suruma that will be discussed by members to come up with solutions.
“I woke up at 4am and was busy reading papers. I went through that of the economy by Dr. Ezra Suruma. This method of meeting is good and serious. We have to discuss this issue and exhaust it,” he said.
The President briefed members on their choice of Chobe Safari Lodge as a venue for the third session of CEC saying as a result of the NRM’s privatization policy, Uganda’s tourism potential was revived with lodges such as Chobe, Paraa and Mweya which had been vandalized and collapsed, rehabilitated and are some of the best.
He told CEC that the meeting was postponed because Chobe was fully booked by Valentines Day merry makers and was unavailable.
Chairman Museveni said that there was need to advise and bring to the understanding of the political class in the country, the importance of prioritization in the development and implementation of national programmes.
“I want to advise the political class to understand the practice of prioritization and budgeting. You travelled on a good road from Kampala to here. And from here to the three directions to the borders, it is tarmac all the way. This is because of our policy of prioritization. We built Karuma using money from the Energy Fund that we had saved. We must tighten prioritization and limit consumption. We need money for infrastructure and for the Wealth Fund,” he said.
He said that political leaders need to understand that it is not possible for all national programs to be implemented at the same time as resources are always limited and thus the need to prioritize development programs.
“We have managed to have a good road network with border to border tarmacked roads and develop a number of power dams because we prioritized these crucial sectors and saved for them through the road and energy funds. We need to continue doing the same and limit on administrative expenditure like travels by government officials and save for programs of national importance,” he said.
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He expressed happiness at the developments taking place in the Acholi Sub-Region since the return of peace in the region that range from large scale industrialization, commercial agriculture, power generation and tourism and said that the region was on the right development track and the population needed to tap on those big opportunities.
The Party Secretary General, Justine Kasule Lumumba, said the retreat is grounded on ideological re-orientation and re-direction.
“The socio-economic dynamics of Uganda require that a progressive organization reflects on how it is run and as leaders should run it.
She said after touring Karuma, CEC members will also tour some mechanized agriculture projects. They will also discuss, among others, fighting corruption, the economy, the Party ideology and strategy, the Party resource mobilization, construction of the NRM Towers, and consider some proposed amendments to the Party constitution.