President Yoweri Museveni said the country’s focus should be more on how to create enough jobs for all Ugandans as opposed to discussing the welfare and enhanced remuneration of the few employed Ugandans.
Speaking at Namutumba Ceremonial Grounds in Namutumba District where he officiated national celebrations to mark the International Labour Day were held, President Museveni noted that whereas the welfare and remuneration of the workers are important, the need to create more jobs and do away with unemployment was of more concern to the government and the country.
The President therefore asked all citizens to support government programs that are focused on job and wealth creation such as the Parish Development Model which he said will help generate enough jobs for the entire population. “If we seriously implement the Parish Development Model, we shall generate 70 million jobs in the 7 million homesteads across the country through modern agriculture alone," Museveni said.
He, however, however noted that there were two major hindrances to the country’s development agenda, singling out the “corrupt political class and civil service” who either demand bribes or delay the decision-making process which he said increases the cost of doing business in the country. He warned that he was going to take strong action against the corrupt and errant civil servants and politicians adding that he was to put up a special office in his office where the public could directly report government officials who are either demanding bribes or delaying the decision-making process.
“We are going to have a big fight with the corrupt. I don’t want you to fall victim to this negative vice. Let’s join hands and fight corruption and be part of the future of the new Africa, ” President Museveni appealed to all Ugandans. The President added that because of the correct policy decision by the National Resistance Movement such as the returning of Indian properties, and the liberalization of the economy among others, the country managed to attract investors and the economy has managed to jump from USD1.5 billion in 1986 to USD50 billion today notwithstanding the fact that the economy is largely dependent on raw materials and have not done a lot of value addition.
He however said that with value addition, the economy would expand threefold and therefore called upon all Ugandans to support the government's efforts to lower the cost of doing business by lowering the cost of money, cost of transport, and energy. On the quest for a minimum wage by the labor organization, the President said that there was a need for Uganda to be cautious in implementing the recommended wages by international labor organizations since Africa has structural differences from the Western world.
The President used the occasion to advise the people of Busoga and all Ugandans who have cultivated wetlands to peacefully leave them and promised that the government was to support them to start a new life on the mainland.