President Museveni has said that it is because of the wise decisions he and his NRM government made since 1986 that Uganda has been transformed to where it is now.
“You heard about the difficult times of this country. How Uganda had failed and how even neighboring countries like Sudan were in trouble. Before, during, and after colonialism, Uganda had problems like tribes fighting one another. After independence, everything broke down completely and many people died. The country was not governable. However, some of us were seeing the problems and later rectified them,” Museveni said.
The President who is also the ruling NRM party presidential candidate was on Saturday speaking to NRM leaders and flag bearers from Moyo, Madi Okollo, Obongi and Adjumani districts of West Nile at Celecelea Stadium in Moyo Town Council as part of his scientific campaigns for the 2021 general election.
Museveni told the NRM leaders that prior to taking over by the NRM, earlier governments were emphasizing politics of identity through tribes and religion among others, a thing he said led to stagnation of the economy but also instability because they could not form a national army.
“The people had similar problems like diseases, poverty, lack of education, lack of water but why would you emphasize politics of identity and not unity? Why dont you look at human needs especially if they are the same. By solving the needs of people you will have more unity than looking at their identity.”
“That’s how we formed a new line by youths in DP like myself and others from UPC like Rugunda(Ruhakana) and Kategaya(Eriya) and some boys from West Nile. Our line was to look at people’s needs.”
Museveni said that it was because of this unity that they were able to form a strong National Resistance Army force that later on captured power.
Museveni noted that after capturing power, they were able to make key decisions like the return of the departed Asian property that had been confiscated by Idi Amin.
“In 1986, the economy was in a very bad situation. We had serious shortages of commodities but by having peace and clever policies, we have been able to attract rich people from outside. The return of Asian properties saw people trust us and consequently, many rich men have come and started investments here.”
He explained that it was because of such wise decisions that the country has moved from having scarcity of essential goods like sugar as it happened before 1986 to having a surplus of everything produced.
“We have surplus sugar, maize, soap, milk, steel bars, cement and all products are in surplus. Therefore the rich people from outside who invested in factories have helped us fight shortages.”
The NRM presidential candidate explained that because of the wise decisions that saw the country become stable and secure, investments sprouted out and these have created not only jobs but also contributed to taxes.
“They (investments) have helped us on the issue of jobs. Although issue of jobs is not totally solved, we are moving on well. Factories employ 700,000 Ugandans, more than the entire public service. If we get more factories, you can imagine what will happen,” he said.
“In attracting rich people here, it was not only peace but also clever policies. That’s why I say, sometimes wisdom is better than strength. By just being wise, we have been able to solve the problems of the country by attracting rich people.”
The President however noted that the problem of subsistence production is still big that Ugandans should solve.
He explained that whereas working for the stomach is good, there is also need to work for earning some money so as to get the desired prosperity.
He asked the NRM leaders to preach the gospel to the people at all levels to ensure they clearly understand what the ruling party stands for, and this way, they would vote wisely in the forthcoming election.
“As leaders, you are priests of the NRM. You are not mere followers. You must know the whys. When we say unity, steady progress, transformation, you must know the reason behind it so that when you go to explain to followers, in case they try to challenge you or seek clarification, you have all the background, “he said.
Leaders make demands
The leaders from Madi region as President to consider elevating Moyo town into a municipality but also tarmacking of the Obongi- Adjumani, Obongi – Yumbe and Moyo- Obongi roads.
“The bridge across Laropi has been a dream for people of this region that has been talked about for many years. The issue of lost cattle to South Sudanese by people in Moyo should be looked into and they are supported to get back their cattle since it is their livelihood,” Moyo Woman MP, Joyce Moricu Kaducu said.
The leaders also asked Museveni to consider elevating the Obongi health centre IV into a regional referral hospital.
The function was briefly interrupted by a heavy downpour but later continued.
The NRM presidential candidate later received a symbolic gift of traditional regalia which included a bow, arrow and a spear from the elders of Greater Madi asking him to tackle the problems ahead of him.
Museveni will later today address youth leaders from West Nile region, before heading to Acholi region starting on Monday.