President Museveni has said he keeps enjoying himself whenever he travels around the country and marvels at the various infrastructural development projects that have been accomplished in the past 34 years of his government.
“These days I am really enjoying myself and praising God but also using this time to tell the young people the value of commitment. Wherever I go, I am in two capacities; as a former rebel and now as the leader of the people developing these areas,” Museveni told NRM leaders from Bugiri, Namayingo, Bugweri, Namutumba, Iganga and Kaliro held at Iganga Municipal Primary School grounds on Thursday.
The President, who also doubles as the NRM presidential candidate told the meeting that he marvels at the development achieved in areas that used to be forests and bushes where he, together with his National Resistance Army fought during the 1986 war.
“I can see the former war zones are now development areas. Wherever I go, things are new. There are new roads in Karamoja, Teso, West Nile, Acholi and Lango. The other day I was in Bugisu commissioning the Mbale -Lwakhakha where we had a fight with Amin people in 1973. Today I was in Namayingo but I also drove on a very good road from Busia to Musita where we fought with Amin soldiers.”
Museveni told the NRM leaders that the achievements in the last 34 years are as a result of commitment and determination that he together with other fighters had while joining the bush, despite being labeled jokers by Obote.
The NRM presidential candidate boasted that after taking power, government made several decisions that he said have greatly paid off, citing the liberalization of the economy and privatization that have seen many foreign investors come to the country.
“Jesus said a hired shepherd can’t defend sheep when a wolf comes. He just runs away and the wolf eats the sheep but the owner of the sheep defends them even if it means to die. We, therefore, realized that the concept of government doing business was like a hired shepherd. NRM said it was not wise for government to do business,” he said.
According to Museveni, because of such a decision, a number of people have taken up businesses in the country which were formerly for government but have done them exceedingly well.
“We then got flooded with foreign direct investments because they realized it was easy to do business in Uganda. These provide jobs to Ugandans but also pay taxes that we have enough money to do everything we want,” he boasted.
Museveni however noted that despite the strides made, there is still one problem of poverty among families in Uganda that he attributed to subsistence production.
He noted that families ought to get engaged in both subsistence and commercial production so as to have something in the stomachs but also some money in their pockets.
Leaders hail government
Speaking at the sidelines of the meeting, several party leaders in the region hailed the NRM government for fulfilling a number of promises made in the previous elections.
“I appreciate government for working on the road network in Busoga which was so bad like the Mayuge –Namayingo road which is a very important road connecting five districts and the industrial park in Jinja which has also been built,” said Persis Namuganza, the Bukono County MP.
Namuganza said at one time, 10 factories were opened in the industrial park in Jinja that she noted have helped in absorbing youths in terms of employment.
“So many places in Busoga didn’t have electricity but I must thank President Museveni for spearheading the rural electrification program that has seen them get lit,” she added.
The Kigulu North MP, Fred Bwinho Kyakulaga said he was proud of several achievements by the NRM government in the past five years that he said included the Iganga-Kaliro and Musita-Lumino- Majanji roads.
“I know there are good plans for others Luuka- Kaliro road and Buwenge-Nawandala- Kaliro-Pallisa which shows commitment from the NRM government.”
The NRM legislators in the region however asked government to put in more efforts to help solve the problem of unemployment especially for youths and deal with land fragmentation among other issues.