President Museveni has asked the new UPDF MPs to always support his ideas and priorities in parliament for the benefit of the country.
“When you go to Parliament, please support my seven priorities. In this new government, I will insist on my priorities. So when you go to parliament, please support my seven priorities. This time, no bad budgeting will go unopposed” Gen. Museveni told the Defence Council that sat at the Land Forces headquarters in Bombo to elect new army representatives in parliament.
The commander in chief named the seven priorities for his new term as equipment of the UPDF to become second to none in Africa, more funds for roads, railway, ferries for effective and cheap transport; electricity, health, education, salaries for scientists and security force and more money in wealth funds like operation wealth creation, youth fund, women fund and Emyooga among other government inititiatives.
“We need to put more money in these sectors and we must do it. When you go to parliament please support my seven priorities.”
Explaining the primary historical role of the army’s representation in parliament, Museveni said the 10 MPs are meant to listen to what is happening in the August House and then report back to the army so that it takes decisions as a force.
“The 10 UPDF MPs were put in the constitution on account of our history. They would be like a listening post to what is happening in Parliament” Gen. Museveni told the attentive army officers who had gathered in Bombo.
He noted that like many African countries, Uganda had become ungovernable and had become a failed state but note that this was reversed by freedom fighters who started as a student movement in 1965 and later metamorphosed into the National Resistance Army that later became UPDF.
“The NRM/A liberated the country together with peasants. After we realized that the army can’t govern the country and we handed it over to civilians. The country is not ours, it is yours, we are also just part of it,” he said.
“Before it was lack of everything including sugar and soap among others but now it is surplus of everything. The problem we now have is the market. Uganda is now stable because the economy is well run. Uganda has done very well.”
Museveni however warned about poor budgeting and distribution in the coming Parliament and pledged to challenge such decisions using the powers given to him by the constitution as president.
“In the last 30 years, I have only used my powers against parliament on four occasions. In 2001 when we had a cabinet meeting in Gulu and I ordered that 23% must be cut from all ministries to give defense and defeat Kony and by August 2003 it was the turning point against Joseph Kony. The other time was in 2006 when I insisted on putting more money on roads and electricity,” he said.
The army on Friday voted for new representatives in the national assembly in which Gen David Muhoozi, Gen Edward Katumba Wamala, Lt Gen Wilson Mbasu Mbadi, Lt Gen Peter Elwelu, Lt Gen James Mugira, Maj Gen Henry Matsiko, Maj Gen Sam Kavuma, Col Dr Victor Nekesa, Lt Col Charity Bainababo and Maj Dr Jennifer Alanyo emerged winners.
Article 78 of the Constitution of the Republic Uganda provides for representation of Ugandan People’s Defense Forces (UPDF) in Parliament.
Under the Parliamentary Elections Act, the UPDF Council, which is the electoral college for this election will be required to elect ten representatives from among the nominees submitted by the Commander In Chief, a third (1/3) of whom shall be women.