President Yoweri Museveni has urged all Ugandans, especially those in leadership positions, to support and embrace government programmes that are tailored to defeating and eradicating poverty and unemployment. He noted poverty and unemployment are the main challenges the country is faced with and said that the National Resistance Movement Government will continue tackling and eliminating those two challenges.
The President made the call while meeting leaders of Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) at State House Entebbe last evening in his continued efforts to mobilize leaders throughout the country to support and supervise the different government programmes that are aimed at overcoming poverty and curb unemployment. He said that a host of avenues of development programmes like the National Agricultural Advisory Services, Youth Livelihood Programme, the Youth Fund, the Luweero-Rwenzori Development Programme and the micro-finance credit scheme, among others have been instituted by the NRM Government for use as vehicles for wananchi to fight against poverty and unemployment.
Mr. Museveni, who is also the Chairman of the National Resistance Movement, told Kampala district leaders who included Kampala district Members of Parliament, Division Mayors, City, Division and Parish Councilors and Chairpersons from all the 5 Divisions of Kampala that they should always be there to ensure that the masses fully embrace the numerous government development programmes with the aim of uplifting wananchi’s welfare in particular and the development of the country as whole.
The President ran the City leaders through the progress the country has registered since the NRM came to power in 1986 adding that the struggle against poverty and unemployment needed concerted efforts of all citizens. He, however, noted that leaders have a bigger role to play by sensitizing the masses, supervising and ensuring proper utilization of government funds and as well as implementing anti- poverty and unemployment programs.
“Please, sensitize the population to make good use of the existing programs aimed at defeating poverty. Ugandans can overcome poverty if well mobilized,” he said.
The President, who emphasized the crucial role of information in triggering development, said that there was a communication problem between leaders and the people adding that information is vital for development.
“Maybe the problem is at the centre and the local leaders don’t get sufficient information to disseminate it to the masses. I will consider meeting you regularly and pass on this message myself,” he added.
On the issue of unemployment, the President said the issue is global but said that in the case of Uganda, the solution would lay in increased investment in the agricultural sector which has great potential as well as mass industrialization of the country. He said that the government will continue to invest in agriculture especially in agricultural research, agro-processing and giving farm tools and inputs to farmers. He expressed optimism that the sector will in turn employ many Ugandans and boost incomes of many households.
In a bid to propel faster industrialization of the country, the President said, Uganda Investment Authority needs to do more than what they are doing. He said that UIA ought to help put in place incentives that should make the country the best investment destination.
Regarding corruption, the President appealed to the political leaders to always intervene and stop civil servants who are the custodians of government resources from swindling government funds. He, however, advised them to be clean themselves in order to accomplish that by shunning involvement in corruption.
Mr. Museveni further emphasized the need for cohesion, discipline, and planning in order to enable government to effectively deliver to the citizens. He noted that lack of these requisites have most times been detected by the NRM. He cited the Universal Primary Education (UPE) program that some members wanted scraped.
“Proper planning is necessary. You commit funds to develop infrastructure and yet others are talking about salary increment and you wonder as to whether you are together,” the President said.
He said that civil servants will have enhanced payment if the economy expands and becomes stronger and the country’s tax base widens. He, however, suggested the establishment of the salaries commission to determine the remuneration of civil servants and regulate the existing salary disparities.