Museveni on why he gives out cash donations ‘‘I cannot live comfortably with poor people’’

President Museveni hands an envelope with money
President Museveni hands an envelope with money
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By President Museveni

Fellow Countrymen and Countrywomen, especially the NRM Leaders
I am writing to clarify the confusion surrounding the Youth Programmes that I started putting in place in the Kampala area and also in the Rukungiri area and some other places.
Especially some of the NRM supporters, they misunderstood this effort. They thought that I was rewarding the Opposition areas instead of giving support to the strong Movement areas.

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Then, I understand that some of the Movement leaders wonder why I do not pass those programmes through them instead of my State House Comptroller, Nakyobe, inviting them last minute to just be among the guests.
By 1966, end of year, I had just turned 22 years of age, Together with my comrade, Mwesigwa Black, we started [ in Ankole] addressing the phenomenon of the unequal development of society by default.
Although our work was interfered with by the onset of the Idi Amin era, by 1995, the pilot effort (the example) of how you can change the attitude of the people around you to undergo social-economic metamorphosis (change) had started to succeed. Today you have 6,000 dairy farmers in the Kiruhuura area producing 800,000 litres of milk per day and you have 4,949 coffee farmers in the Kashoongyi area alone. These people have monthly incomes, they have built permanent houses with solar-power in their houses, water-harvesting, cars and they are sponsoring, privately, students in the universities.

Once my experiment had succeeded in the Kiruhuura area, I did two things. First of all, in 1995, I travelled throughout the whole of Uganda talking about “Boona baggaggawale” (prosperity for all).
The NRM had brought peace and economic opportunities but each individual had to kulembeka income into his own house.
Secondly, right from 1996, we introduced a Wealth Creation Fund known as “Entandikwa” (Start-up capital).
We have given that fund different designations (names); but the essence is the same. These funds have been designated as: “PMA”, “Entandikwa”, “NAADS”, “Microfinance”, “OWC”, “Women Fund”, Youth Fund”, “NUSAF”, “PRDP”, etc.
In the budget of 2018/2019, a total of Ug. Shs. 1.119 trillion has been put aside for OWC, Youth Fund, Women Fund, Micro-finance, NUSAF, PRDP, Luwero Triangle Fund, UCDA, KCCA, etc.
The problem, however, is that many of the concerned people seem not to appreciate the value of this money in terms of redeeming their people from poverty. Operation Wealth Creation (OWC) has caused some impact.
That is why both maize and coffee reached record levels. However, much more could have been achieved.

When programmes stagnate in spite of so much money being spent, the freedom-fighter and mutembuuzi (pioneer) Museveni comes in and says: “Let me show these people how it should be correctly done as I did in Kiruhuura since 1966”. That is how I started some model parishes: Ruharo in Bushenyi and Kawumu in Luwero, a model parish in Kityerera, Mayuge and other parts of the country.

How and why do I choose areas for my direct interventions?

The main reason I had to directly come in was on account of people, especially the leaders, taking too long to grasp the ideas of how one can change the uneducated or those who studied a little, into money earners for their families.
I decided to do it again in a few selected areas as a demonstration to prove the viability of the concept so that the others, then, have something to, again, learn from.
How do I choose areas to intervene in directly?
Mainly, two criteria: proximity to where I happen to reside for a length of time for some reason and some historical reasons.

I started with Kiruhuura in 1966 because I happened to be living there by that time.
Operationally, it was easier to tackle, first, your neighbours. There is also a moral question. Your chances of going to heaven may be compromised if you have beneficial knowledge but you do not pass it on to your neighbours.
As a matter of faith, I cannot live comfortably in the neighbourhood of poor people without doing something about them.
That brings me to Kampala. I have lived on this earth for 74 years now. Thirty two (32) of those have been in the Kampala-Entebbe area. I, therefore, drive daily passed the furniture makers of Najjanankumbi, the food-sellers of Zana, the food-sellers of Bwebajja, etc. Once in a while, I go to Munyonyo and see the furniture makers of Nsambya or I go to Kawempe and see the furniture makers of Kubiri, Bwaise, etc.
Daily, I see the metal fabricators of Katwe on my way to Entebbe. It is, therefore, a matter of religious faith that when I have some time, I stop and ask these people what they do.
Only to find that they could do much better if they had the common user facilities of their own instead of renting from the few “bagagga” who cheat them.

Therefore, my NRM colleagues, please, understand that I help the Kampala groups under the same logic I started with the Kiruhuura residents because they were my neighbours. If you do not start with the neighbour, whom will you help?
Once the example is given, then the next question will be: “Where will the groups get the money from to copy the example?” The answer is that the money going through Ministries and the Local Government each year is about Uganda shillings 1.119 trillions. This is Shs. 1,119 billions (Obuwumbi Lukumi mu kikumi mu kumi na mwenda).
The money I have used with Madam Nakyobe for my demonstration projects in the last two years, including skilling the girl child, is only 15 billion shillings.

Use my successful examples to get rid of poverty and create jobs. Do not seek to paralyze me by saying that I should also not make initiatives. The complaint that I care more about opposition than NRM, is not correct. If the Opposition people in Kampala benefit in Kampala, it is because I am handling neighbours.
Therefore, the complaint of the the child who makes alot of noise-crying ─ eats biggest potato does not apply in my examples (projects).

Moreover, the opposition people are also Ugandans. They are also entitled to support from the government of the country. That is perfectly in order. What would not be in order would be for the Opposition to be the only ones that benefit. However, for them to also benefit is in order, especially if the ones who benefit most are the NRM supporters. It is also erroneous to say that Kampala is just opposition. I got 240,000 votes from Kampala. Besigye got slightly more votes possibly because of cheating.

Conclusion, much more money is channeled through the Ministries and Local Governments than the little fund I have been using. If my small projects are effective, then we may have to re-channel the big monies through the State House Comptroller. Once the President is involved in programmes concerning money, then it must be the State House Comptroller to handle the money. It is government money.

Editor’s note: A slightly edited article by President Museveni entitled Clarification on the confusion surrounding the youth programmes

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  1. Your Excellence, thanks for the light you have given to us. I think the biggest challenge you have is that you lead with so many people who are liabilites instead of being performers. You have failed to purnish them for failing to achieve the goals for the objectives you set. Your monetary handshakes is a clear indication that even yourself you have discovered that they can’t be trusted. For goodness sake, what is the role of the ministry of trade and cooperatives which can’t go down to organise people according to their trades and also assist them to access stable/fair markets. Your Excellence the President thefarmers are working in losses because they cannot even afford to preserve their produce for better markets. They are heavily being exploited by the ensless chain of the middlemen becuse they lack that capacity to reach the market with their small quantities. This would have been solved with presences of cooperatives for collective bargaining of prices.


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