• Uganda Airlines must be revived
• Zero tolerance to corruption
• Damage of the environment must stop
• Service delivery must be addressed decisively
• To construct Government Schools per Parish
• Build a hospital at Lubowa to stop referrals abroad
• Each district to have own road construction equipments
• Ordinary soldiers to own houses
President Museveni addressed the new Cabinet today and highlighted 15 key issues this term will focus on. Read full address here.
By President Museveni
During my address to the NRM Conference last year, I was able to give an audit as to what has been done in the last 30 years to eliminate these bottlenecks. The issue of ideological disorientation has been addressed.
That is how the NRM is able to win democratic elections with absolute majority in the last 30 years. The issue of a weak State has been addressed. This is how we have a strong Army to keep peace. With infrastructure, the issue of the deficit of electricity has been addressed.
We now have a surplus of 100 mgws even at the peak hours of electricity use ─ that is between 6:00p.m (18:00hours) and 10:00 p.m. (22:00hours).
The roads are being tarmacked and the railway will be modernized. Many of the towns now have piped water. This is not only good for health but many industries need a lot of water in their production. The ICT backbone has been completed and has been linked to the undersea cables in Kenya and Tanzania.
The Civil Service is educated although they have issues of integrity. Education and improved healthcare have meant that average life expectancy has grown from 43 years to 63 years and that the adult literacy rate has gone from 56.1% in 1991 to 72.2% in 2014. Many youth can now read and write, have mastered numeracy and can use the internet.
They, however, need more skills in the areas of agriculture, metal work, construction, ceramics, motor-mechanics, computer use, etc., etc.
On the side of agriculture, we have resolved the issue of improved seeds and improved breeding stock. The problem, however, is that this information is not available to all the farmers. Some continue to use the old seeds when the new ones are available. With the breeding stock, you find a lot of cattle that are under-performing yet consuming the grass that should be consumed by cows that are giving more than 20 litres a day.
The issue of the fragmented African market has been resolved. Working with our brothers and sisters in EAC and COMESA, we have created the regional market of 500 million people. We have also negotiated for access to the international markets (AGOA, EBA, the Chinese market, etc., etc.)
By handling infrastructure, we have the possibility to lower the costs of doing business in the economy especially if the Ministry of Finance resolves the issue of high electricity costs for the Bujagali power station that was badly negotiated. With low costs of doing business in the economy, Uganda can now take off as a middle income country. Uganda now has the base from which to take off. Previously, we did not have that base.
What, then, are the tasks of the new Government? What are my Orders of the Day as the Head of the Government? The following are my guidelines or orders, whatever is more applicable.
Lower the cost of electricity
Work with the proprietors of Bujagali to lower the costs of electricity produced by that station. It may involve tax exemption and whatever other measures that are needed that must bring down the cost of that electricity to may be around 6 American cents per unit from the present 11 American cents per unit. Then a subsidy must be put in place to reduce the cost of electricity to the manufacturer to 5 American cents. These measures must be concluded in the next six months i.e. by February 2017. Lower electricity costs will attract more investors and make our industries more competitive.
Standard Gauge Railway
Negotiations for the Standard Gauge Railway must be concluded so that the construction starts. Here, I may not put a deadline because we are working with the Chinese. With our oil money, I will not tolerate any delays of any type because, then, we shall be able to fund everything ourselves if necessary. These two measures, lowering the cost of electricity and the cost of transport, will have decisive strategic implications for the forward movement of the economy. It will be much easier to attract and retain investments as already pointed out above.
To make it even easier for the investors to come in, we must build the 22 Industrial Parks we have talked about for so long. It is not serious to give an investor a swamp that he must drain at his own cost, etc. The Industrial Parks should be built by the UPDF Engineering Brigade. You should complete the one of Namanve, construct the one of Nakasongola, etc. You can even think of using manual labour of the prisoners. Get moving to resolve this issue of Industrial Parks. Build five per year so that in 5 years, you will have built the 25. It is not complicated technology: make the access roads, pull electricity, pull piped water, pull the internet under-ground cables etc. It is, mainly, civil works. How can our engineers fail to do this?
Uganda Investment Authority (UIA) must get all the necessary licences in two days. These must include the Environmental Impact Assessment. None of these factories is likely to be a pioneering one in the World. Similar ones have been built in other parts of the World. Our soils are known. Even me, a layman in those matters, I know the soils that are red-brown, clay, sandy soil, etc. I will, therefore, not tolerate any delays.
It is a betrayal of our country to see an official tossing investors as if they are his employees or people begging from him. This betrayal has gone on for too long. No delays whatsoever. If it is a nuisance operation like stone-quarrying in the midst of the population, involve all of us by approaching quickly the concerned Minister and Prime Minister.
The rock – out – crops may be in the midst of the people, granted. Those stones, however, belong to the Government and the whole country needs them for the country’s roads if they are not to be preserved for cultural or historical purposes e.g. Nyero Rocks, Oculoi, Karegyeya, Kakijwiiga, Mugore, etc. The population around cannot, therefore, stop these rocks being used to transform their country. Witness the Roman stones in the streets of Rome, 2000 years old. Our Engineers could learn from the Roman engineers. The villagers may need compensation for their houses, and also sensitization, etc.
Before the Industrial Estates are built, investors will buy their own pieces of land as the Chinese have done in Mukono, Sanga etc., etc. Using standard assessment methods, UIA and NEMA can quickly assess what needs to be done to protect a river or a wetland. There should be a standard formula for these purposes.
Besides, the Minister of Finance and Minister of Industry must have respective units that conduct feasibility studies for all our potential products, across the whole spectrum of our raw materials of agriculture, minerals, etc., that they keep ready for presentation to the investors. Investors have many other destinations they can go to. It is, therefore, wrong for us to sit back and think that it is the duty of the investors to conduct feasibility studies. It is us to carry out the feasibility studies because it is us who have the duty to promote our Country’s prosperity. If the Ministries of Finance and Industry do not do that, then their designations should be changed and be called Ministry of Begging and Ministry of Importing, respectively. The studies should not only cover our raw-materials of agriculture, minerals, forests, fresh-water resources, etc. They should also cover the products of skills (car-assembly, machine-fabrication) and the products of the brain (computers, soft-ware, etc.).
Zero tolerance to corruption
There must be zero tolerance to corruption. It is a big shame to see Government officials delaying or frustrating investments because they want bribes. I partly blame investors for not exposing these thieves. Indeed, the investors who want to cut corners and do shoddy jobs, actually welcome the corrupt tendencies of these officials because they, then, get away with shoddy jobs or products. Otherwise, the genuine and credible investors should report these parasites for drastic action to be taken against them.
Then, there is a problem of poor regulation. Who violated the Government policy of not licensing new sugar factories within the radius of 50 kms of an existing factory? The Banyankole say: “ikumi ryomukibuga, rikira igana riragurwa’’ – “the ten cows you already have in the kraal are better than the 100 the soothsayer (the muraguzi) says you will have one day in the future”. Why undermine the sugar operators that are already producing 420,000 metric tonnes (2014/15) of sugar (Kakira, Lugazi and Kinyara)? These mistakes must be rectified if they are injurious to the old sugar producers. The same goes for the raw milk vendors. These undermine the milk factories and undermine the nutrition of our people. The big market of our milk is in the export area. You cannot export unless the milk is processed. Which enemy, then, would want to kill our exports because he wants to give advantage to cheating raw-milk sellers whose prosperity depends on selling milk diluted with water and which is not monitored? I salute the Ministry of Agriculture for having been firm on this.
Petroleum and Gas
The Petroleum and Gas sector is moving well. We have agreed on the Refinery and the Pipeline. Let the officials, then, expedite the granting of production licenses so that the actual production starts. The petroleum, through both the Refinery and the pipeline, will give us cash that will help us expand infrastructure (electricity, some of the roads, the railway, irrigation, etc.) and fund innovations and research. This petroleum and gas should be flowing by 2019/2020 latest. Much of the work has been accomplished in this area: exploration, the discovery of the petroleum and gas, agreeing on the pipeline, training our scientists, etc., etc.
There is, apparently, great potential in the minerals sector. There is iron-ore, copper, cobalt, gold, vermiculite, aluminum clays, wolfram, tin, coltan, uranium, etc. There are, however, three weaknesses in the Minerals Department that must be rectified in this financial year or, at the latest, the next one. One, that Department must be equipped with a modern laboratory to test and, therefore, help to quantify the mineral presence in an area and determine its quality. The Department should not depend on the mineral prospectors to do this. This is a wrong policy. The officials must do this themselves. They must do the drilling and the assaying (testing) of the quality and determine the quantity of the minerals present themselves rather than depending on the miners to do the drilling.
The second mistake is to allow chaos to exist in the mining area and to allow illegal mining. All the artisan miners should be registered and for instance the gold they mine should be declared so that it is exported through formal channels. The NRM people who are involved in this mining should be sensitized to see the importance of this. The country is losing alot of money in this chaotic situation.
The worst mistake is to allow these artisanal miners to block scientific exploration that could get us to the rock of gold from which the alluvial fragments came from in the past. Nobody should interfere with the exploration.
With the unimpeded exploration, the taming of artisanal mining and stopping the illegal exports, we shall, then, be able to know which minerals are to be found in Uganda and in what quantities. If, for instance, we find that we have got alot of gold, we shall, then, start considering the building of the gold refinery to purify the gold from 88% from Karamoja and Busia to 93% of gold from Buhweju – Bushenyi to the required 99.9%.
One problem that has been rampant is the damage of the environment by invading forests, encroaching on the wetlands, damaging the River banks and destroying the vegetation protecting the Lake shores. This must stop and where the ecology demands it, the encroachers, using persuasive and educative ways, should be made to vacate. If necessary, some more land should be purchased from the private owners to increase the forest cover. I normally see Islands of settlements inside the Mabira Forest. Why can’t the Government persuade them to sell to the Government so that the forest becomes one continuous mass like the Bwindi and the Imaramagaambo forests? There was supposed to be a belt of 200 metres, from the beach of the Lakes inwards, of undisturbed vegetation cover or forest that would help to filter soil from being washed into the lakes to cause pollution and silting. What happened to that plan? The Minister should review the issue of the protection of the Lake shore. Our great grandchildren will curse us for these mistakes.
To clean the environment even more, the Kampala Capital City Authority should quickly license investors that have been seeking to recycle garbage, recycle polythene bags and plastics and, more recently, to recycle E-waste (old batteries, old TV sets, old computers, old mobile phones, etc.). This, together with the protection and expansion of forests and protection of the wetlands, will safe-guard our environment, at least, locally. We shall, then, remain with the global problems of greenhouse gases etc. that are being handled under the Kyoto Protocols. There is a Scientist called Mafabi and his group. They told me that by allowing the wetlands to be dried up, we may destroy 40% of Uganda’s rainfall per annum. They told me that, for instance, the difference between West Nile and Karamoja, in terms of the rainfall the two areas get, is that West Nile benefits from the swamps of South Sudan and the forests of Congo, being on the same latitude notwithstanding. West Nile gets between 1350-1500mm of rain per annum while Karamoja only gets 808mm of rain per annum. I had agreed with the opinion leaders in the Ankole ─ Kigezi area to get a fund to help our people who innocently encroached on the wetlands to vacate and be helped to own shops, houses for renting or buy land elsewhere. In any case, we need this water for irrigation, around the swamps and down-stream, now that we are serious with agriculture. I had started dialogue on this Fund with Prince Charles of UK and some of the UN bodies. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and my staff should remind me to conclude that dialogue.
As far as the sector of agriculture is concerned, the other day, I identified 11(eleven) issues to deal with, some of them in this term.
a. Converting the 68% of the homesteads from subsistence farming to commercial agriculture. I have already directed you to concentrate, for this purpose, on Clonal and Arabica coffee, fruits (oranges, pineapples, mangoes, grapes and apples), zero grazing Dairy cattle, poultry, piggery, fish farming, onion growing and mushroom growing. However, for purposes of focusing for the next two financial years, concentrate on: coffee, fruits and tea. Later, we can add the others. If we get additional funding beyond the Uganda shillings 361 billion for NAADS, then we can look at including the other activities.
b. Lack of linkages between the Research Institutes
and many of the farmers. The planting and breeding materials are there but they are not used by the stakeholders that need them badly as has already been pointed out above. All the RDCs and CAOs must popularize the improved seeds and breeding stock. All the Radio stations and TV stations must allocate time for the same
c. The low use of fertilizers must be rectified. In Uganda we use an average of 2.5 kgs per hectare. In the USA, they use 132.kgs per hectare. The fertilizer projects at Sukuru Hills and Mwitanzigye (Lake Albert) must be expedited. Later on, you can get potassium from Lake Katwe, I hear. That will enable us to formulate the NPK that is required for many crops. The Ministers of Industries and Agriculture must follow up this vigorously.
d. The ending of subsistence farming, must go hand in hand with the correct enterprise selection and halting land fragmentation which disables the profitability of land. Too small pieces of land, 4 acres and less, are no longer able to economically produce crops like maize, sugar cane, tobacco, cotton, sorghum, beans, etc., or cater for the indigenous cattle. That is why we need high value crops like coffee etc. as pointed out above.
e. All crops and products that are not consumed fresh must be processed – value addition. This will enable us to earn more money and also create more jobs for our children and grandchildren. That is why we need rapid decision making. No delays in decision making in respect of private sector investments where entrepreneurs have done their own studies and are going to invest their own money, without Government guarantees and they just need licensing or land.
f. There is also the high cost of finance. The privatization of Commercial Banks was supposed to inject efficiency and competition into the financial sector and bring down the interest rates. It has not. The interest rates are shameful, 23.5% etc. This is inspite of the inflation rate being 5%. Therefore, the Uganda Development Bank (UDB), which we had deliberately kept away from privatization, should be capitalized to fund manufacturing and agriculture.
g. The Minister of Agriculture, working with the private sector, should solve the problem of agricultural machinery for ploughing, for harrowing, for bush-clearing, for water excavation, etc. Who should be assisted to own and operate agricultural machinery? Should it be rich individuals, should it be co-operatives?
h. We have done good work on vector eradication and disease control for crops and livestock. We need to encourage the production of acaricides (anti-ticks), injectibles, salts, vaccines, fungicides, insecticides, etc. here in Uganda so as to create backward and forward linkages with agriculture. Dr. Nantulya is already making some vaccines here. Assist him to consolidate and expand. A British, Northern Ireland Company had agreed to make acaricides here. Conclude with them and they start production.
i. There are agro-practices that are neglected but are known ─ spacing of plants, excavating of water harvesting trenches, contour cultivation on the hillsides so as to stop soil erosion etc., etc. All the District Agricultural Officers (DAOs) must ensure that, through education, not coercion, these practices are adopted or restored. Action will be taken against any DAO that fails to do so.
j. Eliminating of over-fishing on the Lakes. I talked alot about this in the State of the Nation Address recently.
k. Beyond repairing Doho and Mobuku and commissioning Olweny and Agoro, we have not done much on irrigation. This is not because we do not know the importance of irrigation. It is because we decided to deal with electricity, the roads, ICT and the railways, first. When our oil starts flowing, we shall be able to handle the mega irrigation projects around Mount Elgon, Mount Rwenzori, the South Western High lands and the Agoro hills. As far as the low lands are concerned, I have already told Makerere University to develop a solar powered water pump to push water, at the local level, to any raised ground where it can, then, flow by gravity to the farm. Did Makerere succeed in designing the solar-powered water pump or did they fail? Let us get moving on this. If Makerere failed, what else do we do?
This Cabinet must address the issue of service delivery decisively, especially in the areas of health care, Education and feeder roads. Poor service delivery irritates the population greatly and undermines the support for the NRM. The NRM would have scored 80% in the last elections if it was not for the weaknesses in service delivery. In health care, there is the problem of stealing drugs from the Health Centres and the problem of Medical workers neglecting patients. There is the problem of shoddy work in health care infrastructure ─ wrongly constructed buildings, for instance, even brand new ones. Those responsible must be traced and punished. Impunity in that sector has gone on for too long.
On the side of Education, there is a problem of absenteeism from school by teachers. Recently, while watering my cattle, a six year old boy, son of one of my herdsmen, requested me to give him money to go to a private primary school. When I asked him the reason why he does not go to the Government Primary Schools, he told me: “Abaana nibasiiba nibazaana” ─ “the children spend the whole day playing” ─ in other words, teachers do not teach. UPE was supposed to be free. However, one encounters so many children that have been expelled from schools for failure to pay school charges. This must stop. Why should Government spend shillings 68,540,381,340 billion on UPE and shillings 129,509,250,451 billion on USE per year, but, then, the children of the poor are expelled from schools that do not teach and where the teachers are paid more than in the private schools that teach well? The problem is poor supervision. If Education must be paid for, then let us divert that money so that we complete our programme of road ─ construction.
We are supposed to have one Government Primary School per Parish, one Government Secondary School per Sub-County and one Government Technical School per Constituency. In these five years, this Government country-wide infrastructure for Education must be completed. The US$ 200 million I borrowed from the African Development Bank (ADB) and the World Bank (WB) was misused by constructing “five star hotels” in the form of 650 Secondary Schools and 60 Centres of Excellence ─ sometimes brand new but multi-billion shining secondary schools. My plan, using the old Masaba Secondary School as a model, was to spend Uganda shillings 500 million per school, at that time, to build many sub-county level schools. Once the money was received, nobody consulted me. Let us use simple bungalow brick, cement and mabaati school structures – no storeyed buildings – to cover all the parishes with Government Primary Schools, all the Sub-Counties with, at least, one Secondary School and all the Constituencies with, at least, one Technical School each. In some cases, parents have already built, on a voluntary basis, community Secondary Schools. They only want the Government to take them over. Where there is no Government Secondary school in a sub-county, let that method be used.
The same goes for Health care centres. We need a district Hospital per district, a Health Centre IV per Constituency and a Health Centre III per sub-county. I refused to take on the HC IIs which some groups had gone into in order to get contracts for construction. The HC IV should be manned by 49 health workers including doctors and the Health Centre III should be manned by 19 health workers. The details were agreed on and they are available. HC IIs would have added another Army of, I think, 63,000 workers that would have simply “chammed” (eaten) our money with no significant value addition in terms of Health care. The Sub-County is not too far. Let us consolidate our health delivery there.
The Ministry of Health should assist Ms. Enrica Pinetti to build her hospital at Lubowa so that referrals abroad stop and we stop the haemmorhage of an estimated US$ 150 million per year that goes into “medical tourism” to India. The heart, the kidneys, the brain and the cancers should all be treated here.
The other issue that irritates the people in the rural areas are the impassable feeder roads. We are buying 1151 pieces of equipment from Japan. These will enable each district to get an additional grader, a wheel-loader, a road compactor, a water bowser and two tippers. At the zonal level (Teso, Busoga, etc.), there will be one bull-dozer and its low-loader. The Municipalities will also get their share. Some of this equipment will enable the Government agencies to tarmac some of the roads using direct labour mysteriously named “force account”. The districts and municipalities will now work on the roads without using the notorious contractors that, working with corrupt officials, had become the main channel of haemmorhage for the State resources.
A parasitic collaborator class was created in, especially, in Buganda by the British through the wicked scheme of Mailo. Our people in this area, were turned into serfs. The British, eventually, had the common sense to rein-in these vultures in 1928, through the Busuulu and Nvujjo law. The Busuulu had to have a ceiling and no eviction could be carried out without the permission of the Governor. When we came on the scene, we strengthened that legislation and even criminalized eviction. However, the evictions are going on mainly using the ignorance of the bibanja owners and the corruption and collusion of the Gombolola Chiefs, Miruka Chiefs, the Magistrates, Security personnel and the RDCs. Otherwise, there is no legal basis for these evictions. Nevertheless, this historical injustice to our common people in Buganda must be ended. The Government should, therefore, look into the possibility of raising funds to pay off these land lords so that the bibanja owners get ownership (obwananyini). The measures to raise money should include discussing with the British to provide a grant for, at least, part of the cost if not the whole cost because it was their mistake. Here we should not forget the war crimes the British and their Baganda collaborators committed in Bunyoro. Bunyoro is also entitled to some compensation. Therefore, in this term, the NRM should think of how to resolve this issue once and for all ─ one of the past mistakes which was one of the 10 points programme.
The Armed Forces have played a decisive role in the recovery of Uganda. Especially the NRA/UPDF, their driving force has been the ideology that was inculcated into them by the NRM leadership right from the beginning. On account of that mentality, the NRA/UPDF has been able to give total peace to Uganda cheaply. With a small budget of US 500 million dollars per year, the NRA/UPDF has been able to provide security to the people of Uganda, across the whole land, for the first time in 500 years. Besides, the UPDF has also contributed to regional peace. In this term (Kisanja), I want the Ministry of Defence and the Army leadership to solve the problems of the Army, the Police, the Intelligence services and the Prison services. First to be resolved is housing.
The ordinary soldier should have, at least, a two bed-room bungalow or flat. Next to be solved is the education of the soldiers’ children. Right from 1986, I directed the concerned people to build Primary schools in all the barracks where the Soldiers’ children should study free. The same should be done for the Secondary Schools. The Secondary Schools used to be in Masindi, Jinja, Nakasongola and the Kadogo School in Mbarara. Even if there was an Army Secondary School per division, provided they were boarding and the Army produced food for feeding the Schools, that would be adequate.
An Army University may not be economical. Instead, the Army leadership should conclude discussions on my directive to them to find a formula of funding University education for deserving soldiers’ children. Should we use the Army SACCO? Should we make deductions from the soldiers’ salaries? Get a solution. All soldiers’ spouses should be economically active around the barracks instead of sitting around and gossiping. Poultry farming, mushroom growing, fish-farming, knitting, weaving, etc., etc. are some of the activities the soldiers’ spouses should be engaged in. These would give the soldiers’ spouses additional incomes for their families. Finally, in the coming financial years, we should gradually and affordably increase the salaries of soldiers and other security personnel until they come in line with the salaries of the teachers and the medical workers.
In these five years, Uganda will encourage the setting up of a National Airline. Ugandan travellers are suffering because of, apparently, not having a National Airline. A ticket to Nairobi costs between US$ 1100-1200 (business class) and US$ 500-700 (economy class) depending on the time of booking while a ticket to London costs between US$ 2700-3000 (business class) and US$1000-1300 (economy class). This is a big shame. I did not care much about a National Airline. I thought that our brothers in Ethiopia, Kenya, South Africa, etc. having Airlines would serve all of us. That, however, is apparently not the case. Hence, the Ministry of Works and Transport is directed to conclude discussions with the investors that can help us to start a National Airline. A National Airline would help us to save US$420 million per year Ugandans spend on travel. The National Airline will also create jobs and career opportunities for our children who train as pilots at Soroti Flying School. These children apparently suffer when they try to get jobs. Apart from joining the Uganda Airforce, opportunities for them are very limited. The Airlines of our brothers and sisters that benefit from Ugandan market should have remembered to treat our children as their own because our purchasing power is supporting those airlines.
According to the resource envelope, without deviating from the priorities of defence and security, electricity, the roads, the railways, NAADS, Education, Health, Innovation and the Industrial Parks, we should budget for the gradual elimination of our indebtedness to the veterans of the Army, the kasimo of the civilian veterans and the cattle compensation in the areas of Lango, Acholi, Teso abit of West Nile, some parts of Karamoja and Sebei. This money should be given directly to the beneficiaries and not through lawyers or anything like that.
In order to avoid doubt, our priorities among priorities remain: Defence and Security, electricity generation and distribution, tarmacking all the major roads already identified, Japanese equipment for the feeder roads, the Standard Gauge Railway, NAADS, the Industrial Parks, the Innovation Fund, the Youth Fund and the Women Fund. We should not tamper with these core priorities.
No delay in decision making in relation to the self-funded private sector enterprises, zero corruption and strict regulation. Now that we have the foundation, Uganda will take off. As far as corruption is concerned, we are going to impose strict discipline in the Public Service as we did in the Army and, where possible also in the Political Class.
In the past, I was not using this method of consolidated written directives to the whole Government. This was because I thought that it was not necessary since decisions and exchange of ideas would be taken by and would be in the Cabinet where all the Ministers would be, not to forget the Head of Civil Service who represents that branch of the State. When we were fighting Amin, we would heap all the blame on his illiterate soldiers. Little did I believe that even the educated people could let down their own people.
Therefore, as the lawyers say, for the avoidance of doubt, I have put pen and paper together to ensure that no portion of our plans that is implementable will remain un-executed. With that happening, Uganda will be a middle income country by 2020 now that we have the foundation.
In the future, from time to time, I will be giving detailed sub-directives in the different sectors outlined above. In any case, all that should not be necessary because we are all privy to our plans and our mission.
Yoweri Kaguta Museveni (Gen. Rtd.)
PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF UGANDA