By Our Reporter
Kyankwanzi: President Museveni has blamed the recent attack on the Ugandan army base in Somalia on soldiers who were not well trained for combat missions and found themselves in Somalia through corrupt ways in the institution.
The President was speaking to the NRM Caucus members on a retreat at the National Leadership Institute Kyankwanzi.
“There was this problem in Somalia, our forces yesterday but one re-entered that place where the UDPF had panicked from. The terrorists ran away and now we are getting more facts about what the mistake was. The mistake is really corruption, but we shall get the details,” the President said.
The president castigated the people who caused the problem saying these were two soldiers at the rank of Major. “I will get the identity of the other one. But there is one called Okia, who apparently was in the army shop in Kampala. He is the one who told the soldiers to run away. So, he is under arrest”.
Lecturing on the topic of Leaders and Wealth Creation, President Museveni urged leaders to be at the forefront of encouraging their electorate to deeply get involved in modern, calculated and commercial farming in order to join the money economy.
“This is a very important topic for you and for me also because this is what I have been involved in for the last 60 years. He said that Uganda is rich in terms of natural resources, land, forests, grasslands, water and everything.
The president noted that wealth creation is about social-economic transformation. He said that he normally gets problems with groups that spend a lot of time on extension workers. “What are they going to extend? They know nothing because the issue is social-economic transformation,” he emphasized.
The President rooted for MPs as leaders to spearhead the movement of social-economic transformation of society but not to entrust the task to extension workers in the Ministry of Agriculture.
General Museveni who asked MPs to always internalize the anatomy of society also tasked them to concentrate on the supervision, mobilization and guidance of the population in programs introduced by government like the PDM which is run by the people themselves.
The President asked the MPs to concentrate on preaching the gospel of social-economic transformation, of going into the money economy. “We did a number of experiments including Operation Wealth Creation, NAADs, and so on, but finally now we have come to PDM, which is stakeholder-run. Now your job is to mobilize those stakeholders and supervise them and guide them, together with all of us,” he added.
President Museveni exhaustively took the MPs through the history of European transition from lower classes to now modernity urging members of Parliament to mirror that evolution. “This is very, very important because it’s very dangerous to be in leadership when you don’t know the anatomy of society. It is very dangerous for you, the President emphasized.
The President said that European society by the time of the French Revolution was a four-class society. “You had the aristocrats, the feudalists and the middle class whom they were calling the bourgeoisie. I think these examples could help you by looking at that structure of society,” he counseled.
He reminded them of the early message of the NRA spirit which stated that if you want to contribute durably and sustainably to social economic transformation of society you must first understand the ideology and methods of work of the revolution. “This will help you solve so many problems,” he advised.
On the issue of budgeting as raised by the MP from Abim district, President Museveni emphasized prioritization as the effective method of getting government projects that include infrastructure implemented.
“We should prioritize and conclude one thing, like for instance electricity has arrived in all the districts except very few, at least up to the district headquarters”. “We are now next struggling with the tarmac roads from North to South, East to West”. That’s what we have been able to do. So that should be principle number one that will guide us when we meet to budget together,” he said.
On collective solutions, President Museveni urged Members of Parliament to make use of collective welfare by ensuring that programs like universal primary and secondary education are properly implemented without any sabotage. He advised them not to shoulder challenges of their constituents that the government has already found appropriate solutions for, describing such pressures to them as conservation of poverty.
“But then the second one, which seems to be confusing you, is the issue of collective welfare. “You heard what our former Chairman for Abim District Hon. Ochero was saying. I’m the one paying school fees, I’m the one burying dead people, I’m the one- the one…, but we have got a collective solution. We have got collective solutions. Why don’t you use those?
“The Collective solution which I brought to the NRM in 1996 was free education for the children of the poor. Why don’t we support that? Because I wrote it, the headmaster refused to implement it, the Chairman Ochero who was in Abim, saw the headmaster refusing to implement my policy, he kept quiet about it, now he’s suffering. So, the question is, why do you take on the burden of education? How many are you going to educate? You’re going to educate 20, 30, but how many in your constituency need education? And yet, the collective answer was education for all, free education for all.
“Why don’t we say, okay, maybe you didn’t have enough money, let’s put more money there. Now, that will deal with education. So, you don’t have to be pressed as an individual for the education of the children in your constituency. That is the result of poverty conservation. If you conserve poverty in your area, you just say, I want my people to remain poor,” he said.
On allowances and salaries, President Museveni rooted for the principles of NRM that include Patriotism, Pan Africanism, Democracy and Socioeconomic transformation. He clarified that it would be too early to pay hefty salaries to soldiers without first establishing the base for revenue collection. He said a number of African countries have failed because of that mistake.
“If you prematurely pay hefty salaries for soldiers, where will you get enough money to pay a big number of people? You will not manage. That’s how all these countries are collapsing, these African countries. Nigeria, Chad, even Congo here, all those including Central African Republic, they can’t defend themselves because they made a mistake of doing things at the wrong time.
The president reiterated that we shall get little pay but solve our welfare problems collectively. How collectively? By building army schools, so that the children of the soldiers can study free,” he said. He added that the army also introduced programs like the Wazalendo SACCO that is now helping soldiers who earn little salaries and also assist their spouses to open up small businesses to supplement their pay.
The president said that our goal is social economic transformation through education for all and through wealth creation for all. If we get this, then things will move.