President Yoweri Museveni has urged all Ugandans, especially Movement leaders, to fully understand that the Movement is not a mere political party but rather a mission driven liberation group whose protracted struggle for over the last five decades has entailed working for the socio-economic transformation of Uganda and the African continent so that Africa can be as modern as Europe, America and the current Asian continent’s status of development.
The President made the remarks at a press conference last evening at Kapchorwa State lodge as he concluded his two-day tour of Sebei Sub-Region in a drive to sensitize the population on the methods the people can embrace to get rid of household poverty through commercial profit oriented agriculture. The tour also aims at helping the people to stop the continued archaic land fragmentation practices that are not only a threat to the country that if left unchecked, will cripple the agricultural sector which is the country’s main economic stay and a source of livelihood and employment.
Mr. Museveni appealed especially to the Movement leaders to clearly understand the vision and mission of the Movement and get to the masses with a view to educating the people the on how to get rid of poverty mostly through commercial agriculture. He added that the population also needed to understand that modern life has attracted modern needs whose demands cannot be handled if we continued to lead a subsistence way of life.
“We have to be very open and make the population understand the modern realities not just politicking and looking for votes without any purpose. Our work should aim at transforming the citizens and getting them out of poverty through correct and well thought out methods and actions,” he observed.
“The NRM is a mission driven liberation Movement not a mere political party looking for votes. That is why I don’t come around to buy you alcohol or give you bribes to seek support because those are enemy actions. I traverse the country to give you a correct message and ways of how to generate wealth and get rid of poverty in your homes,” he said.
“I emphasise sensitization because I know that makes people understand and appreciate situations; and that is very important. I have that experience from my late father who was a traditionalist but after taking me to school and learnt I modern ways of life, I came and talked to him about changing some traditional ways of life. He accepted and changed,” the President said.
Mr. Museveni equally appealed to the population to differentiate between development and personal or family wealth reminding them that government driven development programmes such as roads, electricity, schools and hospitals, are for all Ugandans but wealth is for individual persons and families. He, therefore, stressed that individual wealth was very important in comparison to development programmes because when someone is rich, he/she is even able to provide for himself/herself what government has not even provided.
“If there was no school in your area, a wealthier person would take his children to a distant private boarding school but what would a poor parent do? So household income is even better than government development projects,” he said.
The President expressed happiness at the hardworking spirit exhibited by the people of Sebei Sub-Region as the entire arable land of the area is fully utilized. He, however, said that there was still a challenge to the region’s enterprise selection as people have continued to engage in activities like maize growing yet the average land holding in the region is below 2 acres per household.
He, therefore, advised them to shift to high yielding agriculture sectors that can be undertaken on small acreage of land that can generate enough income. He said that government recommends coffee, fruits, poultry, piggery, zero grazing dairy cows and fish farming in addition to growing family food as some of the ventures that should be undertaken by people with small land holdings.
Mr. Museveni further said that areas that have adhered to the message of the Movement, such as Bundibugyo District with cocoa and vanilla production, Masaka District with coffee growing, Kalangala District with palm oil production activities and the cattle corridor with dairy farming, have greatly transformed.
He used the occasion to warn the population against the continued primitive inheritance rites of land fragmentation and advised families to form family companies and share what comes from the consolidated family land as opposed to splitting the land itself.
The President said that to facilitate the wealth and employment creation drive, the Movement Government had setup new funds to provide common user facilities to all organised groups at regional level, for SACCOs of different groups in the same trade and economic activities at district level and for elected leaders from the grass-root to the district level. He explained that the purpose of the new funds is to enable those who want to implement the NRM vision of wealth creation to access funding easily and cheaply.
Regarding employment, Mr. Museveni explained that jobs come from wealth adding that as people continue to work and generate wealth through several enterprises, they will in turn be creating jobs for themselves and for others.
President Museveni also used the occasion to send a message of encouragement and well wishes to the National Football Team, the Uganda Cranes, who are participating in the African Cup of Nations tournament that is slated to start in Egypt today.
He congratulated the Uganda Cranes for posting good results during the qualifying round where they topped Group L with 13 points, winning 4 games and drawing 1 out of 6.
“Our prayer and hope is that this good form continues in this tournament so that you emerge victorious and make Uganda proud,” he said.
The President thanked FUFA and their officials, the coach and all Ugandans for rallying behind the Uganda Cranes and wished the team the best of luck in the tournament and asked them to work hard and bring the trophy to Uganda.