KAMPALA – In accordance with Article 101(1) of the constitution, President Yoweri Museveni will Thursday afternoon make his annual State of the Nation Address, during which he will highlight the economic, social and political state of the country.
The occasion will take place at the Kampala Serena Conference Centre starting at 2pm and will mark the beginning of the next session for parliament.
As has been the case in previous State of the Nation Addresses, Museveni is expected to highlight the state of the economy, citing ‘star’ performing sectors, and the structural bottlenecks hampering Uganda’s economy.
This will entail giving the country a holistic picture of the rate at which Uganda’s economy has grown over the last 12 months and data about the total percentage of Ugandans living below the poverty line.
The president is also expected to reveal the executive’s legislative agenda through informing the Speaker of parliament the type of Bills that it intends to table for consideration by parliament.
In the 2018 State of the Nation Address, the executive promised to table 21 Bills for consideration by parliament. However, only a few have been passed, while the Bill for the Amendment of Electoral Laws is currently under consideration by parliament.
Mr. Museveni is expected to inform the country the priority economic sectors his government is set to focus on as part of Uganda’s economic blue print – Vision 2040. Vision 2040 is aimed at turning Uganda into a middle income country within the next 25 years.
How to haul millions of youths from the abyss of unemployment is likely to form a considerable part of Museveni’s address as Bobi Wine effect takes a toll.
Last year, Museveni’s State of the Nation Address was centered on a number of basic priority sectors – security, agriculture, industry, services and ICT.
Memorable quotes from Museveni’s 2018 state of the nation address
On external interference
“Article 1 of the Constitution says all power belongs to the people not NGOs,”
Poor family planning
“I have planned for your sisters and brothers, the ones who stay in my house that’s why you didn’t see my daughter’s looking for jobs. But there are parents who do not plan for their children. Uganda must plan for those children.”
Role of the army
“With the UPDF, we fight in spite of low pay; with the NRA (the fore runner of the UPDF), we fought long and hard in spite of no pay at all. That is why Uganda has no refugees outside our borders and doesn’t need the UN to defend her. It is defended by the UPDF fighters, imbued with the spirit of patriotism. On the contrary, Uganda that is maligned by some elements, is a safe – haven for 1.4 million refugees from the neigbouring countries of Congo, South Sudan, Somalia, Burundi, etc.”
Agriculture should be easy for Ugandans because God had given us very easy life which some do not appreciate, take for granted and carelessly mishandle. Around the Equator and to the South, we get two rainy seasons in a year: the small rainy season (katuumba –March to May) and the big wet season (Ituumba –August to December). Therefore, without irrigation, since time immemorial, the Ugandans indigenous to this area, know that we always have two harvests: obwijegashe (the small harvest of end of May) and Omwaaka (the big harvest of end of December and early January). Indeed, the month of January is called kahiingo orbiruuru. Biruuru because the bird chasers in the millet gardens are making alarms (enduuru) to chase away the birds from eating the crop and kahiingobecause the cattle keepers are not bothered to remove the mihiingo(miyingo), the log barriers that stop the cattle from getting out of the enclosure (orugo),early, because there is plenty of grass for the cattle. The cattle do not have to get out early. Whatever time of day they get out, say 9 a.m., there will be plenty of grass and it will still be soft enough for them to graze on.
“As I have been telling you repeatedly, many of our people do not only not know how to take care of the Environment, this good gift from God, but also do not know how to take care of themselves and their families. That is how you get 68% of the population still being stuck in subsistence farming (farming only for food for the home but not for money) even by the time of this last census (2014); or if they engage in commercial farming, they do so without ekibaro(proper family economics, aimar, cura, otita).”
“By confining ourselves to the events that followed the Independence, we find that on account of the ideological bankruptcy, of the unprincipled exploitation of identity (religion and tribes), the more useful issues, such as the interest (okugasirwa, okuganyirwa), were forgotten. Emphasis was laid on identity of religion or tribe (enzikiriza z’ediini or amawanga). Since all the religious sects and all the tribes in Uganda are minorities, one could not, therefore, get a party that could marshal enough support to form a Government. Hence, the alliance of KY and UPC. KY, a party for Baganda Protestants and some Moslems, UPC, a party for Protestants outside Buganda and DP, a party for Catholics. UPC had got 37 seats outside Buganda, with quite abit of manipulation and DP had got 24 seats outside Buganda. KY, which had blocked direct elections in Buganda, had the monopoly of the 21 seats in Buganda. I was a member of DP while my colleagues, the Kintu Musokes, Bidandi Ssalis, Kirunda Kivejinjas, Nabuderes, Chango Machyos, Kategayas, Rugundas etc. were in UPC. This sectarian and sterile politics of identity did not only block the emergence of viable national parties but also sabotaged the building of a national Army. Karugaba, the first Ugandan graduate from Sandhurst, could not be allowed to even remain in the Army because he was Catholic.”
“Hence, in the last 32 years, the NRM, all other problems notwithstanding, has not only resurrected the island of modernity but has greatly expanded it. That is why the GDP of Uganda which was US$ 3.4 billion in 1986 by the PPP method, is now US$88.6billion. Only the other day, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Trade of Kenya told me that for some years now, Uganda has been exporting more to Kenya, month by month, than Kenya has been exporting to Uganda.”
“Together with the African compatriots, it has worked on the integration of Africa: East Africa Community (EAC), Common market for East and Southern Africa (COMESA) and the Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA). While some other actors are always busy trying to revive the sectarianism of religion and tribes, the NRM is always working for patriotism (unity within Uganda) and Pan-Africanism. The biggest enemies of Africa (in the past, today and tomorrow) are the chauvinists of tribe and religion. We insist on the Patriotism and Pan-Africanism not only as a correct principle of brotherhood among similar or linked people, but also as an unavoidable strategy for ensuring the prosperity of our people.”
“Nevertheless, there are six areas of weakness that we must address. The first is corruption by Government officials who take bribes. These are easy to uproot. Just get information on them and pass it on to the toll-free number 0800-100770 belonging to my office. This is in addition to a unit I announced during the June 2018 State of the Nation address. You will see what we shall do with them. You heard what I did with the officials in the Ministry of Finance, Immigration and Uganda Revenue Authority. This is a problem that persists because the crooks are not exposed.”
“Secondly, the indisciplined Opposition politicians that are accused of terrorism against the population, conspiracy to commit arson or treason should be handled firmly by all concerned – the Police, the Prosecution and the Courts. We should not allow these wrong doers to intimidate our people. Telling lies to foreigners will not help them because the facts are on the ground.”
“Thirdly, rescuing our youth from those indisciplined politicians. The allegations go that foreign money through NGOs, is given to some of our youth to burn tyres on the roads, to throw stones, to commit arson, to rig elections and to beat women. Sometimes, our youth go into these criminal projects because they want money. They do not enjoy doing this. I have this information on good authority. Many of the young people have some education or even good education but they have no jobs, no property and no capital. I addressed this issue during my State of the Nation address in June, 2018.”
“In all these arrangements, it is important that external players refrain from interfering in the internal affairs of other countries. Interfering in the internal affairs of other countries is morally and practically wrong. Morally wrong because the question is: “What superior intelligence do you have to think that you can understand the problem in my house better that we the occupants? If there is a problem in our house, we the occupants will solve it. Keep out. It is also practically wrong because outsiders cannot have enough information about a foreign situation. They are most likely to make mistakes. The examples are numerous: Vietnam, Cambodia, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya. When foreigners were chased from Vietnam, it is now one of the fastest growing economies in the World. What was the justification for foreigners making so much chaos about something they did not understand? Besides, what is good for the goose is good for the gander. Why does a section of the USA spend so much time trying to prove that President Trump’s election was, somehow, through the hacking of some computers, aided by external forces and see no problem in openly encouraging indisciplined elements from friendly countries? If there is any problem in Uganda, I, surely, will handle it better than the outsider.
“Uganda is not a failed state. It has powerful institutions: the armed forces, the LC structures, the Leagues, the District Parliaments (Councils – 123 of them), the National Parliament, the Ministries etc., etc. These have handled the issues of Uganda from a very low base to where it is now. If there are people of good will, the World is not short of vacuum areas, where there is no state authority. They could, surely, help there if they have some redundant capacity. There is Afghanistan, Somalia, Eastern Congo, Iraq, Yemen etc. “
“Coming to the Political Parties, apart from the legal and court solutions, there is the standing arrangement of political dialogue through Interparty Organization for Dialogue (IPOD). I am going to ask the NRM delegates to that forum to raise the issue of political violence, the issue of alleged torture, the issue of inter-party support for taking advantage of the youth dividend by expanding their empowerment that has already started. Cabinet decided that the State House Comptroller, Madam Lucy Nakyobe, should head this effort because she has already started and what she has done has been successful.”