KAMPALA – President Yoweri Museveni has revealed that he is in bilateral talks with his counterparts over the high prices of commodities, saying that the issue is small and will soon be dealt with easily.
“I have contacted some of the actors. I am glad H.E. Biden is going to Saudi Arabia, to meet the Crown Prince to get OPEC to pump more petroleum out of the ground. That would definitely help. Also, the Chairperson of the AU, H.E. Mack Sall, met H.E. Putin in Sochi, Russia to ask him to assist in getting the wheat of Ukraine out of the Ports of Odessa and he has also talked to the Europeans to stop sanctioning wheat from Russia and fertilizers because Africa needs them. This is one of the correct ways,” Museveni said.
Museveni says the move to use diplomacy to solve problems is one of the correct ways.
Museveni while delivering the State of the Nation Address on Tuesday at Kololo ceremonial grounds said that he has fought bigger problems like “going to war without ammunition, so this high commodity prices is not as big but what I don’t want to happen is the lack of food,”
The president said having done a careful analysis of the situation, the government has decided to avoid tax waivers and provision of subsidies but rather adopt other strategies.
Mr. President also said that the other solution is ensuring Uganda gets her own substitutes for bread and wheat including cassava and banana flour.
“The other one is to get our own substitutes – cassava and banana flour for bread and our own sunflower, soya beans oil as we wait for our more quantities of palm oil from Sango Bay, Mayuge, Buvuma, Maruzi and Bundibugyo.”
As other leaders especially the opposition suggest reduction on taxes to cater for high commodity prices, Museveni says “it is suicidal”.
“Cutting taxes or subsidies, especially on imports, is suicidal because our people may buy carelessly and we end up draining our forex reserves. Moreover, cutting taxes or subsidizing, means taking away money from planned projects and putting it in consumption – fuel, bread, etc and that means, we stop, for instance a number of road projects.”
“Uganda is on the right path and has been for the last 36 years. We only need to be mindful of three points: the environment, corruption and chauvinism in business. You have seen what can happen to countries when they cannot produce their own food. There is no problem Uganda cannot solve, as I have stated above, as long as we are able to produce most or all of our food,” Museveni assured.