Museveni Meets Kampala Leaders at Entebbe

There was drama on Tuesday when the elderly UBC new anchor, symptoms Vix Kingo appeared at the National Consultation for Free and Fair Elections meeting in Kampala.

It should be noted that government officially boycotted the function though some officials attended in their own capacities.

According to one of the organizers, more about and NGO Forum Executive Director Dr Richard Sewakiryanga, troche an invitation was extended to a number of government officials who didn’t show up at the conference.

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President Yoweri Museveni who was invited to officiate at the opening of the three-day conference was also absent, and not represented.

Participants were stunned when all of a sudden Kingo appeared at the venue before taking the NRM seat.

Many wondered whether Kingo had been dispatched to the conference which is part of a series of activities that opposition political parties and civil society organizations embarked on at the beginning of this year with the view of causing reforms in the country’s electoral processes.

MP Benson Obua-Ogwal remarked: “They say nature abhors vacuum. So when NRM seat was vacant at the time party leaders were making responses to Dr. Busingye Kabumba’s powerful presentation, Mr. Vix Kingo decides to walk up and take the NRM seat. I wait with bated breath to hear him speak!”

Kingo is not known to be an NRM leader but has worked as a newsreader at the national broadcaster UBC for several years.

Ogwal later added: “Hon. Stephen Mukitale Birahwa NRM MP from Bulisa has saved the situation and made a very passionate, honest, balanced and objective and a moving intervention. Much as he spoke in his individual capacity, his saved us from the looming comedy that would have ensued of Kingo spoke on behalf of NRM.

The poor government representation raised concerns amongst several participants on government’s purported commitment to electoral reforms, as the countdown shrinks toward the February 2016 general elections.

Forum for Democratic Party (FDC) President Gen Mugisha Muntu told Chimpreports the invitation to president Museveni was logical.

“As leaders who have been steering this Free and fair elections campaign, we thought that President Museveni was the right person to officiate at the opening of this national forum. We don’t know why he isn’t here, but if he chooses to show up in the next two days, he’s very much welcome,” he said.

NRM spokesperson Mr Ofwono Opondo however, said government had no business with an exercise championed by the opposition and civil society.

He told Chimpreports on phone that government was pursuing its own process of electoral reforms through a Cabinet subcommittee, which would be presented and passed at parliament not at Hotel Africana.

“Government is not answerable to the opposition or the civil society but to the people of Uganda. You know that the Minister of Justice issued a notice calling for national input in the reforms. There’s a cabinet subcommittee looking into that, and soon parliament will debate and pass the reforms,” he said.
President Museveni has urged all Ugandans, about it especially those in leadership positions, to support and embrace government programmes that are tailored to defeating and eradicate poverty and unemployment.

He noted poverty and unemployment are the main challenges the country is faced with and said that the National Resistance Government has drawn due attention towards tackling and eliminating those two challenges.

The President made the call while meeting leaders of Kampala Capital City at State House Entebbe last evening in his continued efforts to mobilize leaders throughout the country to support and supervise the different government programmes that are aimed at overcoming poverty and curb unemployment.

He said that a host of avenues of development programmes like the National Agricultural Advisory Services, Youth Livelihood Programme, the Youth Fund, the Luweero-Rwenzori Development Programme and the micro-finance credit scheme, among others have been instituted by the NRM Government for use as vehicles by wnanchi to fight against poverty and unemployment.

Mr. Museveni, who is also the Chairman of the National Resistance Movement, told Kampala district leaders who included Kampala district Members of Parliament, Division Mayors, City, Division and Parish Councilors and Chairpersons from all the 5 Divisions of Kampala that they should always be there to help for the masses to fully embrace the numerous government development programmes with the aim of uplifting wananchi’s welfare in particular and the development of the country as whole.

The President ran the City leaders through the progress the country has registered since the NRM came to power in 1986 adding that the struggle against poverty and unemployment needed concerted efforts of all citizens.

He, however, noted that leaders have a bigger role to play by sensitizing the masses, supervising and ensuring proper utilization of government funds and as well as implementing anti- poverty and unemployment programs.

“Please, sensitize the population to make good use of the existing programmes aimed at defeating poverty. Ugandans can overcome poverty if well mobilized,” he said.

The President, who emphasized the crucial role of information in triggering development, said that there was a communication problem between leaders and the people adding that information is vital for development.

“Maybe the problem is at the centre and the local leaders don’t get sufficient information to disseminate to the masses. I will consider meeting you regularly and pass on this message myself,” he added.

On the issue of unemployment, the President said the issue is global but that in the case of Uganda, the solution would lay in increased investment in the agricultural sector which has great potential as well as mass industrialization of the country.

He said government will continue to invest in agriculture especially in agricultural research, agro-processing and giving farm tools and inputs to farmers. He expressed optimism that the sector will in turn employ many Ugandans and boost incomes of many households.

In a bid to propel faster industrialization of the country, the President said, Uganda Investment Authority needs to do more than what they are doing. He said that UIA ought to help put in place incentives that should make the country the best investment destination.

Regarding corruption, the President appealed to the political leaders to always intervene and stop civil servants who are the custodians of government resources from swindling.

He, however, advised them to be clean themselves in order to accomplish that by shunning involvement in corruption.

Mr. Museveni further emphasized the need for cohesion, discipline, and planning in order to enable government to effectively deliver to the citizens. He noted that lack of these requisites have most times been detected by NRM.

He cited the Universal Primary Education (UPE) programme that some members wanted scrapped.

“Proper planning is necessary. You commit funds to develop infrastructure and yet others are talking about salary increment and you wonder as to whether you are together,” the President said.

He said that civil servants will have enhanced payment if the economy expands and becomes stronger and the country’s tax base widens. He, however, suggested the establishment of the salaries commission to determine the remuneration of civil servants and regulate the existing salary disparities.

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