Candidate Museveni in Bugiri
Priotisation won us the bush war – Museveni
President Yoweri Museveni has said priotisation helped them to win the 1981-85 bush war. Whenever you hear this old man was in the bush for years, you think we did not want to fight the war in one year?
No, we really wanted to leave the bush, but priotisation was the best strategy. We had to attack one police station, get guns, attack another one and get more guns until we won the war. This method of prioritizing things while delivering services is the best across all missions.
He added that the corrupt will be handled slowly, but surely. He said he has heard that the money for youth and women development has been given out in a corrupt manner. “ where is the RDC? ….okay. anyway, that will not stop us from sending more money to our people to fight poverty. we shall make sure the battle against unemployment and house hold poverty is won.
President Yoweri Museveni today addressed supoorters at Nankoma playgrounds, Nankoma sub-county in Bugiri district. Before his arrival, the supporters were entertained by musicians; Hilderman Mazongoto, Catherine Kusasira among many others.
Museveni highlighted the government achievements, which include Mayuge Nankoma road, but said the government was hampered by compenasations.
“ I am also landlord in Kisolo, but when contractors came to construct the Mpigi-Ssembabule road, I allowed them to work on the road first and they will pay me later. This is not because I did not want to be paid, but I am a patriot. So, your leaders should talk to our people so that they don’t cripple road construction because of immediate compensation.
Another road under designing for tarmac is Namutumba to Buterere (about 41km), but all this will be achieved through public-government cooperation.
Museveni said these while addressing his last rally of the day in Bugiri (Bukooli North – which is represented in Parliament by Kasule Lumumba, the NRM secretary general)
A recent Vision Group poll showed the top five concerns for voters in the district as:
- Water and sanitation-related issues
- Health-related issues
- National security issues
Employment-related issues George Bita asked residents what they expect from him today.
Ida Basalirwa, resident of Naluwerere parish: I expect him to talk about the high degree of unemployment we see these days. Our children are leaving school with nothing to do. What will Museveni do different this time to have enough jobs for everyone?
Aisha Nakiranda, housewife in Bukaye village: I expect Museveni to talk about improving health services at Bugiri Hospital, which is dilapidated and is short-staffed. He should highlight the changes he is going to make to encourage more mothers to deliver from the facility.
Hakim Isabirye, trader at Busowa trading centre: I want him to address the issue of poverty that is making some people sleep on empty stomachs. He must tell us if there are any plans to boost household incomes in the near future.
Lukia Kagoya, farmer in Bulidha parish: Museveni must tell us why our crops are failing season after season yet in the past we used to have good harvests. Should we look forward to the provision of better seeds and is there a possibility of government helping a local farmer secure good market for crops?
Mbabazi guards will pay dearly, says Museveni
By Vision Reporter
President Yoweri Museveni has blamed the private guards of independent presidential candidate Amama Mbabazi for the recent attacks on NRM supporters in Ntungamo district, vowing that whoever participated will pay dearly.
On December 13, Pro- Museveni youth and Mbabazi’s supporters clashed in Ntungamo, causing public uproar and debate. The clash is said to have occurred when Mbabazi and his supporters, retiring from their rally, met a group donning yellow T-shirts at the Rukungiri-Kabale junction.
Later, Mbabazi said the violence was ‘unfortunate’ but blamed the NRM for sending their supporters to disrupt his rallies. “NRM should take it calm and easy about the competition that is going on.
Democracy means people should have a free choice and for them to make that choice, they have to listen to all the sides,” Mbabazi said. The Police have since arrested another of Mbabazi’s private guards, Zephania Baate, barely a week after their head, Christopher Aine went missing.
Speaking to journalists at the Mbale State Lodge as he ended his campaign in the Bugisu- Bukedi region yesterday, Museveni said the people who attacked NRM supporters are ‘thugs and idiots’. “The thugs have been arrested. You do not attack a Ugandan. They will pay dearly. You have no right to even point a finger at me. That idiot who attacked our people with clubs will regret. We are going to round up all those criminals,” he said.
Museveni also revealed that some of the people who participated in the attacks were hiding. He also vowed to deal with any political actor who the investigations shall point at or suspect of being behind the incident.
“But we shall get them. Nothing will disturb Uganda. If you go and put your finger in the behind of a leopard, then you are in trouble. You attack NRM people in Uganda, where do you go? Those people made a big mistake, and whoever sent them will also regret. We shall go against him or her,” he said.
“They are telling all sorts of lies. Why haven’t we beaten them?” he asked. The President assured Ugandans of peace in the run-up to the elections set for February 18. Museveni predicted that he will win with 80%.
Museveni said his prediction is based on the ground penetration and delivery of public services in the villages. Dismissing a recent poll that gave him 59%, Museveni said: “NRM will get 80%.” In 1996, President Museveni got 74.3%. In 2001, he got 69.3%.
In 2006, he got 59.26%. In 2011, he garnered 68.38%. “For the first time, NRM programmes are on ground; roads and electricity. So, really the opposition and their supporters are in danger of a very serious embarrassment,” he said.
Museveni said since 1996, he has been getting below 80% because Ugandans had not seen the development on the ground. He said this time round, he is simply celebrating the joy of campaigning in a country where development has started to take shape.
Museveni also said once the political actors fail to grasp the concept of unity and ideology, any attempt on crafting alliance politics is bound to fail. Citing the historical party alliances and the sectarian bases that informed the formation of political parties, such as Democratic Party (DP), Kabaka Yekka (KY) and Uganda People’s Congress (UPC), Museveni said the politics of alliances is like a taboo in Uganda.
“I am hearing of some alliance around, called TDA (The Democratic Alliance). So, when they said that there is a coalition, I said: ‘Sorry, they are talking of a taboo.’ In Ankole, once you die, they do not mention the name of a dead person. It is taboo,” he said.
The TDA alliance that attempted to weave the opposition into a one force collapsed when Mbabazi and Dr. Col. Kizza Besigye, disagreed on fielding a joint candidate.
Why Kenya’s Ruto came
Explaining why Kenya’s deputy president William Ruto recently graced his rally in Kapchorwa district, Museveni said the concept of Pan-Africanism was the pulling factor.
“The other day, they were saying ‘why did Ruto come here?’ Why shouldn’t he come? When you go to Juba, you find long-horn Ankole cows. Juba is full of bananas from Uganda. The Dinkas buy pineapples from Kyanamukaka, Masaka,” he said.
On the Burundi conflict, Museveni warned that leaders in the East African Community will not allow the crisis in Burundi to graduate into a genocide. Museveni said he has called a conference where all actors in Burundi and the region will converge to forge a way forward.
“I have called a conference on December 28. We cannot have a genocide in Burundi. So, anybody involved must be very careful to make sure that violence stops. The regional leaders cannot allow any genocide in any country in the region,” he said.
On this chilly day, John Wafula stayed put at his simple workshop at Nalwire trading centre in Lunyo sub-county, Samia- Bugwe South, Busia district.
Wafula repairs bicycles. Laid back and not interested in the interview, Wafula finally opened up, calling on President Yoweri Museveni, the presidential candidate of the National Resistance Movement (NRM), to extend loans to people with small businesses.
“I am struggling. We need to be supported by the Government so that our small workshop can expand. On a good day, customers bring bicycles for repair and on a bad day, you can fail to get even one customer,” he said.
Wafula was lucky to study at the nearby Nalwire Technical Institute, where he honed his skills in bicycle and motorcycle mechanics.
On Saturday, when Museveni addressed a rally at Bulekei Primary School in Samia Bugwe South, Wafula was one of the people who braved the rain to attend. “I am sorry the rain interfered with you. But rain is good luck,” Museveni told his supporters.
The NRM candidate’s campaign in the district was at a time when cholera had just claimed six lives in the area. “Those people said there is cholera here and they told me that I should be careful. But I told them I do not mind because for me I wash my hands,” he said.
Museveni advised the residents to observe hygiene by building pit-latrines and washing their hands with soap after visiting toilets. “Do not keep those things (germs) on your hands because they can bring problems for you and your family members,” he said.
Busia has two hospitals, one health centre IV and six health centre IIIs. To improve health, Museveni pledged to build more health centre IIIs. Busia has 16 sub-counties of which 10 do not have health centre IIIs.
Voters such as Winfred Anyango singled out the drug stock-outs in the health facilities as being another big problem. Museveni also pledged to build government-aided primary schools at parish level.
According to Museveni, the NRM’s target is to build primary schools in all parishes, secondary schools in all subcounties and a technical school in each constituency.
Rescue our roads
To some voters, the poor road network is the major hindrance to the thriving crossborder trade with Kenyans. Michael Sikuda, a lorry driver, said: “This road from Musita through Lumino up to the border with Kenya has been bad ever since I was a child. I wish the President could work on it. ”
A New Vision survey of 6,626 Ugandans of voting age across the country in July found that poverty, national security, poor road network, health-related issues and unemployment were some of the major issues that voters in Tororo and Busia districts want addressed.
Museveni pledged to construct new roads and empower the district authorities with capacity to work on the feeder ones that link various areas to the district headquarters. To improve the districts’ capacity to work on roads, Museveni said new road equipment has been purchased from Japan.
The Japanese package will include a grader for districts, road compactor, wheel-loader, wheel-browser and two heavy vehicles. Museveni also pledged quick work on the Musita-Lumino-Majanji-Busia-Tororo road. “It is a very expensive road but we are going to do it using our money,” he said.
The NRM candidate also pledged to build the Busia market in order to boost local trade in the district. Extending piped water to Busia town was the other pledge Museveni made to the residents.
“On development, we are moving very well in Busia,” he said, emphasising that the NRM government had presided over the recovery of several companies and attraction of new ones into the country, which he said, has boosted the tax collection from sh5b in 1986 to sh13 trillion today.
“We have enough money now. But, this money is not enough to do all things at one go. The opposition says, ‘that this is not done’. Yes, we know, but the NRM does things through prioritisation,” he said.
After prioristising roads, electricity, education and health, Museveni said the next agenda of NRM is to help citizens improve household income and fi ght poverty. Museveni’s other pledges included sh1 trillion for Operation Wealth Creation, sh234b for the youth fund, sh234b for the women fund and sh180b for the microfi nance fund.
Museveni said in the past, there was no electricity in many parts of Busia. However, with prioritisation, Museveni said electricity has now reached areas of Masafu, Busikho, Buhasaba, Ndaiga Hukemo, Mundindi and Bulobi Butacho.
The NRM candidate also pledged to extend the Busia-Lumino power line further. On a lighter note, Museveni said opposition politicians contesting his steady-progress agenda should touch the electricity wires and test the development. If they survive death, Museveni said it would indicate that he had done nothing. However, if they died, Museveni, who drew applause from supporters, said he would ask their widows to support NRM.
UPC ties At the rally in Busia, Museveni also extended an olive branch to his friend and former boss, Wilson Okwenje, who was a minister during the Obote II regime. “If anyone has his telephone number, please give it to me and I call him because I really do not understand why he has not come back,” he said, wondering why Okwenje was still living in exile in Canada.
“In the 1970s when I fi nished university, I worked for some time in the President’s Offi ce in Obote’s government. Okwenje was the head of our unit. Since then, I have never seen him. I was told he is from here and someone told me he is in Canada. Here, we are moving forward,” he added.
Okwenje was the Minister of Public Service and Cabinet Affairs in the Obote II regime (1980-85) and when NRM took over power, he went into exile and has never returned. Recently, Museveni came out to explain ties with the UPC faction led by Lira municipality MP Jimmy Akena, saying it is moving in the right direction, unlike the other faction of Olara Otunnu.
After addressing supporters, Museveni received a group of Kenyan youth, who said were in Uganda to campaign for the NRM candidate because of his visionary leadership towards the integration of the East African Community.
In Tororo Municipality, Museveni described the district as the key for the country’s development. He told supporters that work on a phosphate factory that would produce fertilisers to boost agriculture has already commenced.
The construction of the Sukulu phosphates industrial complex by Chinese investors in Osukuru hills in Tororo district was recently fl agged off. Museveni, who spoke in Kiswahili, said the country has recovered from the deadly past that had ruined the country’s development agenda, citing the rehabilitated factories, such as Kakira Sugar Works, Doho Rice Scheme, as well as the new businesses, such as the telecommunication industry.
“Not only did the phone companies make it easy to communicate, but most importantly for the country, those telecommunication companies, such as MTN, are paying a lot of taxes to the Government. We are collecting more money in taxes because we have repaired old things and attracted new ones,” he said.
Citing roads, electricity, immunisation and education as some of the major areas that the Government has been prioritising, Museveni said the only issue remaining is tackling poverty. Museveni, who cautioned against confusing development with wealth creation, said: “Development is for all of us, but wealth is yours as an individual. You will not sleep in the school. When you go back in the evening, you will find poverty waiting for you at your home. You can have development, but still have poverty.”
Museveni asked supporters to vote for him and the NRM fl ag-bearers, especially parliamentary candidates so that they can support the prioritisation of the above funds once the budget is brought before Parliament. Today, Museveni will start campaigns in Busoga with rallies in Namutumba and Namayingo districts.