Today President YoweriKagutaMuseveni opened the Joint Political Leadership Retreat at the National Leadership Institute (NALI), Kyankwanzi. The week long retreat brings togetherNRM Central Executive Committee, Cabinet and Permanent Secretaries to deliberate on how to re-focus on the NRM ideological orientation.
In his opening remarks the President thanked Ugandans and the NRM supporters for rallying behind the four NRM principles of patriotism, Pan Africanism, Social economic transformation and democracy.
The President thanked Ugandans for welcoming refugees from South Sudan who fled the insurgency in their country and those who fled from countries like Rwanda, DRC, Burundi and Somalia when they had insurgencies. Uganda currently hosts 207,921 refugees from DRC, 257,171 from South Sudan, 36,758 from Somalia, 2,772 from North Sudan, 39,608 from Burundi and 17,367 from Rwanda.
“Accepting refugees is part of our solidarity with our African brothers and supporting refugees is a Pan Africanism strategy for Uganda.In some countries they are not accepted. Unity is a medicine against poverty so when we talk of unity it’s not just for the sake of it. The unity of Africans is not for sentiment but for their survival and prosperity,” said Museveni.
According to statistics, Uganda’s trade with East African Community (EAC) and Common Market for East and Southern Africa (COMESA) brings in US$2b.
He noted that while three of the four principles have been successfully implemented, the principle of social-economic transformation is still a challenge.
Social economic transformation is to ensure that the peasant class is phased out and is replaced with skilled workers, professionals and intellectuals.
“Social economic transformation is still a challenge but this time there is no playing around, we have built the foundation by developing infrastructure, energy and ensuring that Ugandans have access to education and we are ready for takeoff,” said Museveni.
Commenting on the issue of companies that appealed to government to bail them out of debt, the President explained the three categories of business people that would deserve bail outs.
The first category is those who sold goods to the Government of South Sudan and have not been paid require government intervention because they are exporting and bringing money into our economy.
The other category is of those who sell goods to ministries and these ministries fail to pay them also have to be listened to. It’s not right for ministries to take goods they can’t pay for but we shall address that.
The last category is of companies that deal in importing goods for Ugandans to buy. “These I would not care much about but I have learnt that some banks unfairly grab their property and we need to look into this injustice of these banks and stop it,” said the President.