Museveni rides the wave of high economic growth
He explained away robberies, murders and kidnaps as having been handled
President Yoweri Museveni used the upward economic growth projection of 5.8 per cent to gloss over the many challenges facing the country in his State of the Nation address.
During this year’s address, which took place at the Serena Conference Centre, President Museveni, currently in his 33rd year as leader of the country, explained away the all too common robberies, murders and kidnaps, as having been “handled.”
While blaming other problems on the donor community, particularly the World Bank, International Monetary Fund, the United Nations and the European Union.
Over 30 women have been kidnapped and murdered in the span of a year and the crimes remain unsolved.
Susan Amero, Member of Parliament for Amuria district and a member of the National Resistance Movement (NRM) said these crimes targeting women are likely get worse as threatening letters were dropped just a week ago in different parts of Wakiso districts.
Another group that feels the kidnappings and murders will continue is a group of women activists led by Stella Nyanzi, a former Makerere University lecturer. The activists have staged protests urging the government to put a stop to the crimes.
However, President Museveni said the crimes are largely committed by small-time thugs and can easily be stopped by community groups.
He said that the exceptions in the crimes are the murders of Susan Magara, some Muslim leaders and former police spokesperson Andrew Kaweesi. He said the high-profile murders have been solved although no one has been convicted.
On poverty, President Museveni said it is being addressed through the establishment of different demonstration farms on his properties in different parts of the country.
He added that his government has also invested in funds for the youth and women. These funds will provide affordable loans for people to invest and pull themselves out of poverty.
Over the years, President Museveni’s government has come up with different money-lending schemes like Entandikwa, Bona Baggawale and now the women and youth funds. However, according to a report released late last year by Uganda Bureau of Statistics, poverty has increased to levels last seen before 1997.
President Museveni said he has engineered a bright future for the country and nothing can get in the way of development.
“Uganda is unstoppable given what we have done in the army, security, education, health, sectors and building a national information and communication technology backbone, while also investing in infrastructure projects,” the president said at the end of his remarks.
For the 2017/2018 financial year, the president said the manufacturing sector is projected to grow at 6.2 per cent, thanks to the government financing several power projects. Power generation capacity is now above 1,000 Megawatts. Other sectors like services have also recovered and in the 2017/2018 financial year they are projected to grow at 7.3 per cent, while construction is projected to grow at 12.5 per cent
“This is not surprising given the respective efforts of the government and the private sector in the construction of roads and housing,” President Museveni said of the growth of the construction sector.
He said the economic recovery and march towards a bright future is a result of the seeds he sowed with the Cabinet and NRM Members of Parliament.
Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni gave the State of the Nation address at the Serena Conference Centre.