President Museveni vows to lead struggle to stop illegal land evictions

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KIRUHUURA DISTRICT, Uganda

Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni has reiterated his commitment to personally lead the struggle to stop the rampant illegal land evictions in the country noting that the majority of the peasants who are being evicted are time-tested Movement supporters who did not abandon the Movement from the revolutionary struggle and so the Movement cannot abandon them.

President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni making his new year address at his country home in Rwakitura on 31st December 2018.

In his over one-hour message to the nation on the eve of the New Year 2019, delivered live on television at his country home at Rwakitura, Nyabushozi County in Kiruhuura District, President Museveni said that the National Resistance Movement will not look on as bonafide bibanja holders continue to be illegally evicted and made landless.

The President described the bonafide bibanja holders as people whose ancestors were found on the land, those who bought or inherited from them, those who were allowed on the land by the landlords, or their descendants or bought from the landlords or their descendants, those who were on the land by 1983 and those who have lived on the land for more than 12 years without being contested.

Mr. Museveni said that his government will use all means, including legal means, to stop the illegal evictions carried out by landlords. He, therefore, appealed to the landlords to work with government for a win-win situation where government will, through the Land Fund, compensate the landlords but let the bibanja holders stay on their land.

The President further reiterated government commitment to fight and defeat corruption just like it defeated other evils like extrajudicial killings, extortion on roadblock brutalisation of wanainchi and poaching in National Parks, among others..     

He said he has put a unit in his office led by Lt. Col. Edith Nakalema, not to replace the Inspector General of Government (IGG’s) office but to supplement it in fighting corruption, help the Police and the Courts of Law to fight crime and illegal land evictions.

The President also called on the political actors in the country to exercise political discipline and participate in politics while exercising discipline, follow the law and the constitution. He noted that whereas political competition is healthy the fuelling of violence and unconstitutional means of politicking was not acceptable.

He used the occasion to call on all political leaders, especially the grass-root leaders who live with the population, to champion the struggle to defeat poverty by being role models in the Wealth Creation Program and proposed a Savings and Credit Cooperative Organization (SACCO) for all elected leaders right from the grass root solely for the purpose of poverty eradication.

On the issue of crime, the President said the installation of cameras in urban settings had started adding that the other interventions are being implemented. He said that the measures have seen the crime rate drop in the recent past with only 23 murder related cases reported on 2018 Christmas day. He assured the country that crime will be defeated.

President Museveni assured the youth in Uganda that there future is bright because the programmes that are in place in the sectors of health, education, job and wealth creation are tailored to guarantee them a brighter future. He, however, appealed to the youth to be disciplined, shun the culture of wastefulness; and avoid alcohol, drugs and promiscuity.

On the economy, the President affirmed to the people of Uganda that their country’s economy, which grew at a rate of 6.2% last financial year, will even do better this year. He said that in order to achieve to achieve the projected growth, the government will work to lower the cost of doing business in the country by bringing down the cost of electricity, transport and interest rates on capital. He noted that the stipulated measures, plus the fact that the country has a comparative advantage on the cost of labour in the region, will see Uganda’s economy grow by double digits.

Mr. Museveni added that to support these measures further, he would work with East African leaders to strengthen the East African Cooperation and the other regional blocs to get the much needed market for the many products that are produced in Uganda.