Sunday, June 13We Break the News

Uganda’s Museveni: We are going to fight graft

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KAMPALA, Uganda

Addressing MPs after the election of Parliament Speaker and Deputy Speaker on Monday, the President said the vice ‘has become a very big problem’.
                                     
“This kisanja [term] is for socio-economic transformation.
Because we have already laid the foundation, the infrastructure is much better. We have got better roads. We have got enough electricity, the schools, the health centres.

What is needed, through these, is to transform our people so that all of them get out of underdevelopment.
In this kisanja, I want us to be very serious. 

First of all, budget correctly. Make sure you budget correctly. During the campaign, I committed on your behalf by saying in this kisanja, we shall in Acholi say poko marom (equitable distribution) as opposed to poko muna (inequitable distribution). In our dialects here, we call it okugabura oburungi (serve properly).  

So you budget for the priority sectors of infrastructure, security but also of wealth creation so that our people who want to work have no excuse.

The ghetto children here in Kampala, I have been interacting with them. Some people were trying to mistreat them. I got in touch with them and I met them many times. Their main problem is capital. Many of them work but have no capital. They also need some skills. Let us make sure we budget properly so that everybody who wants to work [does] work.

Operation Wealth Creation… during the campaign, I checked, I was wondering all these, we have been paying for what?
But when I checked, I found that for eight years from 2013, wealth creation had served about 900,000 people. You can see it was not enough. If you assume each person was from a homestead, the homesteads in Uganda are nine million. 

If we served only 900,000 in eight years, that is not a good speed.
Therefore, in this kisanja, with wealth funds, I want us to reach two million [people] per year. In the five years, we shall have covered all the nine million homesteads so that there is no excuse.

Apart from budgeting correctly, we are going to fight corruption. Corruption is becoming a big problem. I saw this recently in Uganda Airlines. That airline, because of good planning, we had some money and we bought brand new aircraft; CJR 900, the airbus.

But the airline was infiltrated immediately by some corrupt elements employing their relatives, inflating procurement costs. Terrible, terrible things. When I got information, I moved in and dispersed the whole management. I had two people on the board I thought were serious, I suspended the whole gang.

The soldiers to fight corruption are there. It is now clear. Many Ugandans are now decided and willing to assist us. With correct budgeting and zero tolerance to corruption, we are going to succeed. One of the problem we must fight is intolerance; people who don’t work together with other people.

I have never had a problem with any Ugandan who wants to work with me even when we fight in a group because of political differences. When the fight is over, I work with them. This is the line of NRM. This line of not forgiving is a very bad spirit. It is not NRM spirit.

You find that I work with Moses Ali. Gen Ali was with Idi Amin in the other years. But when we started working together, people who were in the other army we were fighting, are with us.
I am working with Mr Jimmy Akena and Ms Betty Amongi. They were in Uganda Peoples Congress (UPC). 
Have the spirit of welcoming people. Don’t have politics of exclusion and politics of egocentric. I want to congratulate the NRM people on the way we have scored this victory.

I want you to learn carefully how we do our work.
Our people had got divided because of this leadership race. Mistakes were made. People were campaigning when they should not be campaigning. I heard about this. I called a meeting some time ago. I thought it would stop. It didn’t.

There was a lot of bitterness. I hear people were abusing one another on social media, which was very bad. But I always tell you, we, the veterans, we never involve ourselves in politics of lack of principles.
In this race, neither public nor private, I never said I support (outgoing Speaker Rebecca) Kadaga or support (former Deputy Speaker and now Speaker Jacob) Oulanyah. Never. 

Yesterday, when we were alone, I challenged our caucus if anybody heard me saying I support Kadaga [or] I support Oulanyah.
Stand up and challenge me. Nobody because I cannot do that.
I do not know why people cannot keep away from that mistake. A senior person taking sides among juniors. If you are senior, do not take sides. That is very bad. You will fail and you will make us fail. 
I never take sides with my juniors or my equals. 

I told you, you wait for NRM meeting to decide then we shall be able to know who to support. 
That is what I told Ms (Agnes) Nandutu when I rang her on the phone some time ago. That is what I told [Nakapiripirit Woman MP Esther] Anyakun when I rang her. That is what I told [Sheema Woman MP Rosemary]Nyakikongoro. Please don’t take sides. Wait for the official forum to take a decision and then back what the fora has done.

I want to congratulate the NRM. It was at around 3pm when we finally took a position of what to do. How to support Mr Oulanyah as a sole candidate for the speakership. We had our reasons and how to forward the three names to caucus of [Bukedea Woman MP Annet] Anita Among and [Ruhinda North MPThomas] Tayebwa and [Gomba West MP Robina] Rwakoojo.
My people were terribly divided; the pro-Kadaga group and pro-Oulanyah [group].

I want to congratulate you since yesterday (Sunday) when I gave you guidance from the general meeting and then subsequently, I rang a number of our people. Even in the night, you see how the guerrillas work. Those guerrillas are very dangerous. Once they start working, for them they have no time limit. 
I was ringing some people at about 11.30pm, 12am.

‘Now you have been with Kadaga, the official candidate now is Oulanyah.’ Then in the morning, I met others. Now you have seen how we have come up with a united group.
I had only 16 hours of trying to work on the division. I want to thank the people who were supporting Kadaga who listened to my advice and shifted and supported the official candidate. I want to thank you, especially Tayebwa. Tayebwa and his group… you know these fellows had formed factions and factions are subversive. 

It is against the code of conduct of the NRM. There was a very strong faction of Oulanyah and very strong Kadaga faction.
But when I talked to them by phone and met some of them today morning, they all agreed. I do not think it was all of them but many agreed in a short time to support the official candidate.

They were actually plotting. Kadaga was with Tayebwa. The idea was that Kadaga becomes Speaker, Tayebwa becomes Deputy Speaker.
The other faction was Oulanyah and Among. 
This morning, I had to bring my people who were weeping. I had my tissues. I gave some of them. Only Oulanyah and Among faction are the ones in charge.  
I said no. This is NRM. Forget the Oulanyah faction.

They said they were going to mistreat us. They will be persecuted. They will not be allowed to go to committees but I said I am the President of Uganda, chairman of the NRM, historical leader of the resistance. Nobody will do that in Uganda.

I rang Oulanyah when those people were still there. I said your enemies are here. I am with your enemies here. Would you like to say ‘hello’ on the phone?
I thank the Tayebwa group for agreeing.  They were conspiring with the Opposition to have an NRM Speaker who would fight Among.
I said forget about this. Thank you for developing the NRM spirit. You have handled the issue very well.

Today, May 24, yes I heard that it was mama Kadaga’s birthday and I congratulate her on her birthday. But also, it is the anniversary of the sad events of Uganda. It is when the Uganda Army, under the control of Milton Obote and Idi Amin, attacked Mutesa’s palace at Mengo.

So it is a little more serious than mama Kadaga’s birthday. Therefore, it is very pleasing for me and some of the elders such as Ali to be here on the day when blood was being shed in Lubiri but for us, we are here in a mosquito-free [place]. When I am at a function, I kill all the mosquitoes, you will not hear any mosquito disturbing you. 

We are here peacefully, changing leadership of Parliament and with a united Uganda. I am very happy that I have lived to see such days in Uganda.

Because such days in Uganda, by 1966, the situation looked bleak. Divisions were very serious; tribal, and sectarian. In 1966, the conflict was between the Bantu and Nilotics. Now you see how united our people are.  
That is what NRM rejected. This anniversary is not the birthday of mama Kadaga, on which I congratulate [her] but it has got more serious history. The suffering of Uganda and I am glad that we are out of it.

I am also ready to engage the Opposition. I have actually engaged some of the Opposition. The UPC; we talk very well, the DP (Democratic Party), we talk very well.

Even recently, we have been talking with some members of FDC (Forum for Democratic Change). The ones who have been avoiding us are the ones of NUP (National Unity Platform). But also, there are many who would like to engage in talks. So we can have a peaceful way of working even when we belong to our different parties.” 

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