FULL SPEECH: Museveni's address to Parliament

A video grab of President Museveni addressing Parliament on March 16, 2023. PHOTO/HANDOUT

What you need to know:

  • I will decisively follow up the attempted stealing of the PDM and Emyooga money in Acholi and, if they tampered with the money, they will pay for that treachery. They will be an example to the rest of the potential flies.








Kololo Ceremonial Grounds - 16th March, 2023 

Her Excellency the Vice President,

Rt. Hon. Speaker of Parliament,

His Lordship, Chief Justice,

Right Hon. Prime Minister,

Rt. Hon. Moses Kigongo,

Rt. Hon. Secretary General, NRM,

Other State and Party Leaders,

Ladies and gentlemen.

I greet all of you and I congratulate you on account of going through the following calamities in the last 3 years: the locusts, the landslides, the floating islands, the rising Lake waters, the corona pandemic, the bijambiyas, the problem of high commodity prices caused by the Russian-Ukrainian war, the ebola epidemic, the suicide bombers, etc., etc. The NRM assured you that, with God’s help, we would go through these calamities and we did.

Indeed, our economy, will grow by 5.3% to attain the GDP size of US$49.3billion by the exchange rate method and of US$142.9billion by the PPP method by June, 2023. 

However, I want this economy to grow by a factor of 10 to half- a trillion dollars (US$500billion) in the next few years and it will if you aggressively support my policy measures. How? I will tell you abit about that in the course of this speech.

However, let me first tell you, again, that I congratulate Ugandans on account of going through and, in some cases, overcoming all those calamities enumerated above. I told you we would and we did, all inconveniences and losses, notwithstanding. It is in such circumstances that our Baganda and Banyakore people say: “Akutwaara ekilo, omusiima bukedde; Owa kutwaara nyekiro, omusiima bwahseesha” ─ “The one who successfully guides you on a journey in the night, you thank him in the morning”. Jesus had harsher words for his disciples. In the Book of Mark 16:14, he rebuked them for panicking in the storm when they were crossing the Lake by saying: “You people of little faith”. He did that, because those same disciples had seen the miracles Jesus had performed and yet they panicked in that storm when Jesus was with them although asleep in the boat. Although I do not want to compare the NRM with Jesus, there is no doubt that the NRM has, over the last 60 years, solved quite a number of historical problems. It is, therefore, fallacious for some elements to panic when we face any challenges. 

There are solutions to those challenges as long as we are patriotic, genuine and not parasitic.

However, before, I go into the purpose of today’s meeting, through the Speaker, I would like us to stand up for a minute of silence to remember the 3,632people that were killed by corona, the 55people that were killed by Ebola, those that died in the landslides and the 4 students of Kasaka SS in Gomba that were killed by a lorry that lost control, according to what the Prime Minister told me. Thank you. I am now directing the State House Comptroller (SHC), to send Shs.5million to each of the families of the 4 students that died. I am also directing the SHC to give Shs.1million each to the 14 students that are injured and are in Gombe Hospital. The Prime Minister and the Attorney General, should get in touch with the families of the dead children and the injured, to ensure that the truck owners compensate the victims and their families according to the law.

Our meeting today follows a telephone conversation I had with the Rt. Hon. Speaker over the phone on the issue of the Parish Development Model (PDM). As a consequence of that, I decided to, again, interact with you, the Honourable Members, on these issues.

To properly contextualize the issue of PDM, I must remind the Honourable Members of the 4 principles of the NRM. These are: Patriotism, Pan-Africanism, Social-economic transformation and democracy. PDM comes directly under principle no.3 ─ Social-economic transformation, although it cannot thrive without the other three ─ patriotism, Pan-Africanism and democracy. I have pointed out before, in many writings, that society is like some of the insect species that go through a biological process known as metamorphosis: egg, caterpillar, pupa and mature butterfly, for instance.

In the last 4 ½ million years of human evolution, eversince man gained the homo sapien sapien form, the society he created, has been metamorphosing. Karl Marx, by 1848 when he wrote the Communist Manifesto, pointed out that, up to that point, society had gone through 5 social-systems. These were: the primitive communalism, the slave state, feudalism, capitalism and was, then, entering the system of socialism and communism. Although some greedy and narrow-minded groups in the world completely dismiss this analysis and, indeed, the communists made their own philosophical and strategy mistakes, there is no doubt that the method of class analysis of society, is correct and so is the phenomenon of social transformation.

If those who claim to study social sciences in Africa were serious, they would have noticed that societies in Europe by the time of the Renaissance ─ 1400AD ─ were three-classes societies, comprised of: the feudalists, the peasants and the artisans. By the time of the French Revolution ─ 1789 ─ the European society had evolved into a four-classes society, being: the Feudalists (Aristocrats), the Middle-class (the bourgeoisie), the Proletariat (the working class) and the Peasants. If you go to Europe today and you look for peasants and for the feudalists, you will not get them. The society appears to have become a two- classes society, comprised of: the middle class and the skilled working class. Each of these historical social classes, has got different productive capacity ─ high or low. What was the productive capacity of the primitive communalist society? What was the productive capacity of the slave state? What was the productive capacity of the serfs (abasenze, abebibanja) on the land of the feudal landlords (Aba-mailo before 1928)? What is the productive capacity of the bourgeoisie that are conscious of the difference between the input cost and the final price of a product, that we call profit? What is the productive capacity of the proletariat (e.g. the industrial worker) that is skilled and working for wages?

On account of some reasons that we do not have time to go into here, this social evolution, this social metamorphosis, was faster in Europe than in Africa, Asia or in the Americas. It is this lagging behind in social evolution, that caused so much damage and problems to Africa, Asia and Latin America. Indeed, by 1862, when Hannington Speke came to Uganda, our societies were still three-classes societies, comprised of the feudalists (Abalangira-Princes) and warlords, the peasants (Abakopi – commoners) and the artisans. By 1962, when Uganda got Independence, the feudal class was not there any longer or were much weakened and the artisan class had either been eliminated or was greatly weakened. It was only the peasantry that was still alive but, largely, not involved in the new economy of money. By the census of 1969, as many as 96% of the homesteads, were outside the money economy (Abakolera ekidda kyoonka, tic me ice keken) ─ working only for the stomach.

It is at this point, that we came on the scene in the 1960s. Comparing with our school studies of what had happened in Europe and North America, we started wondering why there was no similar social-economic transformation in Africa, starting with Uganda. We soon found out through analysis that, indeed, Uganda’s society can change through two routes: universal, free education for all Ugandan children and all families joining the money economy with ekibaro, cura (correct enterprise selection).

I am glad the women came to Kiruhuura District and I was, again, able to show them how the pastoralists in that whole huge area of: Isingiro, Kashaari, Kiruhuura, Kazo, Lyantonde, parts of Rakai, Ssembabule, Gomba, Kyegyegwa, parts of Mubende (Kiyoonga), Kiboga (Ddwaniro), Kyenkwanzi, Ngoma-Wakyaato, Buruuli (Nakasongola), Masindi, etc., had partially under-went social-economic transformation by stopping nomadism, adopting dairy farming for cash and sending children to school at their cost. I want to discuss that partial success with the NRM Caucus, so that we harmonize our thinking.

I call the success in the Cattle Corridor “partial”, because elements in the society still have irrational practices, carried on from tradition, that negate progress ─ what we call reactionary ─ reacting negatively vis avis positive progress. These are the practices of fragmenting land on inheritance and depending on only nature to provide the pasture, yet it is more reliable if we grow the pasture.

Once I had that partial success by 1995, I went to the whole country and gave all and sundry the message of transformation. However, like the Jews, many people are either not bothered or are waiting for another “Messiah”, even when the message is clear and verifiable. Verifiable how? Visit the cattle corridor that used to be wilderness (engaando country-side ─ acacia hohii), which is now an area of semi-modern farms producing millions of litres of milk per day ─ for the local markets and for exports. The exports have hit US$106million per year. Algeria is now going to also buy our powdered milk worth US$150million.

If this area could transform, so could the others. In the Manifesto of 1996, we put forward the 4 acres model of coffee, fruits, pasture for zero-grazing dairy, food crop production and piggery and poultry in the backyard and fish farming near the wetlands. This was the medicine for the small holders. Those with bigger pieces of land, were more flexible and could help the country grow and participate in producing products that needed large-scale production to make economic sense that the country needed, such as cotton, maize, sugar-cane, ranching for beef, etc., etc. In terms of funding, the latter group would be supported by Uganda Development Bank (UDB).

It is the 4 acres model group, that I decided needed grants or soft loans, direct from the Government. We started with Entandikwa, PMA, NAADS, OWC and, now, PDM. These efforts were for agriculture. With the non-agricultural or broad-spectrum activities, we have put in place the following: the Women Fund, the Youth Fund, Micro-finance and Emyooga Fund. 

With all the pre-PDM funds, the modes were that the Government officials, were the ones selecting the beneficiaries. Especially with the Operation Wealth Creation (OWC), it, initially, worked well. Indeed, the house-holds in the non-money sector declined from 68% to 39%. This was most commendable. However, I started picking up complaints from the public of “begabira bokka” (they only give themselves), baleeta bifu (they supply us bad quality items), baleeta bya buseere (they bring over-priced items), etc. That is when I decided that the UPDF must get out of this effort because the image of the wider Force was going to be ruined. Moreover, it is the ultimate aim of the NRM that the stakeholders, the beneficiaries of this projects, must manage their affairs.

Hence, the need for the stakeholders (farmers, artisans and other groups), to form the SACCOs in the Parish or at the Constituency for the Myooga. This is the correct ultimate solution.

I have started touring and inspecting the 18 Zones of Uganda: Masaka, Mengo, Mubende, Ankole, Kigyezi, Tooro, Bunyoro, Busoga, Bukedi, Teso, Sebei, Karamoja, Lango, Acholi, West Nile and Madi. I started with Acholi between the 23rd and the 24th, of February, 2023. Straight away, the wanainchi told me of the parasites that were, like flies, swarming around the PDM and Emyooga money. I will decisively follow up the attempted stealing of the PDM and Emyooga money in Acholi and, if they tampered with the money, they will pay for that treachery. They will be an example to the rest of the potential flies.

10,594 PDM SACCOs are to be formed. As of now, 9,538 SACCOs, 90% of the target, have been formed. We are sending Shs.100million per Parish per annum. Assuming each borrower takes Shs.1million, that will account for 1million house-holds per annum. The SACCOs that have been ready, have been given Shs.25million each. Consequently, Shs.238.45 billion, has been sent directly from the Treasury to the Bank Accounts of the SACCOs. Much of the money is still on the accounts. Another, Shs.476.9billion is at the Treasury, waiting to be sent, once the original portion has been utilized. By June, 2023, Shs.1,059billion will be sent. Last financial year, Shs.131.4billion was released.

With the Emyooga, Shs.100billion has been sent each year; hence, Shs.200billion in the last 2 financial years.

The issue I see, is for you to answer the following question: “Who are the Basesedooti for social-economic transformation? Is it the Members of Parliament (MP), the LC-5 Chairperson, etc., or is it the Chief Administrative Officer (CAO), the Commercial Officer, etc.?” Can we use the cattle-corridor experience for reference? Who authored and preached the gospel of social-economic transformation in the cattle corridor? Was it the District Commissioner (DC) and the Saza Chief and Gombolola Chief? No, it was people of conviction, of mission, that authored and preached the gospel (enjiiri) of social-economic transformation. They were not paid and they had no appointment, but they wanted their parents and people to get the mushana (ekitangaala ─ the light of knowledge) of social-economic transformation, so that they become prosperous. Similarly, with PDM and Emyooga, it must be the political people that must be the basesedooti of the enjiiri of social-economic transformation because they are the ones that volunteered to be elected for leadership. Leadership from where to where? Leadership from tradition in poverty, to prosperity. While it is correct for the MPs to talk of the “oversight role of Parliament”, etc., you would do well to remember that those concepts were borrowed from societies where social-economic transformation was already taking place or had already taken place. They are already middle-class and skilled working class societies. When you oversight activities in a pre-capitalist society where transformation has not yet taken place and you forget to be a musesedooti for the right type of change, you historically fail in your role. There are Parliaments and Presidents and MPs and all that, even in failed societies like those of Latin America. Especially for the NRM MPs, remember this message that we have been preaching for the last 60 years.

It is good for the Civil Servants to associate with this forward movement. However, if they do not, the change-makers can force them to implement even what they do not like or do not understand.

If the money is not used this year, in the right way, let us keep it. It will be used next year. The people need patient sensitization and not bureaucratic kweheneenga (moving up and down). You, the MPs, should take more time with the people. I will also be involved. I have succeeded in the cattle corridor with the dairy and I have succeeded in the Kisozi area with the 4 acres model or less. In Rwengaaju, we have succeeded with the Nyakanas. In Ibaanda and Masaka, there has been abit of coffee. In Bundibugyo, there has been prosperity from coffee, cocoa, palm-oil and even vanilla when the prices are good. In Kanuungu, people have grown tea that is a medium scale crop. In Kalangala, people have got good incomes from palm-oil. I want everybody to wake up and get out of poverty.

On this occasion, I have not talked about the other sectors of Wealth Creation. These are: Industries, Services and ICT. We shall have time for those. The only point, is to simply state that the PDM will deal with commercial agriculture, producing raw-materials. This is not to forget raw-materials from minerals, forest products, fisheries, etc. By adding value to these raw-materials, the value of the product goes up by a factor of more than 10 or more. Take coffee, for instance; the coffee consortium of Uganda has, again, re-affirmed what we knew in the bush. A kilogramme of bean coffee gives us US$2.5. A kilogramme of roasted and ground coffee, gives US$50. To get a kilogramme of roasted and ground coffee, you need 2.5kgs of bean coffee. What is true of coffee, is true of all the other raw-materials, in varying degrees, whether, they are agricultural, minerals, forests or fresh water resources.

You now see how our economy by June, 2023, of US$49.3billion, can jump by a factor of 10 to US$500bn (half – a trillion).

On the issue of the homosexuals (ebitiingwa, ebisiyagi), we shall get time and discuss it thoroughly. The homosexuals, are deviations from normal. Why? Is it nature or nurture? We shall discuss it, thoroughly. The western countries should stop wasting the time of humanity by trying to impose their practices on other peoples. Europeans and other groups marry cousins and near relatives. Here, to marry within the clan, is taboo (Omuziro). Should we impose sanctions on them for marrying relatives? Sex in Uganda and, maybe in other parts of Africa, is confidential, even hetero-sexuality. How do we come to know that you are a homo-sexual, unless you publicize it? We shall discuss all this.

Thanks alot.

Kololo Ceremonial Grounds - 16th March, 2023