President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, also the National Chairman of the National Resistance Movement (NRM), stressed the importance of political leaders conducting a socio-economic diagnosis to understand the challenges faced by the people they represent and to find effective solutions.
Speaking during a meeting with the NRM Parliamentary Caucus held at State House Entebbe, President Museveni explained the advantage NRM leaders have in being part of a political family capable of diagnosing issues and providing remedies for Ugandans.
Comparing the role of local health workers to that of political leaders, he drew parallels, stating, “The work of a local health worker is to simply implement the mass prescription for the area. So, this is the same way with the political leaders in an area. What is the sickness of the population?”
President Museveni urged caucus members to concentrate on improving the incomes of households in their respective areas. He encouraged them to collaborate with Operation Wealth Creation (OWC) soldiers to guide people toward participating in the money economy through agriculture. Their role, he stressed, was to ensure the proper distribution of government seedlings and provide oversight.
He underlined the importance of monitoring government programs, as it would boost the leaders’ popularity and enable them to identify and expose corrupt individuals. The President cited the Parish Development Model (PDM) as an example of a program that, if effectively followed, could uplift livelihoods and reduce political pressure.
President Museveni also called upon the leaders to seek out success stories in their communities to inspire others to work towards improving their own lives. He urged support for State House Skilling programs, technical schools, and the Emyooga program to address youth unemployment.
Addressing the issue of high interest rates charged by money lenders, President Museveni directed the Minister of Finance Planning and Economic Development to create a statutory instrument within two weeks to control these rates. He expressed concern about the negative impact of high-interest loans and stated his intention to tackle the problem decisively.
Regarding corruption, President Museveni issued a stern warning, emphasizing his commitment to combat it and hold corrupt individuals accountable. He urged Members of Parliament to support legislative measures to deter extortion and corruption, even if it led to confrontations.
President Museveni also provided an update on Operation Shujaa, aimed at eradicating ADF rebels, noting the positive results achieved thus far.
During the meeting, Vice President Jessica Alupo briefed the President on her representation of Uganda at the UN General Assembly in New York. Attorney General Kiryowa Kiwanuka clarified the legal status of money lenders, highlighting the need for maximum interest rate provisions in the law.
Government Chief Whip Denis Obua congratulated the President and First Lady Maama Janet on their 50th Marriage Anniversary, commending them as national role models for upholding the institution of marriage and family values. He also presented resolutions from the meeting, including the call for a statutory instrument to control interest rates, a caucus retreat on leadership, and support for the President’s anti-corruption efforts.
The meeting also featured the attendance of Prime Minister Robinah Nabbanja, several ministers, NRM Secretariat Secretary General Richard Todwong, and members of the Central Executive Committee.