President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni who is also the Commander In Chief of the Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) has revealed that Uganda is now stable due to the consequence of ideological and philosophical shifts in the country.
“The stability you are talking about is a consequence of the Ideological and philosophical shift here in Uganda, with the fact that we rejected the politics of identity and started advising our people about the politics of interest,” President Museveni said.
The President made the assertion yesterday as he delivered a lecture of opportunity to a delegation of 31 military students and 15 staff members of Botswana Defence Command and Staff College at State House- Entebbe.
He explained that before the National Resistance Movement (NRM) government came to power 37 years ago, Uganda was turbulent and it had become a failed state. However, due to the right ideology by the current government, the country managed to pick up and it’s now peaceful and developing progressively.
President Museveni appealed to the students to always promote politics of interest, saying that the ideology was crucial for the prosperity of their country.
“Right from Independence, we had a crisis of what is primary? What is important? Is it identity or interest? That’s where the departure point was because some people have been saying that what is important in public management politics is identity; that means tribe, religion, race in some cases, and even gender to some extent and you find people like in the case of Uganda here, they formed political parties based on identity,” Gen. Museveni disclosed.
“The good thing is that some of us were part of those parties from 1960 but by 1965 we had become disillusioned and said no, what are you talking about? Why is identity so important? Because all these groups were talking about religions and tribes they have needs, they need food, they need shelter, jobs and wealth. Why don’t you talk about their needs? Why do you talk about their identity? Are you not a false prophet? Are you not providing a pseudo-ideology?” he wondered.
The President further noted that for any society to be prosperous, it needs to produce a good or service and then sell it to earn money.
“The only way my tribe, who are cattle keepers and banana growers can be prosperous is to produce a good or a service and sell it. In this case, they produce milk, beef and bananas. But now once they do that, they have one problem; they do not easily buy from one another. Why? Because they all have similar products. It is the other Ugandans who don’t produce milk, beef or bananas because they are fishermen, they are producing other things, they are the ones who rescue me and buy my products,” he said.
“When we saw that Uganda was more useful to me as a wealth creator than my tribe, then we developed the principle of Patriotism; love Uganda, you need it, it is more useful than loving just your tribe. You need Uganda for your prosperity.”
The President however noted that due to the fact that Ugandans now produces more than enough products like milk, poultry, sugar and beef, the internal market is not enough to guarantee the country’s prosperity.
“We also discovered that even when you love Uganda, Uganda is not enough, we need East Africa. That is why you heard us playing two anthems, the one for Uganda and that of East Africa because for our prosperity, we need the East African market, we also need the African market. Therefore, our second principle becomes Pan-Africanism.”
Additionally, Gen. Museveni expounded that in order for Uganda and Africa at large to transform socially and economically, they need to create a new society, and this can only be done if all adults join the money economy.
“Our principle number three is socio-economic transformation. We must have a new society. We cannot have a peasant producing another peasant and we think we are doing a good job. We say the society here must metamorphose just like Europe and others did. And how do we get a new society? They should all join the money economy, which has four sectors which include commercial agriculture, manufacturing/factories big or small, services and ICT. We are telling all these Ugandans that please move into one or more of these sectors. In Uganda, the homesteads still outside the money economy are now 39 percent. The ones in the money economy are now 61 percent. For the first time we have got more people engaged in money creation than before,” he stated.
“Principle number four is Democracy; government for the people by the people. When you see the stability in Uganda, it is because of that new thinking that came up. Otherwise, Uganda was very violent, we lost 800,000 people and killed extra judiciary by Idi Amin and those groups and because of the four principles, we have been able to build a very strong army. Part of the problem is why some countries cannot develop a strong army because of sectarianism. We don’t look at people’s tribes, their religion, we don’t care if you are a woman or man as long as you can shoot properly, that is what we are interested in.”
President Museveni also discouraged the delegation from exporting their country’s raw materials, explaining that it was a disaster causing loss of money and jobs in African countries.
“We should add value to our raw materials to benefit more from our resources,” he said.
“We are also introducing the knowledge economy because people here are quite well educated as you saw in the Industrial Research Centre, that was just a small part, there are very many highly educated people, scientists whom the government is supporting to make automobiles, vaccines and all that. Now that is all part of the long stabilisation of the country because you cannot have a backward country with an increasing population and you think that you will have stability, you will get instability at a certain stage. The economy transitioning from raw material production to industrial production is a must,” Gen. Museveni concluded.
The head of the Delegation from Botswana Defence Command and Staff College, Col. Dumisani Bakang Ndzinge thanked President Museveni for sparing time to give them an insightful lecture.
He also commended the President for his visionary leadership that has led to long-lasting stability and economic development in the country.
The team was also accompanied by Professor Rebecca Lekoko, the Dean of the College, among others.