President Yoweri Museveni has ordered district chairpersons and Mayors to fight corruption and wastage of public resources in their respective local governments across the country.
He said people choose their leaders and the leaders must provide proper accountability in form of service delivery.
“Leaders are the social doctors in the country. Their role is to diagnose the social problems of society and then prescribe the correct cure for them. If you fail to provide the proper diagnosis to the problems of society, your prescription is a guaranteed failure from the onset,” President Museveni said, adding that leaders must be equipped with the right set of ideas to secure and promote the interests of the people of Uganda.
The President’s message was contained in a speech read for him by Vice President Jessica Alupo during the closure of a Six-day retreat for district chairpersons, City and Municipal Mayors from Northern, Central, Western and Eastern Uganda at National Leadership Institute in Kyankwanzi today.
The president noted the tragedy, which triggered the people’s resistance between 1971 and 1986, was due to the failure by our leaders to champion the legitimate interests of the people for instance, instead of promoting unity, some of the leaders were propagating the sectarianism of tribe and religion Museveni said.
“Sectarianism of any form is a poisonous ideology because it sets up communities against each other and kills national unity. Those who promote identity (tribe, religion, sex etc.) failure are enemies of progress,” Museveni said.
He noted that in order to cure the problem of bad leadership, the NRM evolved four principles.
These include:-Patriotism (non-sectarianism of religion or tribe, no suppression of women and no marginalization of the youth, the disabled, the under-developed areas such as Karamoja the president said.
Another is Pan-Africanism (working for the Federation of East Africa and beyond) as well as the Common Market of Africa; Socio-economic transformation so as to change Uganda from being a peasant society into a middle-class, skilled working class society; and the re-introduction and development of democracy.
He told the local leaders that as result of their patriotic efforts, total peace and security of persons and property have been restored throughout the country for the first time in the last 500 years.
Museveni appealled to all the District Chairpersons, City and Municipal Mayors to work towards the elimination of subsistence farming, saying 39% of the households still engaged in subsistence farming must be integrated into the money economy, to tap into their dormant potential. “This is very dangerous for the country because it means that they cannot satisfy other needs that can only be obtained with money.”
He said this retrogressive condition of subsistence farming must be addressed by having more people selecting viable enterprises in the four sectors of: commercial agriculture, industries, services and ICT.
The President also explained that once you produce on a mass scale, you need a big market to buy your goods and a big market means higher profits. “We are opening up new factories on weekly basis, in different parts of the country”, he reaffirmed.
The President said the issue of bigger markets is why the issue of East African and African integration is very central to the strategic planning of the NRM Government. “We must fully exploit the huge market of 1.3 billion people, by removing the barriers to intra-trade among the African states”.
He said NRM recognises patriotic leadership as one of the key ingredients in achieving the goal of socio-economic transformation.
The President noted that the people of Uganda know the price of bad leadership. “They fought against dictatorships and bankrupt regimes and instituted a democratic and constitutional framework that allows leaders to be accountable to the population”, the President said.
Over 170 Mayors and chairpersons attended the retreat.
In her preamble, the Vice President appreciated NALI for the hospitality, and for effectively taking on the responsibility of giving out knowledge for different people. “What is done in NALI is done in all other countries”. She said the Government of S.Sudan had requested Uganda to help establish a similar set up in sharing knowledge and building capacity.
“You are the pillars of the decentralisation policy, going from one (1) city previously, to a number of cities today. The population is growing and need for services is increasing and expanding. That’s how Government is dealing with service delivery at the grass root,” adding that our constituency is one. She said with unique challenges, the leadership training would come in handy. “I’m confident that you are going back with renewed energy and morale to serve”, Alupo said, imploring all district leaders in their areas of jurisdiction RDCs, CAOs, Mayors, elected,technical and political leaders to work as a team to avoid any possible gaps. She reminded the leaders that all road units be functional such that all service units are not cut off due to heavy rains.
Alupo rallied the leaders to make sure that PDM funds go to the beneficiaries.
The Vice President paid tribute to Hon.Magyezi for moving the motion that has enabled President Museveni to offer himself for leadership. “Because of that, he will offer himself again in 2026”.
She welcomed and hailed Mayors and other leaders who subscribe to the opposition parties for taking a firm stand to seek knowledge at NALI. “After elections, the most important thing is service delivery. The knowledge you get here will enpower you when you are interacting with your constituencies”, the Vice President said.
The Minister of Local Government Raphael Magyezi asked the budgetary committee to make sh60bn adjustments to fund renovation and construction activities of district headequaters of various local governments across the country.
Magyezi emphasized that as local governments they take pride in the NRM government for delivering services. He asked the leaders to ensure the parish development model succeeds by supervising and monitoring it.
The Director NALI Brig. Gen. Charles Kisembo thanked the vice president for always finding time off her busy schedule to visit NALI.
The Deputy Minister of Local Government Victoria Rusoke, Gen Sam Kavuma, the Deputy Coordinator of Operation Wealth Creation, the PS Locsl Government Ben Kumumanya and several other officials attend the ceremony.