Food, fuel prices bite in Museveni state of nation address

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Museveni addresses Ibanda residents on environment day

Ugandans expect a reduction on fuel prices, basic needs and food stuffs when President Yoweri Museveni delivers the State of Nation Address today, Tuesday June 6, 2017 ahead of the budget reading.

The address will be live on the state-run Uganda Broadcasting Corporation [UBC] TV.

A rise in food and fuel prices has seen regional economies, save for Kenya, record an increase in their inflation figures, according to The East African.

In Uganda, poor weather conditions that have led to food shortages in many parts of the country, contributed largely to the food price increases.

The director of macroeconomic statistics at the Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBoS) Chris Mukiza said that the country will still experience high food prices due to the current weather conditions.

The annual average inflation for energy fuel and utilities for last year increased to 3.9 per cent, compared with 3.5 per cent registered in 2015. In December, transport services saw an increase of 5.2 per cent from 2.9 per cent in November due to rising fuel costs.

The Bank of Uganda lowered its benchmark lending rate by 1 per cent to 12 per cent buoying confidence that inflation will remain around the 5 per cent target.

In May, there was a crisis when food prices and prices of sugar shot up forcing the ministry of Industries and Cooperatives to intervene.

Last year, Museveni dwelt on manufacturing to ensure increased employment opportunities for the youth in the country in his address delivered at Serena Conference Centre in Kampala.

He also talked about electricity which has been expensive because of the high cost of Bujagari hydro power station, promising to cut power tariffs once Karuma and Isimba dams were completed.

He promised to attract more investors and promote local industries to ensure jobs for the young people in the country saying that Uganda stands to benefit from the creation of 45,000 direct manufacturing jobs.

He informed the nation that with the proven reserves of 6.6 billion barrels of petroleum, the resource will help the country to move easily in areas of roads, rail, electricity, irrigation, education and health.

While taking oath of office last year, Museveni said his new term would be a “Kisanja Hakuna Muchezo” promising to work hard and take Uganda to the middle income status.

Today, the president will give an accountability of what he has done so far to achieve his agenda.

Meanwhile, a group of youth calling themselves “Kisanja Hakuna Muchezo Evaluation Team” has launched its first year report chronicling the achievements and performance of ministers.

The youth led by former NRM youth leader, Joseph Ssewava, identified Prime Minister, Ruhakana Rugunda, Frank Tumwebaze [ICT], Godfrey Kiwanda Ssuubi [Tourism], Janet Museveni [Education] and Florence Nakiwala Kiyingi [Youth], David Bahati, State Minister of Finance for Planning and Betty Amongi, the Lands minister, as those who have worked hard to help the president achieve his agenda.

According to Ssewava, the rest of the ministers are “still lacking” because most of them think they are “untouchables”.

Their report cites Minister for Presidency, Esther Mbulakubuza Mbayo and the State Minister for Kampala, Beti Kamya, as worst performers.

Labelling the rest as non-performers, Ssewava says the remaining ministers have failed to Museveni realise his Hakuna Muchezo programme.