President Museveni on Thursday night convened a media roundtable at State House Lodge Nakasero to update the nation on the progress of his recent countrywide wealth creation tours.
He also addressed key issues such as upgrading the state of security in the country.
He reiterated the need for optimal land utilisation, commercialisation of agriculture and an import substitution-driven industrial strategy.
To ensure that the economy sustainably creates jobs, Museveni said government will target SMEs- Boda bodas, tax operators, carpenters, welders, saloon managers, market vendors, fishermen among others, whom it will support with inputs and low-interest credit.
In the long-term, these should develop capacity to expand their enterprises and employ more people, while satisfying local demand to support our import-substitution strategy.
“With our expanding regional market too, these when supported can also produce for export.”
He said African countries are listed among under developed countries in the world.
“This means we have the capacity to develop but we haven’t utilised the potential to do so. People spend more time concentrating on getting roads, hospitals, municipalities, getting new districts etc…that’s not bad, but the most important thing is what concerns a person in his or her home especially increasing household income.”
Museveni said he had to be very strict about security because anything slight discourages tourists.
Those who are not doing agriculture, with my support go into the industries and produce the sweaters, handbags, shoes using our leather, clothes and many others, he urged.
“We also have a problem of inheritance based on dividing property. In developed countries, they don’t inherit like that.”
He said there are many people involved in money making ventures. However they’re not maximising their potential. Production is underutilised and the means of production as well.
He said sugarcane is only profitable to those who grow it on a large scale and that those with small land should focus on coffee growing, poultry, piggery for those who are not Muslims and fish farming but don’t do this in swamps.
“The modern times are quite different from the olden days. You need money to survive. You need money for food, water, electricity and so many other things. You cannot afford be there without a money generating activity.”
Museveni said people in the villages should produce food for eating but also for money.
“What concerns everybody is peace. We have been peaceful until recently when we had murders, robbery and violence against women.”
He added: “As a result we have improved our security through technology. That is why we installed cameras. We talk of ndagamuntu (National IDs). The same will be done for motor cycles, cars and so on.”
He said police recently was able to trace killers of a boda boda rider with the use of camera and security will be maintained in the country.
“We’re rich but all the money goes to China and other countries when we buy suits, ties, hair etc,” he noted.
Museveni said it is also the fault of the RDCs that people are being evicted.
“But there is this lady, [Edith] Nakalema [head of State House Anti-Corruption Unit] who can help you. The landlords should be patient until we get money and we help the tenants.
“Why do you buy land with people and you think you will just evict them. Those you’re evicting are our fighters. Sometimes they agree to be evicted because they are ignorant. I want to tell you there is no law that allows you.”
On food he likes: “Cassava. Rice is for Indians”.
President Museveni: Who is this person that has invaded Lubigi swamp?Hon. Persis Namuganza: Someone who claims to have got the licence in 2010. I found that a land title has been created. We’re going to terminate it.