President Yoweri Museveni has maintained confidence in national security, despite a shooting incident this week by assassins that wanted to claim the life of UPDF representative, Gen Katumba Wamala .
Gen Katumba, also the immediate former works Minister, lost his daughter and driver to the attackers but escaped with multiple shots on both shoulders and was stabilized by surgery.
“The criminality around Kampala has been defeated and will be defeated; the recent shooting of Gen Katumba shows the poor methods of the police; why didn’t the camera centres alert the patrols and the unmanned air vehicles [drones] which we have, to follow those people,” he said.
“The country is secure and is progressing,” he said, adding the assassins would be apprehended.
President Museveni made this assurance while delivering his address on the State of the Nation to Parliament chaired by Speaker Jacob Oulanyah. The sitting on Friday, 04 June 2021 was held at the Kololo Independence Grounds.
Museveni directed police to stop using mobile phones and revert to the radio messaging system which he said has the ability to reach far and wide, as against mobile phones that are unreliable and cannot communicate simultaneously to the entire command structure.
The city shootouts had largely subsided following the installation of security cameras across the city in 2019, but President Museveni revealed that the police is yet to grow its ability to scramble a military response to the attackers post incident.
Across the security and government infrastructure, officials dismissed concerns about the state of stability and security, and Museveni’s choice to discuss the issue at the very end of his speech signals his confidence in the situation having no chance to spiral out of control.
Museveni took issue with the corrupt, and placed the hook of corruption on the neck of officials in the Ministry of Finance, where he said the vice starts.
“Corruption starts at the Ministry of Finance where projects are designed with extras; adding things that are not supposed to be there; these projects then go to Committees of Parliament…and I want to warn the Committees, then the Auditor General, where there is collusion all the way,” he said.
He added, ‘what the corrupt fraternity do not factor in is the large number of young people whom the NRM [National Resistance Movement] has trained; and these young people will help us deal with corruption’.
Despite the Covid19 pandemic, Museveni said the economy registered a growth of 3.3 per cent, tiding against the global rate, which he said is way lower, with multiple economies suffering recession.
With focus on industrialization and lowering of the cost of production, Museveni exuded confidence in the economy hitting over US$60 billion in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by 2016, which he insisted is still small, and that the country compares badly with certain global companies that have a turnover higher than a combination of the economy of the East African countries.
Museveni lashed out at commercial banks for hoarding money, which he said complicates the issue of finding capital for industrialists and commercial agriculturalists, and also voiced his problems with power distributer Umeme, a deal he castigated, saying he will ensure industries get power straight from the dams and not through middleman, Umeme.
Speaker Jacob Oulanyah outlined his agenda of running an efficient Parliament intent on meeting the expectations of the electorate.
“Always be time conscious…time is a unique non-renewable resource; attend all Parliamentary business and respect and abide by the Rules of Procedure to minimise interruptions during debate and to avoid debating through procedure but rather substantially,” said Oulanyah.
To ministers, Oulanyah urged political seriousness.
“Ensure timely introduction of government business, always make yourself available for House sittings and in the same vein, designated whips should play their roles,” he said.
Oulanyah paid tribute to the 10th Parliament, singling out former Speaker Rebecca Kadaga, whose contribution he acknowledged and saluted.