New Vision (Kampala)

13 January 2013

Uganda: 'Work With Me', Museveni Asks NRM MPs

PRESIDENT Yoweri Kaguta Museveni has asked the National Resistance Movement Members of Parliament to work with him to avoid delays in decision making due to political interference.

He said he was tired of begging Parliament for support every time an investment decision had to be made.

He called on them to work with the Government to fast track economic development and reduce the prices of electricity.

The President said there was need for each party to listen to one another if they were to build their working relationships.

The President was opening the 10-day NRM retreat at Kyankwanzi yesterday. South Sudan's president Salva Kiir attended the function. Museveni also lashed out at ministers who are timid in decision making because they fear criticism from sections of vocal legislators.

"Why do you keep away from making a decision, is it because you fear Theodore Ssekikubo, what will he do, let him talk, I will answer him," the President said.

He took a swipe at MPs and technocrats who sabotaged investors and asked the legislators to tell him what to do with the Lugazi industrial city that required land for expansion, but had been blocked.

He also criticised MPs for blocking the sugar project in Amuru.

"Why should I have to struggle for factories? Why? This is unacceptable? We cannot accept this anymore."

President Museveni joins NRM MPs for a photo opportunity. PPU Photo

He said it was wrong for a legislator, paid from the consolidated fund which in-turn is funded from taxing factories, to block the creation of other factories.

The President said most investors were shifting their investments to other countries and urged the NRM caucus to take a stand on sabotage.

On power prices, the President said the Government was going to borrow money from friendly countries and buy out local investors who charge higher prices.

On the Kalangala Palm Oil project, the President said despite opposition, residents in the oil palm growing areas were benefitting.

The President also lashed out at the bureaucrats whom he said were frustrating investors.

"They blocked the sale of Kilembe mines and they were hiding behind the PPDA".

He said the PPDA was not about investment promotion. He said Kilembe needed investments not procurement.

"We are only lucky that our neighbours have a number of security issues. Congo has more copper than we do."

The President said if decision makers kept on tossing the investors around they would only remain with the unserious ones.

He also said they were considering revamping the railway system since it is cheaper than road transport.

The President also said the country had 416,864 registered companies which was a significant achievement. On agriculture he said he was happy some parts were taking his advice seriously on increasing household income.

President Yoweri Museveni said the recent heavy rains had exposed the poor decisions of politicians that had failed to give priority to revamping roads.

Lwemiyaga MP Theodore Ssekikubo, Sembabule MP Barnabas Tinkamasire and Ndorwa West MP Nuwagaba arrive for the retreat. The trio refused to adorn the green fatigue worn by the rest. PPU Photo

Citing Kabale and Kanungu where roads are poor, Museveni said the Governmnet could not repair all roads at a go.

"The other day, I heard some people in Bunyoro saying, "We Banyoro are not liked and that is why our roads are bad. This is wrong," Museveni said.

A tough sounding Museveni refuted claims that roads in the country were haphazardly picked for tarmacking.

He said two methods were used to decide which roads to tarmac: economic considerations and strategic reasons, as was the case with the Fort Portal, Mubende and Mityana roads.

Museveni accused donors of focusing on only economic considerations before funding road construction. He said Muyembe - Kapchorwa road had escaped such demands because it is being funded by "our money."

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