Entebbe — President Yoweri Museveni has reassured the country that insecurity will be contained, and encouraged Ugandans to work even harder as the country is ready to take off to the next and higher stage of its economic development.
In a three-hour address Sunday evening, President Museveni addressed the nation on issues from security, employment and the general state of the country's economy.
"Uganda has never had such a good chance in the last 500 years. The agents of foreign interests and some internal reactionary groups may not see this. However, the people of Uganda see this clearly," Museveni said.
The President noted that Uganda's leap onto the future rested on four issues that his government has addressed.
He named a robust health care system to ensure people live longer, an education system that equips citizens with market-relevant skills, Infrastructure to power Uganda's Industrialization and Regional Integration, as the foundation already laid on which the country will thrive.
On the economy, he noted that Uganda had not only increased export volumes of all the major cash crops over the last 30 years (see full speech bottom), but it had also diversified the economy, ended its dependence on Coffee.
He said Uganda was now registering a surplus with all its neighbors in trade.
On Infrastructure, President Museveni noted that with Isimba and Karuma dams coming onto the electricity grid in the next one year, Uganda was headed for a power surplus, which would encourage investment in manufacturing and industry that can create jobs for the country's youth.
On Security, the President noted that Govt was now installing CCTV cameras on major routes in the city as pledged, but in the meantime ordered for the mobilization of 42,000 officers of the reserve force, to reinforce Police in arresting urban crime in Kampala and Wakiso.
He said all those asking his stand on torture in the security forces should refer to his May 2017 missive, in which he outlined how suspects should be handled. The letter was written to Director General of Intelligence Services, Inspector General Of Police and UPDF Chief of Defence Forces.
Museveni then warned on corruption, saying he now has a new unit to fight the vice.
"Nevertheless, there are six areas of weakness that we must address. The first is corruption by Government officials who take bribes. These are easy to uproot. Just get information on them and pass it on to the toll-free number 0800-100770 belonging to my office," he said.
He said the new number is in addition to a unit announced during the June 2018 State of the Nation address. " You will see what we shall do with them. You heard what I did with the officials in the Ministry of Finance, Immigration and Uganda Revenue Authority. This is a problem that persists because the crooks are not exposed," he warned.
He however called upon the media to be "patriotic" in their reporting, noting that Uganda was at a critical stage of take off and that every institution should play their role responsibly, lest they derail the country's course.