President Yoweri Museveni on Monday inaugurated the new cabinet for the 2021-2026 term, with a stern warning against corruption, resistance, and lack of patriotism.
The cabinet, led by Prime Minister Robinah Nabbanja and Vice President Jessica Alupo, which has been touted as one of the youngest, balanced and most diverse, will hold its first meeting on Monday next week.
Speaking shortly after the ministers took their oaths, President Museveni laid out a 5-point mission, which he said only those that follow it to the letter would be assured of ‘durability’ in leadership.
The cabinet has been tasked to ensure cohesion, fight against corruption, be patriotic, work for regional and continental integration, and ensure service delivery.
President Museveni revealed that previous leaderships under him had failed on the issue of cohesion, causing a lot of friction in implementation of government programs.
Such he said was the reason for Uganda’s economic under performance.
“I have been operating like guerrilla. I was a guerilla in the bush, and I am a still guerilla in government. The government doesn’t support my positions,” Museveni said.
“I have my ideas but in parliament I face opposition. Lobbying, calling committees, boiling tea and coffee as if I’m asking people to weed my garden.”
Museveni said the opposition was coming not only from his own political actors but also civil servants.
If it wasn’t for this opposition, we would have achieved much more. But for this cabinet, first It will have to be a cabinet of cohesion. We cannot say this and civil servants say something different. The people elected the NRM. The NRM is clear. I want the programs of the NRM to be implement enthusiastically; not by pushing people.”
Museveni further cautioned the new ministers to resist and steer clear of corruption.
“This must be a government of no corruption. There is no corruption I don’t know. Don’t ask for any favor not accept any.”
Museveni called on the ministers to follow in his footsteps by rejecting bribes the way he did when he had just become president.
“When I came from the bush, the Banyankole wanted to give me cows, I said no. I rejected them. They said I was their Moses and wanted to give me cows but I rejected them. That is why the opposition can’t defeat me because they are telling lies. Because I have never taken anything from anybody. I only live by my sweat and my struggle. I don’t owe anything from anybody
President Museveni on the other hand tasked the cabinet to emphasize the issue of regional integration, as the only way Uganda will manage to expand its economy.
This he said was the reason he appointed Hon Kadaga as Deputy Prime Minister in Charge of Regional Affairs, to be deputized by Hon Rukia Magode, with whom he worked back in the 1960s.
“We must resolve the issue of the market; the economy is growing but the question is where do we sell all these products”
Museveni also expressed frustration with the previous leaders who he said were unpatriotic and didn’t care about the nation.
He cited the example of the ongoing investigations in the assassination attempt on the life of Gen Katumba Wamala where the Police leadership retired the only sketch expert, who could have helped in identification of the assailants.
Museveni revealed that the attackers were seen changing their cloths after the attack, but the Police could not carry out sketching of their faces from the witness, because the expert was retired and never replaced.
“I want to know who retired that person; he will not remain in the police. This is not just corruption but lack of concern. That is how the systems deteriorate. Why go to the public if you don’t have a public spirit?
Finally Museveni tasked the new leadership to ensure better service delivering by addressing the long standing issues in education, health infrastructure roads, Justice, land evictions among others.