By Henry Mukasa
PRESIDENT Yoweri Museveni has scoffed at his critics, saying the lies they peddle against his government will not succeed.
He advised district leaders not to join â€œignorant critics,â€ who he said do not know how the Government is run and what the national priority expenditures are.
Museveni listed free primary and secondary education, infrastructure, energy and national security as some of the key focus areas of the Government.
â€œWe have seen many leaders in Africa; they come and go. But you look for their kisinde (track record). Nothing! What happened? He would tell lies. He was bogus.â€ The President was addressing district chairpersons at the Uganda Local Governments Association headquarters in Najjanankumbi, a city suburb, yesterday. â€œI sleep very few hours a day because I am busy cooking. Even when I did not come the other day, I was helping your elite fighting,â€ Museveni said in reference to the November 3, day-long NRM caucus meeting at State House Entebbe.
The meeting discussed the majority and minority probe reports on the controversial purchase of land by the National Social Security Fund from businessman Amos Nzeyi and security minister Amama Mbabazi.
â€œI was doing what a Muganda calls okuwumbawumba (cooling tempers)...putting together people who were scattering themselves,â€ Museveni said amidst murmurs.
On why he could not honour the first invite to open the association offices, the President said he needed to address the contradictions in the NRM first.
On November 3, Museveni had delegated the Third Deputy Prime Minister, Henry Kajura, to commission the new offices that cost sh540m.
The President donated sh700m to the association to erect three more floors on the two-storey building.
He said the Government would buy vehicles for the 80 district chairpersons in the next budget. He also promised a grant to the association and motorcycles to LC3 chairpersons.
The President also criticised Daily Monitor for comparing salaries of civil servants to their counterparts in Rwanda and Kenya. He said it was unfair to compare the three countries, which have different priorities.
The President said comparing media and intelligence reports, there was confusion on how a country like Uganda, which experienced â€œtotal collapseâ€, should be managed.
â€œThere are countries which were peaceful all those years but are not any better than Uganda,â€ he said. He warned that media houses peddling lies would be dealt with.
â€œWe did not shed so much blood to change our country into a laughing stock. If you have nothing intelligent to say, shut up. Nyamaza! When they see us quiet, they think we are not monitoring! Why do you tell lies?â€ Museveni asked.
Local government minister Kahinda Otafiire amused the guests when he said the country is run by the local government and internal affairs ministries.
â€œAll the others are support services. When you remove local government and internal affairs, you do what we did in Luweero: We removed the Police and the chiefs and the government in Kampala, however mighty it was, was dislodged,â€ he said.
John Wycliffe Karazarwe, the association chairperson, said the President was still strong to lead.