By Mary Karugaba
President Yoweri Museveni has warned leaders against cheap politicking and political interference, saying they should rather reorient society from laziness and parasitism to production.
"When talking to people, we should not mislead them. I am tired of cheap politicking and I will not accept it. Honourable members you have a contract with God. Out of the 33 million people, you have been chosen, don't misuse this chance," he said.
The President said while education and health have improved they do not create wealth (money-income) in the short run.
"Healthy people work better if they are motivated and properly oriented. Healthy people can, however, also waste their productive time in bars, playing pool or watching European football matches even during working hours. Our society needs to be guided from laziness and parasitism to production and generating of profits in the respective enterprises," he said.
The President was speaking at the opening ceremony for a retreat of the NRM parliamentary caucus in Kyankwanzi which is aimed at enabling the members appreciate the need for industrialization and job creation as a spring board for economic development. It is also aimed at appreciating the budgeting process for better service delivery.
The President said he has been listening to the intoxication by leaders about oil, saying while he discovered oil using our scientists; he does not talk about it.
"Assume we will get out 2billion barrels out of the 3.5b barrels because you can't pump out all the oil. At US$100 a barrel that will be sh200bn dollars over a period of 40 years extraction. This is not a lot of money. It is nothing for a country like Uganda. South Korea which has no oil earns over one trillion dollars. But honorables, bishops, kings all talking about 200bn dollars for 40 years,"
"I am sorry for this country. I am very, very, sorry for this country. I will counter those people, we shall counter you and educate our people, detoxicate them from what you are planting in their heads," he said added, causing murmurs.
The President emphasized that the actual wealth of Ugandans is not in the oil, but money from industrialization. "Oil is a windfall and should be used as a catalyst," the President said.
The President emphasized the need to support scientists by increasing their salaries describing them as a gold mine for Uganda.
MP Banabas Tinkasiimire requested the Caucus to discuss the succession issue and wondered why after 30 years in power, the President has not gotten tired. "It's high time the caucus also discussed the issue of succession. This person who does not want to get tired, who is he?" Tinkasimire asked.
In his response, the President said 30 years was inaccurate and that he has been in the struggle for 50 years, 20 years in the bush and 30 years around town.
Museveni also briefed the MPs on the progress of the economy saying since 1986, when the NRM leadership took over power, the size of the economy has grown from sh5billion US$ 20 billion.
On Sunday, the President and members attended the inter-denominational prayers led by Rev. Father Joseph Ssesaazi and Rev. Fr Vincent Kajoba.
During the service, the President gave a background of the bush war when Mwalimu Nyerere called them to form UNLA and to surrender their armies. According to Museveni, his officers led by Otafiire protested that they could not surrender their guns, wondering what they would use if the UPC turned against them.
"I said no, a leader cannot have two languages, we handed in all the guns, when you hear that the NRA started with only 27 guns which is true, it is because we handed in 9000 guns to UPC they thought they were so clever that they got all guns and could do anything they wanted. They failed," he said.
According to President Museveni, in 1979 - 1980, UPC was doing many bad things including killing people.
"My officers said we should kill Oyite Ojok in Nile Mansions. They even made a plan. They called it operations kichwa meaning head. If we killed Oyite Ojok, UPC would have lost its head. I rejected that plan. I said we cannot attack anybody without warning. It is treachery," he said.
The President said in some cultures it is wrong to attack a person without warning.
"If I want to beat you and I find you looking the other way, I first cough and you turn. So that he does not say I attacked him by surprise. When you see me keeping quite when I see all these things going on, I first of all want to come and sit with you here in Kyankwanzi and tell you when we are together. I can't go and start talking before telling you my people," the President said.
"I vetoed the plan to kill Oyite Ojok. I cannot accept this. To kill someone without warning, I can't accept it. So I saved Oyite Ojok. Later on Oyit Ojok died by some other things but not by treachery," he added.
Rev. Ssesaazi urged leaders to represent their people well because they are Gods people and that if they do, it is a qualification to heaven.
He however cautioned members to be careful with the laws they pass for the good of the people.
"If I was in parliament the bill on homosexuality will not wait. Don't allow these people to use their wealth to impose their culture on our people, stand up to be counted," Rev. Ssesaazi said.