By David Lumu
President Yoweri Museveni has said NRM has tamed intrigue that was fomenting division in the ruling party’s rank and file.
During the closure of the 10-day NRM retreat at Kyankwanzi on Saturday, Museveni advised MPs to focus on dealing with the danger of subsistence farming that has kept many Ugandans in the vicious cycle of poverty.
During the retreat, experts from various disciplines thrashed out over 20 topics, which were debated by the MPs.
The MPs overwhelmingly backed the Government in prioritising long-term infrastructural projects such as road construction, electricity generation and the revamping of the railway system as key drivers of the projected Ugandan modern economy.
The President said the NRM MPs resolved to aggressively embark on commercial farming in their constituencies and also act as examples to their voters on how they can help change from subsistence to commercial farming.
“Subsistence farming is a sine qua non for poverty (because) you have food, but no money. Deal with the subsistence sector in your constituencies. MPs should be commercial farmers as examples to people in their constituencies.
"Big farmers like myself don’t need help from the Government, but the problem are the subsistence farmers,” he said.
(L-R) Some of the youth MPs: Patrick Nakabaale, Evlyn Anite, Robina Nabanja, and David Bahati that were hailed for performing special duties. PHOTO/Abu Mwesigwa
(L-R): Ministers Simon D'Ujanga , Justine Lumumba, Richard Tadwong and Rose Mary Najjemba following the proceedings at the retreat. PHOTO/PPU
President Museveni listening to PM Amama Mbabazi in Kyankwanzi. PHOTO/Abu Mwesigwa
UK Chief of Defense Staff General Jeremy Houghton (in army uniform) Hugh Powell (suit) and the UK Ambassador to Uganda interacting with President Museveni at Kyankwanzi. PHOTO/PPU
The President was upbeat and fatherly in the way he talked to the lawmakers and exuded an aura of calm.
However, before that, both the Prime Minister, Amama Mbabazi (NRM secretary general) and the Government Chief Whip, Kasule Lumumba, had set the pace for the jubilating members.
Amama Mbabazi praised
Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi was hailed for guiding the 10-day retreat. PHOTO/Abu Mwesigwa
Lumumba, who chaired the caucus meeting, praised Mbabazi for “guiding” the caucus’ activities throughout the 10 days and told the chanting lawmakers that the retreat has achieved discipline, unity and cohesion in the party as well as assessing a number of sectors.
“In a multiparty dispensation, you belong to a clan,” she said, before inviting Mbabazi to speak to the jubilating legislators, who were clad in yellow and chanting “NRM Oyee”.
Mbabazi said the retreat was vigorous, adding that the experiences gathered during the walk to Ngoma farm, with the President at the start of the retreat, had renewed the party.
“Mr. President, I know it has been vigorous and you really tried people; we started our days at 5:00am. I want to thank you President, busy as you were, for making it possible for us to be together,” he said.
When the premier invited Museveni to speak, lawmakers gave the President a standing ovation.
They clapped and chorused: “Mzee waffe oyo tumwagala nyo maama naye akimanyi, tumwagala kufa na kuwona (We love our President so much and he also knows it).”
Arguing that the party has combated the temptation of the Government being “everywhere and nowhere”, Museveni said the party has crystalised a programme that would guarantee concentration on vital sectors of the economy to guarantee stability and progress.
A UK Military delegation led by Chief of Defense Staff General Jeremy Houghton, next to President Museveni, posing for a group photo at the retreat. PHOTO/PPU
General Jeremy Houghton received a gift book from President Museveni. PHOTO/PPU
The lawmakers, according to Museveni, agreed that this stability and transformation be placed on four cardinal principles of the party – patriotism, Pan-Africanism, democracy and socio-economic transformation.
“Uganda cannot remain a pre-industrial country. We must have a middle class with skills. Our retreat was to remind ourselves of these principles. A party organisation must remind itself about its cardinal goal,” he said.
Describing Uganda’s future as “bright”, the President said the country would be able to exploit her oil and mineral resources to support economic development.