The state of the Nation Address as it happened in Kampala.
STATE OF THE NATION ADDRESS 2017
- Museveni emphasizes that irrigation is key
- On sugar crisis, Ugandans should refine sugar further
- Jobs: turn youths into job/wealth creators
- We shall purge corrupt officials, says president
Live reporting by Joseph Kizza (Twitter: @joekizza)
5.43pm: That's all for now!
And that brings us to the end of this live page. But be sure to read stories related to what the president talked about on this very website. And if you are the meticulously detailed (isn't that a repetition?.....er, for emphasis' sakes maybe) type, HERE is the president's full speech. Dig in.
Oh, one last thing . . .
. . . I'll be back on Thursday for the reading of the national budget. Meet you then.
Good evening to you all!
5.40pm: Kadaga adjourns Parliament
The chair of the parliamentary session, Speaker Rebecca Kadaga, makes her final remarks before adjourning the August House to Thursday.
Serena will be the same venue for the reading of the 2017/18 National Budget.
Thursday. June 8. Mark this date.
Meanwhile, the President is led out of Victoria Hall before the rest can follow. A few waves left and right from the Ugandan leader, who has had a very busy day.
But then, doesn't he always!
5.38pm: MUSEVENI ENDS ADDRESS
The president will not mention all the bills in offing. As many as 81, to be precise. With that, he concludes his address.
5.34pm: Market access
Another issue in agriculture that President Museveni highlights is market access. Limited market access is a serious bottleneck, he emphasizes, going on to say how supporting one another is significant.
"Let us wake up and wake up everybody."
5.28pm: 'Irrigation is key'
Practising what he preaches . . .
5.25pm: 'Irrigation is key'
This time, the president says he will not dwell so much on agriculture, but points out a few issues.
He says there are richer farmers who are not under the Operation Wealth Creation (OWC) program but need support, which he is looking to do.
Another is irrigation. "We cannot depend forever on rain-fed agriculture," says Museveni, pointing out how the water levels of Lake Victoria have reduced over time. Saying that the talk of drought in Uganda is an "irrationality", Museveni says irrigation is the way to go.
He also talks of the use of solar-powered water pumps to help farmers irrigate their farms.
5.13pm: Sugar crisis? Yes, it's there
The president, who has taken pride in declaring that he is a very good manager, admits that Uganda is having a sugar crisis.
"Our sugar producers should further refine sugar for use in beverages and pharmaceuticals," he says. Once that is done, the country will not have to import the sugar that is refined enough, something that is responsible for the high prices in the above-mentioned industries.
"We are going to rationalise this dangerous chaos in our sugar industry," vows the president.
He says Uganda should start to make the starch that is good enough for medicine tablets, instead of importing the required-quality starch.
This, he says, will help lower the price of medicine.
5.08pm: Not a borrowing party
Is the National Resistance Movement (NRM) party one for borrowing money? No, says President Museveni.
4.59pm: Purge corrupt officials
In his address, President Museveni says that for the FDIs to flow in, they must do away with corrupt officials. He particularly points out government bodies like the Uganda Investment Authority (UIA), Ministry of Finance, National Environment Management Authority (NEMA).
"They are the ones that have been delaying and frustrating investment," says Museveni.
Very bluntly at that, by the way. No mincing words.
In response to some random mentions of 'State House' amidst this, the president says that if there are found to be corrupt officials in State House, "we shall also purge them".
And how will they find them?
"By their fruits," adds Museveni.
4.56pm: Involving FDIs too . . .
In job creation and wealth expansion, President Museveni says the country will not depend on only the youths. "We shall also aggressively involve Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs)."
The President's argument is that once the problem of the high price of electricity is dealt with, "we shall be competitive enough".
He goes on to explain the reason for the hike in electricity prices, plus the ways in which his government is going to solve it.
4.48pm: Turn them into job/wealth creators
President Museveni makes a very familiar call on job creation. He says youth should be turned into job creators and not job seekers so as to deal with the problem of idleness and joblessness.
"They are the ones to save us from imports and also generate exports (more cheaply) for us," he says.
4.46pm: Empowering children
"This massive number of children is a huge force for production," says Museveni, as he talks about the children he is supporting and how important the young generation is to the future of a country that is striving become a middle-income economy not far down the road.
4.42pm: State of the Nation Address
President Museveni is addressing the nation . . .
4.35pm: Uganda has capacity
President Museveni talks industry as a channel of wealth for the economy. "We have steel, fertilizers, glass, coffee for processing, cotton (for textile processing), etc," he says, giving an example of Mukwano Industries which is exporting oil to the European Union (EU). He says many factories were exporting fish until that was undermined by bad elements within the fishing industry.
4.30pm: Wealth creation
"We still have a big proportion of people who are not engaged in wealth creation and those who are doing so are doing so sub-optimally," says Museveni.
On milk production: "There are one million Freisian cattle in Uganda today," he adds. Much as the country's milk yield has risen from 200 million liters in 1986 to two billion liters today, Uganda has the capacity to do a lot better, says Museveni.
"We need to sensitize our people," he says.
4.23pm: Peace and immunization
President Museveni says the reason why the population of Uganda has grown, despite fears among some, is peace and immunization.
On ICT, the President says the cost of telephone and Internet use should go down. "The NRM has been working systematically to make Uganda a low-cost economy in terms of transport, electricity and ICT," he says.
President Museveni says what is happening in the road sector is also happening in the electricity sector.
He talks of how his government, "using Ugandan money", has supported the extension of transmission of power lines to places like Kagadi, Kanungu, Kyenjonjo, etc.
He says today, access to electricity is at 20.4% compared to 4% in 1986, when he took power.
4.13pm: On physical infrastructure
"The development of the infrastructure is so crucial because it lowers the cost of doing business and maximizes the profits of the companies," says Museveni.
He also haild the Parliaments starting from 2006, that "saw and supported the idea of boosting infrastructure" by increasing the respective budgets on physical infrastructure.
He reveals that for the 2017/2018 financial year, as much as 3,000, 442,000 (about sh3 trillion) was approved for infrastructure.
Tarmacked roads . . .
"We have tarmacked (with no borrowing) the following roads: Kampala-Mityana, Kampala-Masaka, Kampala-Kafu-Karuma-Gulu, Jinja-Kamuli, Iganga-Kaliro, Tororo-Mbale-Soroti, Ishaka-Kagamba, Mattuga-Ssemutto. ( I think I missed one road here).
Also using Ugandan money, Museveni names a number of roads that are due for tarmacking, including Mpigi-Kanoni-Villa Maria, Soroti-Katakwi-Moroto.
He also names the roads that have been funded by international partners, including Mbarara-Kabale-Katuna, being ever keen to thanks them for their support.
4.10pm: Uganda 'free of war'
President Museveni says: "Uganda is free of war, and it will remain so. And the spike of violence will be sorted when the gaps are filled."
4.05pm: On alleged police torture
"The issue was addressed by myself, in the usual NRM way. We always combine education methods, sensitization and administration methods," says Museveni.
"When these reports came up, I came up with an analysis and found out how torture impedes investigations," adds the Ugandan leader.
3.58pm: 'Police should listen to public'
The president also calls on "rich people" in towns to play a role in ensuring security in their areas, by putting up surveillance cameras, where they can.
"The Police must carefully listen to the public and clean up the few rotten elements. Otherwise, since 1980, the police has had very capable cadres."
"The Police Force will continue to grow stronger," says Museveni. "The Police does not have to wait for a crime to first be committed."
As many as 78 people have been arrested in connection to the crimes in Masaka, which involved distribution of threating leaflets. The arrests, according to Museveni, was the work a "massive security apparatus".
3.55pm: Security situation
"Peace means absence of war (and also absence of flawlessness)," says President Yoweri Museveni. He talks of how the UPDF has the capacity of ensuring that "nobody disturbs the peace of Ugandans".
But he notes that there has been a recent spike in crime, including the murder of AIGP Andrew Felix Kaweesi, Muslim clerics and others.
The President also talks of increased break-ins including dishing of threatening leaflets.
In Mukono, there was increased stealing of vanilla from people's farms, he adds.
He also says the absence of street cameras in towns has made the work of the CID more difficult.
3.52pm: Minute of silence for departed
As the President starts his address, he asks for a moment of silence for all the departed.
3.48pm: Museveni delivers State of Nation Address
Speaker Rebecca Kadaga now invites President Yoweri Museveni to deliver his State of the Nation Address.
3.45pm: 'Shortage of space'
In this first session of parliament, Speaker Rebecca Kadaga is giving a summary of the activities of the Parliament in the last one year. And while she thanks the president for the support towards Parliament, she says there are still "a few challenges", including shortage of space.
She talks of MPs "fighting for space" as they carry out their day-to-day work.
Proclamation by Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kagada, according to Article 95(2) of the Constitution.
That means that, using her powers, Speaker Kadaga is declaring Serena as the Parliament for this session.
As the chair, Kadaga then opens the Parliamentary session.
She particularly welcomes Zambian First Lady Esther Lungu, NAIDS executive director Michel Sidibé, Speaker of the Senate of Kenya Ekwe Ethuro (and other Kenyan politicains), Speaker of the legislative assemby of South Sudan, Somalia's representatives, and several others.
She also recognizes the work of Daniel Kidega and Margaret Zziwa at the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA).
All rise as President Museveni walks into the Victoria Hall, alongside Speaker Rebecca Kadaga and others.
Again, the very familiar anthems (Uganda and East Africa) are sung.
Meanwhile, First Lady and education minister Janet Museveni is pictured standing next to Zambian First Lady Esther Lungu who is wearing a colourful kitenge.
It's a room filled with several politicians and dignitaries in various capacities.
3.20pm: Should be starting . . .
Yes. After the ceremonial activities are out of the way, we should get things up and running any moment from now.
Everyone has walked back into the Victoria Hall and settled into their seats. It's a filled room.
Will it be a long afternoon? I sure bet it will be.
3.15pm: Guard of honour
The commander's voice pierces the air during the march past as President Museveni watches on intently in a ceremonial activity he has attended time and again.
Whatever is going through his mind . . .
3.08pm: MUSEVENI ARRIVES AT SERENA
President Yoweri Museveni's motorcade has eased into Serena Conference Centre on a hot Tuesday afternoon.
The president, wearing his trademark hat, climbs out of his car and reaches out for a handshake with key people, including Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga.
They then head out to the yard, where a guard of honour is waiting at attention.
Anthems time: Uganda National Anthem and East African anthem.
2.42pm: State of the nation address
What are your expectations this time? Vision Group's Urban TV would like hear your thoughts as we eat away into the minutes . . .
2.34pm: State of the nation address
We are about half-an-hour into the earlier scheduled time for the official start of the address but . . .
. . . we are not started yet.
Trust me, like it or not, we won't get started until the president has arrived. He should be on his way to Serena, I bet.
By the way, in case you are just joining us, President Museveni was attending the launch of a campaign to end HIV/AIDS by the year 2030 earlier at Imperial Royale Hotel.
2.23pm: Promises . . .
There will be promises, of course. But with so many demands from all over the place, some promises are bound not to be kept. Already, there is some expression of pessimism . . .
2.15pm: State of the nation
A guard of honour by the Police Force has been mounted, with offices in neat dark uniform, and the Police Band playing some tunes as President Museveni's arrival is eagerly awaited.
We are seeing more and more arrivals by the minute.
Much as he is so used to it, the spotlight will be once again be prominently on the president as he delivers his address. There is so much he is expected to talk about: agriculture, finance, infrastructure, name it.
Sugar issue, anyone?
2.02pm: State of the nation
We should be starting in a few.
1.51pm: Museveni launches AIDS campaign
President Museveni has launched a campaign to end HIV/AIDS by 2030. That's in 13 years' time, by the way.
He emphasizes his commitment to the cause by appending his signature to the cause, as does UNAIDS executive director Michel Sidibé.
1.45pm: State of the nation
So what do you expect to hear from the president in his address today? Well, many things, I bet. One of the things he will definitely talk about is, in his own tweet, "explaining what government is doing to ensure Uganda becomes a middle income country".
1.37pm: AIDS-free Uganda by 2030
President Museveni should be wrapping up an address on the fight against HIV/AIDS. It is the launch of the Presidential Fasttrack Initiative on Ending AIDS 2030 at Imperial Royale Hotel.
Meanwhile, there is already activity at the venue of the State of the Nation address (Serena Kampala Hotel), with arrivals seen of dignitaries.
1.35pm: State of the nation
The address is scheduled to start at 2pm local time.
Will deliver the State of the Nation Address today, explaining what government is doing to ensure Uganda becomes a middle income country.— Yoweri K Museveni (@KagutaMuseveni) June 6, 2017
1.30pm: Good afternoon!
Hello and good afternoon good people on this hot day of a characteristically very busy June.
Today, President Yoweri Museveni is expected to address the nation on how the country's affairs are/have been fairing. It's the State of the Nation Address, ladies and gentlemen. A warm welcome to this live coverage, where I will be updating you on what is going on.
So, strap yourself in tight.