Museveni to deliver State of the Nation Address

By Mary Karugaba

The President will mainly give accountability on particular Government commitments and to appraise the nation of the plans and strategies for the next year

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In fulfilment of the Constitutional requirement under Article 101 (1) of the Constitution, President Yoweri Museveni will today officially open the third session of the 10th Parliament and also deliver the State of the Nation Address. 

According to Don Wanyama, the Senior Presidential Press Secretary, the President in his address, will mainly give accountability on particular Government commitments, and to appraise the nation of the plans and strategies for the next year. 

The meeting will take place at the Kampala Serena International Conference Centre in the afternoon. 

The meeting will be attended by several dignitaries including diplomats, party leaders, religious leaders, civil society organisations and business community.   

“Largely, the President will be taking stock of what has been taking place in the country, politically, economically and socially,” Wanyama said.

The President will also announce the date when he will, through the Minister of Finance, Planning and Economic Development, present to Parliament and the nation, the budget for the financial year 2018/19. 

He will also detail what has been achieved and what we intend to achieve in the coming financial year. 

In his 2017 address, the President focused mainly on the progress so far made in the area of electricity generation and the plans to transmit it to rural areas. He also talked about issues of power prices and how government intends to bring it down. 

The President also talked about government’s plans to construct major roads using mainly donor and government funds. He also attached a list of roads that are either being constructed or in the plan. 

On the side of scientific innovation, the President briefed the nation on major projects such as the banana project and many others, but said the only hindrance was lack of funds. He promised that after dealing with roads and electricity, they will be next. 

In terms of security and peace, the President applauded the UPDF for ensuring total peace in the whole country and regretted that the only remaining nuisance was the ordinary crimes which he promised to deal with through procurement of CCTV cameras in major towns starting with Kampala. 

To address issues of high interest rates, the President said government planned to capitalize Uganda Development Bank with sh500b so that the Bank can lend to manufacturing, business and agriculture at prime rates of not more than 15 % interest rate if one assumed inflation to be at 5% per annum or less as it has been most of the previous year. 

He also highlighted the government’s efforts to add value to the commodities such as Coffee, Cotton and tea to end the slavery of exporting raw materials. He said the NRM government would upscale the industry of coffee to new heights by replacing all the old 220 million coffee trees by the new ones that produce four times more coffee than the old ones. 

He did not talk about commercialization of agriculture saying he had talked about it in the past but encouraged Ugandans to invest in wood and fibres sectors saying a lot of products can be made from both soft and hard woods. 

On the side of politics, the president said there was no problem because everything is provided for in the Constitution.  He said the leaders only needed to just explain government programmes and help implement them.