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PRIME MINISTER RUHAKANA RUGUNDA LAUDS M7 ON NRM MANIFESTO, COVID-19 WAR

By Khasacha Mwene

Prime Minister Ndugu Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda has applauded President Yoweri Museveni for his relentless efforts in combating the surging Covid-19 pandemic and implementation of the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) manifesto for 2016/2021.

In his message during the appraisal of (NRM) manifesto on April 30, 2021, Dr. Rugunda congratulated President Museveni and the NRM for the victory in the last general election, which he said was in many ways a result of the commitment in implementing the social contract “we entered with Ugandans through the Manifesto of 2016-2021”.

“I therefore, would like to salute everyone who has been involved in the implementation of this Manifesto. Your hard work paid off with the victory we registered. I also thank the Manifesto Implementation Unit led by Ndugu Willis Bashaasha for systematically tracking and reporting on the pace of implementation, and organising this to take stock of where we are and what we need to do to fast track implementation,” said Dr. Rugunda.

The Premier thanked Ugandans for their resilience being shown in the collective fight against Covid -19 pandemic. He said the gains Uganda has made so far, are in a large part, due to heeding the guidelines given by the President and the Ministry of Health.

“As we are all aware, the pandemic has affected and continues to pose serious challenges to lives, livelihoods, businesses and our whole way of life, however, we are confident that Covid-19 will ultimately be defeated,” said Dr. Rugunda.

Below, Mulengera News reproduces the rest of Dr. Rugunda’s speech.

“Next month, which starts tomorrow, marks five years since H.E President Yoweri Museveni and the National Resistance Movement started a five-year mandate of leading the country following the 18th February 2016 General elections. Through our Manifesto for that election, we pledged to take the country to Modernity through job creation and inclusive development.

Today, we launch the last accountability on the performance of the 2016/2021 Manifesto. We are happy that it has delivered another victory for the NRM to continue serving Ugandans.

I am pleased to share with you some of the highlights about our performance in the implementation of the manifesto, the challenges encountered and lessons learnt.

Ruhakana Rugunda is the leader of the entire government business including things to do with Manifesto implementation.

Overall, our assessment of the implementation of the Manifesto commitments to date stands at 95 percent. I am convinced that with the momentum generated from the start of Kisanja Hakuna Mchezo, the good leadership of H.E. the President and the commitment of different actors, Government achieved most of the targets that were set out in the Manifesto.

In the implementation of the Manifesto, we were guided by the 23 Directives issued by H.E. President Museveni at the first Cabinet Meeting in June 2016. The 23 Directives highlighted the critical priority areas that needed to be attended to, in order to achieve our goals.

To ensure smooth implementation of the Manifesto, Government initiated a number of reforms with regard to policies, laws and regulations. Among these were proposals to amend the Public Procurement and Disposal of Assets (PPDA) Law; free connection to the national grid; improved planning, budgeting, monitoring and reporting. We also continued the implementation of affirmative action programmes in selected regions to promote inclusive and balanced growth and development.

As you are aware, maintaining peace and security has been and continues to be the core ingredient upon which the various social economic activities are hinged. By way of highlights, I am pleased to inform you that:

  1. Power Generation increased from 925 MW at the beginning of 2016 to 1254 MW currently. Eleven (11) additional power generation projects are under construction with a total installed capacity of 712.4MW.

These are: Karuma HPP (600MW), Nyamasagani I HPP (15MW), Nyamasagani 2 HPP (6MW) and Kikagati HPP (14MW), Achwa I (41MW), Muyembe 6.9MW, Nyagak III (5.5MW), Muzizi (44MW), Bukinda (6.5MW), Kakaka (4.6MW) and Busitema University solar (4MW).

Once complete, total installed power generation capacity in the country will be nearly 2,000MW.

  1. Government has put in place means to lower electricity tariff starting with that for manufacturers. This will make our local goods competitive in the regional and global market.
  2. In addition, refinancing Bujagali brought the tariff from US cents 12 to 8.5 cents. The target of 5 US cents has been achieved during off-peak hours for extra-large consumers. Government aims at gradually lowering the tariff for residential and social service centres such as schools, and hospitals.
  3. Regarding the oil and gas sector, a few weeks ago, the Final Investment Decision was made when oil companies and Government signed the requisite agreement at a ceremony at State House Entebbe, that was presided over by H.E. President Museveni and H.E. President Samia Suluhu Hassan, President of Tanzania.

This is a significant milestone in our journey to becoming an oil producing country.

  1. We promised the country that we would revive Uganda Airlines during this term of office. I am pleased to inform you that our four aircrafts were received in the country. This is opening Uganda to many opportunities, boosting tourism, raising the national flag and branding our country to the rest of the world.

Let us patronise and support Uganda Airlines to make it viable, profitable and permanently in the skies doing successful business and making us proud.

  1. Construction of Expressways within the Greater Kampala Metropolitan Area (GKMA) to reduce traffic congestion and ease movement is underway. Several roads leading out of Kampala are being widened with the aim of decongesting the city. These include:

Busega-Mpigi Expressway, Kampala-Jinja Expressway, the Clock Tower Fly over, and different interchanges on the Northern Bypass.

More highways are planned.

Across the country, in the last five years, the NRM Government has tarmacked 1452 km of roads. It is now possible to drive on tarmac from border to border.

  1. In addition, the roads Sector embarked on the construction of strategic roads to support the Oil and Gas sector as listed below:
    1. Masindi Park Junction and Tangi Junction-Para-Bulisards(159km)
    2. Hoima – Butiaba-Wanseko(111km)
  • Buhimba – Nalweyo – Bulamagi & Bulamagi-Igayaza-Kakumiro(93km)
  1. Design and build of Masindi – Biiso, Hohwa-Nyairongo – Kyarusheesha – Butoole and Kabaale –Kiziranfumbi roads(97km)
  1. The Entebbe-Kampala Expressway was completed and was commissioned by H.E. the President.
  2. The Nile Bridge was completed and also commissioned.
  3. Work on the expansion and modernisation of Entebbe International Airport to accommodate the volume of increasing traffic is nearing completion.
  4. Extension of safe water across the country has significantly improved during this Kisanja, with a total of 38,517 villages out of the total 57,974 villages in the country being served with clean water. So far 35 districts have their water coverage above 80%. Work is continuing in other districts, and also making sure that coverage is raised even higher in the 35 districts.
  5. In the 2016-2021 manifesto, we pledged an annual target of drilling 5,000 boreholes in 5 years at a rate of 1,000 boreholes per year. To date, the sector has managed to drill 846 boreholes per year translating into 84.6% performance. These boreholes have helped serve an additional 253,800 people across the country.
  6. To date, NWSC is operating in 257 large towns. During the manifesto period NWSC installed a total of 12,028 Public Stand Pipes (PSPs) serving 9,909 villages and benefiting an estimated 10.6million people.
  7. There has been an expansion of healthcare centres at all levels, with 86% of the population living within 5km of reach of either public or private health facilities as per the details below:
    1. 181 hospitals in 2019 from 156 in 2015;
    2. 222 Health Centres IVs in 2019 from 193 in 2015;
    3. 1,510 Health Centre IIIs in 2019 from 1,383 in 2015; 3,364 Health Centre II in 2019 from 2,790;
    4. 1,578 private clinics of which 90% are in Metropolitan Kampala.

Our focus now is on improving the functionality and quality of services in these health facilities. For example, the Delivery Unit in the Office of the Prime Minister is working with the Ministry of Health to address the challenge of health worker attendance to duty, through the use of biometric monitoring technology in pilot districts across the country.

  1. We completed and commissioned the Specialised Women Hospital at Mulago. This is a sign of NRM’s continued commitment to the health of our mothers and daughters. The rehabilitation of Mulago National Referral Hospital is at 95 Percent completion. The completed sections are already being put to use.
  2. On industrialisation, you may all be aware that H.E. the President has been launching and opening several factories across the country that are producing goods ranging from food products to agricultural inputs and other essentials. Besides producing goods and services, these industries employ many Ugandans, utilise local raw materials, pay taxes into our national treasury as well as generating foreign exchange earnings.
  1. Uganda’s merchandise exports, a majority of which are agricultural, increased by 40.2% between 2016-2020, increasing from US$ 2.92125 billion in 2016 to US$ 4.09565 billion in 2020.
  2. We have also completed the construction of the one border stop points in the main exit and entry points to facilitate cross border trade. These have since been operationalised.
  3. On Tourism, the sector contributed US$1.6 billion in foreign exchange to the economy in 2018/2019, creating over 667,000 direct jobs for Ugandans. However, as you all know, this is a sector that has suffered serious negative impact due to Covid-19. Government is committed to supporting it to recover.
  4. In the Education Sector, there has been significant expansion of education institutions during the Manifesto period. Funds were mobilised to implement the Government policy of establishing a seed secondary school for each sub county. This commenced with the construction of 129 schools in sub counties where there are no secondary schools.
  5. We have continued to prioritise investments in agriculture as the backbone of our economy with the provision of seedlings and extension services to farmers. The recruitment of extension workers in particular has provided farmers with the knowledge and skills to handle their activities professionally and with a business mind.
  6. Through Operation Wealth Creation, seedlings of coffee, cocoa, citrus, tea, mangoes, oranges, apples and other inputs have been distributed.
  7. The country has registered increased coffee production. For example, coffee production has grown from 3.5 million (60kg) bags in 2015/16 to 5.17 million (60 kg) bags valued at USD 492 million in 2020/21 representing a 40% increase in value. The milestones in the coffee sub sector have been a result of the combined efforts of the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries, NAADS, OWC and the Delivery Unit in the Office of the Prime Minister. This is in implementation of the Coffee Roadmap.
  8. We have also been able to construct irrigation schemes in an effort to support commercialisation of agriculture in different parts of the country.
  9. Comrades, the fundamentals of the economy that are responsible for rapid economic growth are solid. It is not surprising that our GDP growth rate that had declined due to severe drought in 2016/17 among other factors, had regained pace at 6 percent. We know that Covid-19 has had negative impact on growth, but we are confident that the economy will bounce back.
  10. On investments, the Government is working to improve the investment climate to reduce the cost of doing business and attract The establishment of one-stop centre was a big step in the right direction. Through the Presidential Investors Roundtable and the Private Sector Foundation Uganda (PSFU), Government has discussed with the private sector and addressed bottlenecks that stand in the way of doing business in order to accelerate investments in our country. The close consultation and collaboration with the PIRT and PSFU has been found to be very useful.
  11. Friends, from the governance standpoint, we were able to organise a successful election, even amidst the covid-19 pandemic. The clarity of the political leadership led by HE the President, which was firm on adherence to SOPs to prevent the spread of Covid 19 has enabled Ugandan to manage the pandemic. We however must remain vigilant and resolute in this fight.
  1. In implementing the Manifesto, we have faced some challenges, such as delays in acquisition of land for flagship projects across sectors. Compensations are expensive and quite often delay project executions. Government, however, is working on the acquisition of utility corridors as a means to address this challenge.
  1. Corruption is still with us and this undermines the different efforts invested to achieve our targets. However, Government is strengthening anti-corruption agencies. The establishment of the Anti-Corruption Unit in State House has reinforced this fight, and this unit is doing a commendable job.

In conclusion, I would like to once again thank everyone who has played their roles to ensure that this Manifesto is implemented. There is still much more work to do as we continue serving our people. Thank you.

(For comments on this story, call, text or whatsapp us on 0705579994, 0779411734, 0200900416 or email us at mulengera2040@gmail.com).

 

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