President Yoweri Museveni has challenged Opposition leaders especially Bobi wine & Besigye who are aspiring for the big seat to transform their voters who are still outside the money economy, rather than opposing government programmes.
Speaking after the finance minister, Matia Kasaija, delivered the 2019/20 Budget, the President said he did not want to dwell on the budget and was more concerned with the transformation of the 68% of Ugandans outside the money economy.
“This budget is coming from 32% of the homestead, who are in the money economy. 68% do not contribute to this budget, despite benefiting from it. They are only consumers, yet they are your voters,” Museveni added.
He said for the 24 years of Uganda’s independence, he was in Opposition but helped transform his family, and people from traditional ways to the modern world. Citing MP Taban Amin, a grandson of former president Idi Amin, Museveni said there was no personal enmity with the then presidents in power and he refused to assassinate or target them, which has enabled him to work with their children and grandchildren.
“During my 24 years in Opposition, I never tried to fail any government project. Today, you hear some groups in the Opposition planning to burn Kampala. That is not good. We opposed Amin because he had fallen below the threshold of African leadership. He lacked patriotism and democracy. So, fighting them is different from failing them,” he said.
Museveni rapped former rebel leader, late Dr. Andrew Lutakome Kayiira, accusing him of having attempted to burn Nile Mansions (renamed Serena) to assassinate them. Kayiira, who briefly served as the energy minister was murdered shortly after he was acquitted by the court on charges of treason, in March 1987. He was the leader of the Uganda Freedom Movement, one of the guerrilla groups that fought against Obote’s regime in the 1980s.
“We were in a meeting in Nile Mansion about Lule, Kayiira disagreed with us and because of his ideological and strategic bankruptcy, he stormed out and went and hijacked a petrol tank. He brought them and parked them outside. He wanted to burn all of us. He tried to blow the tanks with an RPG, but he did not know how to use it. So, in the middle of the night, we were woken up by gunshots, but he failed to blow the tanks. That is when we decided that we should go for him,” Museveni said.
On Heroes’ Day, Kayiira was one of those awarded national medals. Museveni urged all leaders to work to modernize the people under their influence, “by convincing them to join the money economy.”