July 24, 2024

PRESIDENT MUSEVENI: I am now set to crush the corrupt

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In his State of the Nation Address at Kololo Ceremonial Grounds, Museveni said the politicians were part of groups perpetrating graft in the country.

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STATE OF THE NATION ADDRESS FINAL COPY 6TH JUNE _0

President Yoweri Museveni has vowed to ‘crush’ public servants and political leaders that steal Government money, as he steps up his fight against corruption.

“I have been getting good information about corrupt actors among the public servants but also among the political actors. With some evidence, we shall crush these traitors,” Museveni threatened.

In his State of the Nation Address at Kololo Ceremonial Grounds, Museveni said the politicians were part of groups perpetrating graft in the country.

This is the first time President Museveni has spoken about corruption in parliament following media reports and social media campaigns on the subject.  Allegations about the abuse of public funds in Parliament led the UK and the U.S. governments to sanction the speaker of Parliament Anita Among and two former ministers.

Anita Annet Among, Goreti Kitutu, and Agnes Nandutu were accused of stealing iron sheets meant for Karamoja. Goreti Kitutu and Agnes Nandutu are being tried in court. Museveni in a mini cabinet reshuffle sacked the two former ministers for Karamoja.

“As part of fighting corruption, it is crucial to save the amateurish political actors who come into politics without knowing that leading people does not mean carrying them on your head. It means that you show them the way,” says Museveni.

He said the other source of corruption has been the fundraising that is born mainly by opportunistic politicians.

“Many are over-anxious to please parts of their electorate, by pledging money for those fund-raisings that they do not have. We are due to meet to resolve this diversion.”

Museveni also said other actors get bribes from foreigners to work for foreign interests in return for awards.

“These are both corrupt and traitors and we are monitoring their activities. If they do not stop; and with evidence, we shall deal with them,” said Museveni whose political opponents have been accused of holding the corrupt softly.

He further observed that the situation of “inexperienced, careerist-minded leaders” who do not listen to the advice of the NRM is further complicated by the “bloodthirsty parasites” in the form of the unregulated money lenders who charge extortionate interest rates from desperate political actors.

“I have already directed the Minister of Finance to cap the interest rates chargeable by money lenders. The inflation rate in Uganda is 3%. Why should the commercial Banks charge 20% interest?” Museveni asked.

The President expressed concern about the high interest rates by moneylenders and microfinance institutions. He said the Parish Development Model (PDM) and Emyooga funds will soon become the poor people’s banks with annual interest rates of 12% or less after 24 months.

“I have already directed the Attorney – General to guide the Minister of Finance as to how he can criminalize this extortion,” he revealed.

Museveni happy with Among and Tayebwa at Parliament

“I want to salute the Speaker, the Deputy Speaker, and the NRM MPs. In the past, there was a risky and shallow tendency by some actors that would try to use Parliament to undermine the Ugandan revolution, which is part of the African revolution. This, of course, was a miscalculation that was provocative, but we managed to handle it peacefully,” he said.

Museveni went on to speak about the sanctions slapped at Anita Among. “ I’m told some of the foreigners are saying that Anita Among because she doesn’t undermine the executive she is not a good speaker because she should be okulemesa gavumenti, very risky miscalculation ”

The President suggested that there should be a distinction between mistakes and dishonest people when it comes to fighting corruption. He said dishonest people should be dealt with.

“Those mistake-makers, we can counsel them and show them how to do things. Because if we punish all the mistake-makers, we shall have nobody to work with. Because they do not know what to do, they do not listen. There are so many languages, this one is saying this, this one is saying that” explained Museveni   However, there were murmurs in the audience disagreeing with him after he suggested amnesty for those accused of dishonesty.

Corruption in Parliament

Museveni said that he has evidence that accounting officers at various ministries have been colluding with some MPS to get approval for funds which they later share. ,

“ I have been hearing but now I have proof. I have been hearing that from the Ministry of Finance, they arrange with accounting officers of ministries to come to parliament. Working with some people there, to provide certain funds provided you take a share. I didn’t believe it but now I have proof.”

**URN**

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