ampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | President Yoweri Museveni has accused his ministers of being selfish and sleepy, which he says affect potential investments in the country.
“Many of these ministers are selfish, they think about themselves. If you don’t listen, then you are negative. You try to cover up your ignorance,” said Museveni.
He was speaking during the 6th Presidential Investor Round-table meeting at State House Entebbe. His comment followed statements by the State Minister for Agriculture, Christopher Kibazanga in response to concerns of investors about Uganda’s agricultural sector and value addition.
Mahmood Hudda, the Managing Director of Mayirye Estates Limited, which exports flowers, had proposed that the ministry shifts its policy from small to large scale farming that requires establishment of green houses, irrigation and modern farming methods.
Hudda noted that Uganda has a lot of opportunities of adding value to things like coffee, avocado, passion fruits and others to grow its economy. He said the ministry needed to modernize before farmers do.
In his response, Kibazanga said the country was in the process of branding its coffee and that discussions were ongoing. He promised to come up with a cabinet paper recommending that avocado becomes one of the country’s strategic crops.
Kibazanga however hastened to add that the agriculture sector is private sector driven and that government could only carry out research and extension.
His remarks angered Museveni who accused him of wasting time and contradicting himself on the mandate of his ministry.
Museveni rubbished the minister’s statement, saying it doesn’t add up. “The ministry apart from research and extension regulates the sector. Saying that the sector is private led… I think this should not even go on our record. What the minister is saying doesn’t add up,” said Museveni.
Hudda further pinned the Agriculture Ministry, saying it he had written several letters on different matters without any response.
Museveni noted that many people in the ministries are parasites.
Asked by journalists why he doesn’t drop the sleep minister, Museveni said that it wasn’t only ministers but also Ugandans who are not taking up opportunities and associating with the right people to grow the country.