President Museveni vows on corruption, “its an open war” he says
President Yoweri Museveni has warned that the recent arrest of Minister of State for Labour, Employment and Industrial Relations Herbert Kabafunzaki on corruption charges is just a taste of what is to come.
“Now we have started to open a war against them, those who have been arrested are ndozo.. okuloza..jaribu …. (A taste of what is to come), you will see what comes next,” Museveni said at a press conference on Thursday.
He urged journalists to help him in the fight against corruption. He vowed that all people involved in corruption if caught will be exposed and dealt with according to the law.
“You (journalists) should also help us and report them. You have also been the problem you just keep quite. When you report work becomes easy, we arrest them quickly,” he said.
Museveni was Thursday addressing journalists from the ten districts of Busoga as he wrapped up his three-day community mobilization tour of Mayuge district where he also commissioned a new State Lodge and a Presidential Demonstration Farm in Kityerela Sub-county.
The Kabafunzaki case
Uganda’s chief prosecutor on Tuesday charged Kabafunzaki with graft for allegedly taking a bribe from a businessman in exchange for clearing him of sexual harassment charges.
Kabafunzaki, a deputy labour minister, is accused of receiving a five million shilling ($1,381, 1,300 euros) bribe from a Sudanese businessman trying to rid himself of sexual harassment charges laid by a former employee.
Top prosecutor Mike Chibita charged him with two counts of graft in an anti-corruption court in the capital Kampala.
Kabafunzaki’s arrest on Saturday was personally ordered by President Museveni, said the leader’s press secretary Don Wanyama.
“The president was informed about the minister and he directed the police to take action. The police laid a trap and arrested the minister as he was receiving the bribe,” Wanyama said.
Tough talkingThe tough talking Museveni defended governments slow response to previous corruption cases saying the vice has become complex with educated people in public offices making it almost impossible to pin them without evidence.
“From the beginning, NRM has been fighting corruption. Some things we did quickly because they could be seen. There used to be roadblocks by the army to rob people, we removed them. The theft that remained is with the educated people,” he told the journalists.
“Earlier the corruption was by the army men who used to rob people, kill animals in national parks of government but we fought those and stopped them. Now the educated people in offices are are the problem. We first trusted them…Amin’s government had some illiterate people and when we came in we thought the educated in civil service know what to do but they are the problem,” he said.
The president said he established the four-acre farm in Kityerela to work closely with the people to transform them from traditional to modern agro production to ensure food security and income generation.
Aim for profitable farming projects
Kyityerera village has 4,000 homesteads out of whom only 200 are engaged in productive farming.
“This commitment must be realised because there are many life demands today in every home”, he said.
He urged the people to engage in cost effective enterprises such as coffee, fruits, poultry, piggery and zero grazing that are profitable for farmers who are on small land holdings.
Museveni instructed agricultural extension workers to sensitise people in sugarcane growing areas not to grow sugarcane on land less than six acres saying it is not cost effective.
The president also directed the Ministry of Agriculture to carry out research into crop pests including the fall army-worm and the threat to pineapples in Kayunga.
When asked what he thinks about skeptics who undermine his efforts to fight poverty at the grass roots, Museveni drew on a Kinyankole saying “Ezimbire akatama tezibira ezindi kurya” (A cow with a sick cheek does not stop others from chewing)
“Those who laugh at our efforts to fight poverty will be ashamed. For us, we shall continue. Those who learn will lough last,” he said.