Museveni orders encroachers out of Wetlands

President Museveni has ordered wetland encroachers to get out immediately (PHOTO /Courtesy)

President Yoweri Museveni has ordered land encroachers to get out of wetlands before government forcefully evicts them.

Mr. Museveni was speaking during the National Budget Speech at Kololo Ceremonial Grounds where the Minister of Finance Matia Kasaija on his (President’s) behalf presented the Shs48.1trillion budget for FY 2022/2023.

During his address, Museveni issued a stern warning to encroachers of wetlands saying they are the reason for the unreliable rain falls which also affects irrigation schemes.

“People going to the wetlands are going there by themselves against our appeal. I demand that all these people (encroachers) get out of the wetlands unconditionally. We do not have to negotiate. They go there knowing that those are wetlands. Even here in Kampala, I see some people,” Museveni said, adding that food security is tied to the well-being of the environment.

He said government would only consider compensation for those who settled on wetlands as a result of the former’s mistakes.

Museveni emphasized that in the coming financial years, government will put more effort in food production for commercial use and irrigation.

“As long as Uganda is producing enough food, there’s no problem we can’t solve. The danger is lack of rain and people working only for the stomach. That’s why in the next budget, we’re planning for irrigation,” he said.

Museveni reiterated that Uganda is now “at the entrance” of middle income status and attributed it to government’s relentless economic interventions that resulted in heavy investments in economic infrastructure that has fostered trade and investment.

“If I had not insisted in 2006 to put money on roads and electricity I don’t know where Uganda would be. The wise decision has made so much impact. In 2006, I came out and said we should have our own money to fund the development budget,” Museveni said.

“Because of these measures, the GDP per capita is now $1046. The minister (Matia Kasaija) did not come out to say that we are at the entrance of the middle income status. I don’t know whether he feared that we would go back. I don’t think we shall.”

Finance Minister Matia Kasaija presenting the National Budget
Finance Minister Matia Kasaija presenting the National Budget
Museveni also relaid government plans to strengthen policy on free education in order to curb increasing cases of primary school dropouts especially in Karamoja sub region which has again hit low heights with only 6 out of 100 pupils completing P. 7.

“Out of the 100 children who go to primary school, only 38 finish school. The other 62 go back to the village. And this is because of the school charges. We must budget for free and compulsory primary education and stop these greedy teachers. We must stop all these fellows who are looking for money; go and start private schools. It is disgusting because you are looking for money for allowances,” Museveni said.

While presenting the National Budget, Minister Kasaija said that the budget strategy for the fiscal year 2022/23 seeks to restore economic activity to the pre-pandemic levels and subsequently, accelerate the pace of socio-economic transformation.

He is optimistic that the country’s economy is projected to expand to Shs162.1trillion for the Financial Year ending 30th June 2022 following the economic growth rate of 4.6% per annum this FY up from 3.5% of last year.

“The services sector is expected to grow by 3.8% up from 2.8% growth last FY. This is on account of continued recovery in wholesale and retail trade, education and tourism services; coupled with growth in real estate activities and ICT,” Kasaija said.

For the industry sector, Kasaija said the sector is expected to grow by 5.4% up from 3.5% growth last FY, largely on account of recovery in manufacturing and construction activities, while the agriculture sector is expected to grow by 4.3%, largely as a result of growth in food and cash crop production, livestock as well as recovery in fishing.


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