President Museveni has said Uganda would be very far out of poverty if several citizens used the available government opportunities to invest in the areas of their understanding.
The President used the example of events promoter Balaam Barugahara who invited him to commission a radio station in Masindi
He said it is high time Ugandans thought outside the box by knowing that Government jobs are not enough to employ all the unemployed.
According to H.E the President, the four sectors of wealth creation (Commercial agriculture, Industries/Manufacturing, Services and Information Communication Technology-ICT) are well known and Ugandans, especially the youths, should find their passion among them and become wealth creators.
Museveni, who was accompanied by the First Lady and Minister of Education and Sports, Hon. Janet Museveni was speaking to political leaders, clergy and the people of Bunyoro at Boma grounds in Masindi shortly after commissioning several projects owned by events promoter, Balaam Barugahara that included Radio 7 and laying a foundation stone for the construction of Masindi 5 Star Hotel whose construction is in advanced stages.
“This should become a culture for all the youths in Uganda. You select what you have passion for and create wealth. I thank Balaam Barugahara for seeing far and listening to the message of the NRM, away from events management,” H.E Museveni said, adding that Balaam’s hotel upon completion, will provide service to tourists and business people in the oil and gas sector.
“Uganda under NRM should have been very far and out of poverty if everyone invests in his best area of understanding like what Balaam is doing,” he said.
“You should stop sitting under your talents in the name of religion. Use your talents with calculations, plant coffee, tobacco, poultry, fishing and put-up industries, hotels and ICT. Finally, I thank Balaam for the passion he has for the country’s development and the heavy fight he has launched against poverty. How I wish the youth get inspired and copy from what he is doing,” he added.
The President said Government has brought peace and developed infrastructure like roads and electricity to enable everybody to do business. He said Resident District Commissioners (RDCs) should sensitise the public about wealth creation channels and not wait to be employed by the Government.
“If someone tells you to wait for a government job, they’ll be lying to you. Government jobs are few – only 480,000, benefiting only 2.6 million people and these RDCs should be educating our people all the time,” he noted.
Baruhagara thanked the President for investing in Bunyoro, especially in oil and gas which has come with other developments in various sectors like the roads in addition to the conducive environment for investment.
He said the Covid-19 pandemic that shut down almost all sectors of the economy prompted him to invest in the hotel and media industry to provide a service.
“We started this hotel two years ago following your guidance that we should follow the four-sector model, services inclusively. During the Covid-19 time, I could not earn a shilling because events management was down,” he said.
On commercial agriculture, President Museveni told the people that on several occasions, many people do commercial agriculture without proper calculations and end up not benefitting from the business and, therefore, should invest wisely following the 4-acre farming approach where a farmer can get at least Shs100 million per year.
“Our mathematics of the four-acre model- one acre for coffee, fruits (citrus and mangoes, pineapples), one for pasture for feeding the livestock and fourth acre for food crop growing. In the backyard, one would put piggery, chicken for eggs, and fish farming for those around swamps,” H.E Museveni explained, adding that this approach will directly be assisted under the Parish Development Module (PDM) under which each parish in the country will be getting a total of Shs100 million every financial year.
The President was happy to learn from Rev. Vincent Kirabo Amooti, Bishop of Hoima Catholic Diocese that the church has woken up to engage in commercial agriculture specifically in coffee, saying it helps people not to sit on their talents.
“As a former President of the Scripture Union at Ntare School, I had to challenge religious leaders who never encouraged the prosperity of believers. This was misleading our Christians yet even the Bible talks about those who get rewarded after utilising their talents well,” H.E Museveni said.
The Minister of Finance, Planning and Economic Development, Hon. Matia Kasaija, thanked Barugahara for creating wealth and employing fellow youths who have made it a habit to flock to Arab countries looking for greener pastures.
Earlier at the meeting with political and religious leaders, H.E the President promised to intervene and resolve the burning issue of the Bagungu community who want to break away from the Bunyoro Kitara Kingdom. This was after the kingdom’s Prime Minister (Omuhikirwa), Andrew Kirungi Byakutaga, warned that this is a move spearheaded by external forces who want to compromise the unity of the kingdom. The Bagungu community which speaks Lugungu language has been pushing for their own kingdom “Obukama Bwa Bugungu”, claiming that they have a different cultural heritage from Bunyoro’s.
“Bunyoro Kitara kingdom shall not accept this proposed secession by the Bagungu community who are being misled by opportunists who have selfish interests,” Omuhukirwa Andrew Kirungi Byakutaga told the President.
Bagungu is an ethnic group located in Buliisa district and some parts of Hoima and Masindi districts. They live on the northeastern shores of Lake Albert along the Rift Valley and their major economic activities are fishing and farming.
On his third visit to Masindi since the 2021 elections, the President was hailed for developing Bunyoro, especially setting up infrastructures like the roads and Bunyoro University.
In attendance at the meeting were Ministers including the Minister of State for Bunyoro Affairs, Hon. Jenipher Kacha Namuyangu, the Minister of State for Transport, Hon. Fred Byamukama; Hon Dr Asiimwe Florence (Masindi Woman MP) and other MPs hailing from the region. Others were religious leaders, senior UPDF, Police and Prisons Officers, district chairpersons and RDCs from the eight districts of Bunyoro.