Executive-Parliament affair off to a rocky start as NRM MPs-elect defy Museveni
I won’t ask parliament for favors to fund projects any further– Museveni warns
President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni has vowed to bypass Parliament in seeking authorisation for funds for various development projects even though the law requires him to do so.
Museveni told the newly elected NRM MPs while at Ngoma National farm in Nakaseke district at the closure of the MPs induction retreat, that he will not be held at ransom by delays that are brought about by the Parliament’s oversight function.
He alleged that the last Parliament cost the country a lot of money through needless delays. Now he says he will dictate terms.
Speaking on Wednesday at the closing ceremony of the three-weeks retreat of NRM elected members of Parliament at the Ngoma government farm in Luweero district, Museveni said the time for begging parliament to fund priority areas is over and that he won’t beg the 11th parliament for favors as has been the case with the outgoing parliament.
“We have got a lot of delays by this Parliament. Sometimes I am polite and I don’t want to get political problems and that’s why I don’t want to talk so much. I have been begging as if the projects are mine,” Museveni said.
Museveni told the newly elected NRM MPs that many projects that would benefit the country have failed to take off because parliament has failed to pass funds for the same.
Museveni’s statement followed a presentation by Dr Margret Kahwa, a Makerere University professor who discovered a vaccine that prevents foot and mouth disease in cattle.
In her presentation, Kahwa asked government to help her fund her project to build a factory that will manufacture the vaccine in Uganda that would require UGX22 billion to accomplish the task.
The President wondered why Parliament was frustrating such an invention that if implemented would not only solve farmers problems but would also fetch foreign exchange for the country as the vaccines would be sold to neighboring countries.
“For the anti-tick project, the vaccine shall help solve the problems of Uganda but also make more money. I will no longer lobby but use my authority to say no because we have got a lot of delays by parliament. This must stop and everybody should play their part,” he said.
“I am here in capacity as the president elected repeatedly by the people but also as the leader of the resistance movement. I have the capacity to say no. I have been begging for money for Nyaruzinga banana project for 20 years. Other people want to take away these projects. We can’t have leaders who don’t know what they want. We must get the money we need and if we don’t get it, it will be trouble this coming kisanja,” he added.
President Museveni has on a number of occasions accused Parliament of sabotaging a number of projects by refusing to release funds for the same.
In regard to this, Museveni asked the new NRM MPs to be change agents in their constituencies through social-economic transformation.
“Each one of you must help change their areas. Peasants must end in your areas. People should abandon subsistence production because there is still confusion over this,” Museveni said.
Meanwhile, the NRM caucus has disagreed with the president’s proposal to cancel foreign trips or MPs and other government officials.
The ban had been listed as one of the resolutions that the retreat had adopted but the MPs elect unanimously refused to endorse it, prompting president Museveni to agree to pose the proposal until it’s discussed exhaustively in another caucus meeting.
“We are going to discuss in the caucus, the issue of visiting; the issue of being Ferdinand Magellan who went around circumnavigating the world. We shall discuss it when we are not drunk when we are sober and see the way forward,” said Museveni.
The retreat that commenced on April 7 was attended by only the newly elected Members of Parliament on the NRM ticket, members of the NRM Central Executive Committee and it lasted for three weeks.