President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni has said the government cannot pay good salaries to public servants if there’s no socio-economic transformation in societies.
“How will the state pay good salaries if there’s no socio-economic transformation? Where does it get money from? When we took over the government, we were earning very small salaries for a long time, even now I earn a small salary,” he said.
President Museveni who is also the patron for Patriotism Clubs in Uganda made the remarks on Saturday 3rd February, 2024 while passing out 413 secondary school Head teachers from greater Western Uganda, Mubende and Kasanda Districts who have undergone ideological orientation training at the National Leadership Institute (NALI) in Kyankwanzi.
President Museveni urged that if families undergo socio-economic transformation, they create jobs, people get income, and they will be able to pay taxes.
“When they are able to pay taxes, the government gets more money then it will be able to put up infrastructure, deal with peace and security and also pay good salaries to public servants,” he noted.
The President also reiterated why the government decided to increase salaries of scientists at the expense of their Arts counterparts.
“Recently I was in a small war with you, the teachers. When we got a little bit of money, we decided to enhance the salaries of scientists. That is where the war started. We need these scientists more because we need engineers, medical doctors, among others. I studied Arts but I cannot come with my Shakespeare to put up a bridge,” he said.
President Museveni further urged the headteachers to work towards the realisation of the four principles of the National Resistance Movement which are patriotism, Pan Africanism, socio-economic transformation and democracy. The President said these will enable all Ugandans to be prosperous.
The President said if someone emphasizes politics of identity other than interest, they will die in poverty.
“After analysis we said you people, they are telling you about tribes and religion, this a trap, you are going to die in poverty forever. What will help you to get out of poverty is Uganda because Uganda will help you to buy your products more than your own area. That is why principle number one is patriotism, love Uganda. Why love Uganda? Because you need it. When you analyse, you will find out that our prosperity depends more on Uganda than our respective areas,” he asserted.
“Secondly, as you sit down and produce more and more, you find that the internal market of Uganda is not enough, that is why we talk of the market of East Africa and Africa. That takes us to pricinciple number two; Pan Africanism. But how will you benefit from all this if you still remained in the old ways? So, the concept of socio-economic transformation which is principle number three of the NRM is that everybody must get out of the traditional way to the modern way of money making with “akibaro”. In order to benefit from the patriotic market of Uganda, Pan- Africanist market of Uganda, you must undergo socio-economic transformation at the society and homestead level. Now number four is democracy.”
The President added that socio-economic transformation has four avenues where Ugandans can transform themselves and these include commercial agriculture with “ekibaro”, manufacturing, services and ICT.
On the other hand, President Museveni lauded the Commissioner-Patriotism in the Office of the President Ms. Hellen Seku for resurrecting the effort for patriotism, saying that she has rightly focused on some crucial change agents like the headteachers.
“I’m very glad that these courses are going on, I thank Seku again for these courses. From your testimonies I can see that you have benefitted. I congratulate you.”
The First Lady and Minister of Education and Sports, Maama Janet Museveni appreciated President Museveni for his continuous guidance to the education sector and his availability, whenever they call on him to facilitate their capacity building programs.
“Your Excellency, you have always emphasised that one of the bottlenecks to development is an undeveloped human resource, a problem that must be addressed in order for us to attain a knowledgeable, skilled, and patriotic population,” she asserted.
Maama Janet informed the President that the Ministry of Education and Sports is charged with the responsibility for human resource development for the country, and over the years, they have promoted several reform initiatives, to ensure that quality education is equitably accessible to all Ugandans.
Consequently, she thanked the National Secretariat for Patriotism, for promoting patriotic values in schools and expressed gratitude to the Secretariat for bringing on board headteachers from all regions of Uganda.
“In order to strengthen the efforts to inculcate patriotic values to our youth through the established patriotism clubs in schools, it is very important that the headteachers are empowered to coordinate these efforts. Through the school system, we should be able to develop youth who understand the purpose of their existence, love their country, and are prepared to defend and transform it,” Maama Janet said.
“Therefore, Headteachers are very important leaders even more because you are the ones who hold the destiny of those schools that have hundreds of young lives in your hands. If you are honest, clean, kind and hardworking, you will surely pass these values on to those young minds. But if you are corrupt, if you lie to those children, then corruption will catch on like wildfire.”
The Minister for Presidency, Hon. Babirye Milly Babalanda commended the NRM party under the leadership of President Museveni for coming up with the four core principles which are the driving force behind the progress of Ugandans and the transformation of the economy.
“Your Excellency sir, patriotism is the most important of the four core principles; everything revolves around this principle. Indeed, you cannot succeed in the other three without patriotism. Patriotism can be promoted singly but the others cannot succeed without patriotism,” Hon. Babalanda said.
“Therefore, your efforts of championing patriotism is not a waste of time. You are building a base that will inspire future generations to hold together. While some people may not see the value of the Patriotism campaign now, in the years to come they will see its benefits and the fact that you were right,” she added.
Hon. Babalanda also expressed concern that the government has lost significant resources at the hands of some unpatriotic public officers who divert taxpayers’ money for personal gains.
“The engagement with the public officers will go a long way to fight this vice in our midst,” she said.
“Sir, I congratulate the teachers of Western Uganda who have participated in this training and it is my prayers that they become patriotism ambassadors in their respective schools in order to promote patriotism amongst fellow staff and the learners.”
On her part, Ms. Hellen Seku thanked President Museveni and Maama Janet for giving her an opportunity to serve as the Commissioner of Patriotism Clubs in Uganda.
“Thank you Jajja for fronting the youth everywhere you go,” she said.
The Commissioner informed the President that the majority of the beneficiaries of the training are patriotism Coordinators in their respective schools.
“Jajja I wish to inform you that this training is the end of our first phase of headteachers training countrywide which you and I started. We started with Northern Uganda and West Nile, followed by Eastern Uganda, central then finally Western region where we have trained 413 headteachers. In total we have trained 1535 secondary school headteachers who are your mighty army and foot soldiers in their various areas,” she noted.
“They have undergone ideological training which is very important in the realisation of our vision 2040 while emphasising the core values of Patriotism, discipline, academic excellence, time management and the fear of God.”
Brig. Gen. Charles Kisembo, the Director of NALI commended President Museveni and Maama Janet for always putting at the forefront the need to create an effective human resource base through enhancing the ideology and political work among Ugandans. He said this is a trigger for Uganda’s socio-economic transformation.
“I also thank the Minister for the Presidency for being supportive in every way. Let me also commend your Muzukulu, Ms Hellen Seku for being focused and committed,” Brig. Kisembo said.
“We are happy to see that today, another batch of 413 headteachers from Greater Western Uganda is being added onto those Ugandans that have been trained in this institute. This is the last batch of headteachers to be trained since you initiated this process.”
The event was also attended by the Secretary in the Office of the President, Hajji Yunus Kakande, the RDC Kyankwanzi, Ms. Sharon Ankunda, among other leaders.