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Helt ute av sporet (Okumala ekigwo okulyaku kya okuziga)

As Delivered: UN Assistant Secretary-General Kwang-Wha Kang remarks to the EU Pledging Conference on the Central African Republic (Brussels – 26.05.2015)

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Press release: The African Union Strongly Condemns the Acts of Violence in Burundi (25.05.2015)

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Press Release: UNATU suspends industrial action awaiting implementation of government commitments (26.05.2015)

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The Leadership of the Teachers’ Union Countrywide unanimously resolved to enter into an industrial action effective 14th May 2015, due to Government’s failure to pay the 10% salary increment for teachers in FY 2015/16 as had been committed in 2011. The industrial action has been on for the past 13 days.

As concerned stakeholders in education, we have been taking lead in negotiations so that the issue at hand is sorted out within the shortest time possible to allow the learners resume normal studies.

In the negotiation meetings chaired by the Rt. Hon. Prime Minister and the 1st Deputy Prime Minister and attended by several ministers held on 18th and 21st May respectively, no tangible proposals were put forth.

Until yesterday, 25th of May, Government had been adamant in making any formal commitment as regards the 10% salary increment for teachers despite the Union’s efforts in providing practical and viable options/ sources for the increment.

In yesterday’s meeting with the top leadership of the Union, Government made the following commitments;
• 15% salary increment in FY 2016/17
• Teachers SACCO funds to be immediately released to the Apex body of the Teachers’ SACCOs
• No intimidation/ victimization/ harassment of teachers for having participated in the industrial action
• A joint committee comprising Ministry of Education, Science, Technology and Sports, Ministry of Public Service and Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development and UNATU be constituted to identify and advise Government on measures to improve the quality of education.

UNATU being a democratic and member-driven union had to subject the above proposals with the entire teacher leadership countrywide for discussion and resolution at a meeting held on 26th May 2015. Government’s position was presented by Hon. Jim Muhwezi, the Minister of Information and National Guidance. Hon. David Bahati, the Minister of State for Finance, Planning and Economic Development was also in attendance.

After a thorough discussion of Government’s proposals, the teacher leaders have resolved to SUSPEND the industrial action on condition that;
i. Government does not breach the implementation of the above commitments within the stipulated time.
ii. No salary increments are effected in FY 2015/16 including the proposed 40% allowance increment for Members’ of Parliament because Government maintains that it has no funds for wage increments.
iii. Government fulfills its commitment of immediately releasing the Teacher SACCO funds to the Apex body of the Teachers’ SACCOs
iv. District officials desist from any form of intimidation, victimization and harassment of teachers in regard to the industrial action
It was further resolved that should government fail to honor their commitment or fail to meet the above conditions, this time round, the Industrial action will resume indefinitely.

Message to the Teachers
UNATU congratulates teachers for the spirited struggle and thanks different support teams upon the successes registered in this industrial action.
The Union hereby clarifies that the Industrial action is not off, but only SUSPENDED to allow Government time to fulfill her commitments. UNATU will continue to monitor the progress of these commitments and by the 30th of September, we expect Government to have included the 15% salary increment in the budget call circular and fully released the said SACCO funds

We therefore call upon all teachers to return to school and resume teaching with effect from Wednesday, 27th May 2015 at 8:00am.

Please note that the industrial action is fully protected by the existing laws and hence no teacher should be intimidated or be subjected to any form of harassment as a result of having participated in the industrial action. Individual teachers and other leaders should report such cases immediately for redress.

“Because we are, the Nation is”

General Secretary – James Tweheyo

Press Release: Didier Reynders condemns murder of Zedi Feruzi in Burundi (25.05.2015)

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Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Didier Reynders condemns the murder of opposition figure Zedi Feruzi and his bodyguard. He also condemns the attack on the central market of Bujumbura that killed two and injured many people. He extends his condolences to the family and friends of the victims.

Belgium calls for an impartial investigation, under UN monitoring, in order to find the perpetrators and bring them to justice.

Didier Reynders calls on all actors to show restraint to refrain from using violence. It is also essential that all stakeholders commit to creating swiftly the conditions required to organise peaceful, inclusive and transparent elections, in the spirit of the Arusha Agreements. Didier Reynders therefore encourages Burundian stakeholders to pursue the consultative political dialogue facilitated by his Special Envoy Said Djinnit and representatives of the African Union, the East African Community, the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) and the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (CIRGL).

Uganda – Honourable Minister of State for Finance David Bahati – Quote of the day (25.05.2015)

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Uganda – The Annual Report Audit General for FY ended 2014 – Value for Money Audit Volum 5: Quotes and Outtakes from this.

This blog here will be focused on the ‘Office of the Auditor General’ who released ‘Annual report of the Auditor General for the Financial Year ended 30th June 2014 – Volume 5 Value for Money Audit’. What you will read is actual quotes from the paper or report. Here you get a vivid picture of how the financial year (FY 2013-2014) was in reality.

I haven’t taken everything from the piece. It would be too long and you might end up bored. Here is what should get your mind boggling and wonder. How could this be this way? Why is it like this? How did it end up like this? What does this tell me about the economic practices in Uganda? And so on. If you start to think like that, then it was worth using my time. Enjoy the quotes from the report. Hope you catch some wisdom.

When it comes to managing Public Debt:

Public debt is incurred primarily for financing budget deficits, development of domestic financial markets, supporting the country’s Balance of Payment (BOP) position/foreign reserves and monetary policy objectives. In Uganda, public debt is managed by the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development (MoFPED) in liaison with Bank of Uganda (BoU). Government borrows internally from domestic markets through issuance of Treasury bills and Bonds by the BoU and externally through Bilateral and multilateral borrowings. Currently, over 60% of the public debt is external debt and 40% is domestic debt. GoU borrowing has been rising over the years from USD 5.7 billion in Financial Year (FY) 2011/12 to USD 7 billion in FY 2013/14. The growing National debt, if not properly managed, could revert to unsustainable levels as was the case in the past”.

“Interest rates on domestic debt have overall stabilised in recent years relative to their peak in 2011/12. However, they remain a cause for concern due to their high contribution to overall debt service costs and the relatively high yields which they attract stand in stark contrast to those achieved by comparator nations with similar credit ratings”.

When it comes to roads:

“The Uganda Road Fund invested a total of UGX 914 billion in road maintenance activities during the three years under review (2011/2012, 2012/2013 and 2013/2014),4 with a total of 4,565km of roads maintained. Despite the increasing investment, there are reports and persistent public outcry about the poor state of roads and the deteriorating quality of works being executed. The physical and financial performance reports of designated agencies in FY 2011/12 revealed the following issues: budget indiscipline, poor absorption of road maintenance funds, inaccuracies in reporting, lethargy of Designated Agencies (DAs) in complying with reporting requirements, widely varying unit costs, risk of loss of funds through end of year procedures, and grave underperformance of periodic maintenance works” (…) ”The road maintenance needs in Uganda cannot be met due to limited resources, for example for FY 2011/2012, the total maintenance needs from the agencies was UGX 413.95bn, and the budget provided by the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development (MoFPED) was UGX 280.95bn, indicating a 32% deficit” (…) “The road maintenance equipment inventory maintained by the URF is incomplete; the inventory is only for 12 (55%) of the municipalities and it is outdated as it was submitted in January 2011”.

When it comes to Gas and Oil:

“Through a review of reports on procurement submitted by the oil companies to PEPD, it was noted that from 2010-2013, the oil companies spent a total of USD 1,171.8 million on purchase of goods and services. Of this, USD 329.9 million was paid to Ugandan service providers, representing 28% of the total spend for all the companies in the period under review” (…) “The Ugandan service providers comprised about 73% of the approved suppliers which implies that the total value of the procurements from them was less than their relative number” (…) “Ugandans employed in the oil and gas sector by the oil companies overall rose from 69% in 2012 to 80% in 2014, absolute numbers of employees decreased from 546 to 432 between 2013 and 2014; in particular, the nationals dropped from 370 to 347 over the same period” (…) “For all the 27 jobs advertised in the newspapers, attracting over 700 local applicants, none was appointed, citing lack of experience in the oil and gas sector. Instead, the recruitment report submitted by the CNOOC to PEPD recommended recruitment of expatriates” (…) “According to the Industrial baseline survey done by the Joint Venture partners (CNOOC, TEP and TUOP), 60% of the workforce required for the next phases will be technicians and craftsmen, which translates to a demand of 7,800 and 1,800 technicians and craftsmen at the peak and plateau phases, respectively, of development and production. With the current total of only 86 UPIK graduates, there is doubt that the projected demand will be met by the time production starts (2018)” (…) “There are still several areas with clear potential for enhancing national content, such as: establishment of a clear regulatory framework, performance targets and indicators for national content; determining the level of state participation; local supplier development; employment and training of Nationals by the oil companies and government; ensuring gender parity and involving host communities”.

When it comes to the Healthcare:

“The Uganda Health Systems Strengthening Project (UHSSP) is a project administered under the Ministry of Health (MoH)” (…) “UHSSP, is a five year project, which was established in 2010, commenced operations in February 2011 and is due to end on 31st July 2015. The UHSSP project is jointly funded by the Government of Uganda (GoU) and the World Bank to a tune of USD 14.31 million and USD 130 million, respectively” (…) “UHSSP was set up to bridge the existing gap of supply and maintenance of medical equipment in 46 selected health facilities in order to improve the quality of health care delivered to patients. The project has spent USD 24 million (UGX 60.480 billion) on procurement and supply of these medical equipment, yet some of the equipment remains unused in the facilities where it was supplied” (…) “For instance, at the time of audit field visit in September 2014, the project had supplied anesthetics machines to 165 HCIVs at a cost of USD 2,063,085.75, however, all the HCIVs visited were not utilising this equipment because they lacked the technical expertise to effectively utilise the equipment. In a related instance, 2 auto strainers valued at USD 25,345.68, which were issued to Mubende and Moroto Regional Referral Hospitals, are not operational because of lack of qualified staff” (…) “observations conducted during field visits to the seventeen selected beneficiary health facilities, it was noted that some of the equipment supplied, worth Euros 3,954.67 and USD 1,209,879.09, was not being used at all while other equipment was not optimally utilized” (…) “Through field inspections, it was observed that health facilities namely Mwizi had no power supply while others such as: Moyo, Aduku, Aboke Pakwach had unreliable solar power supply, and therefore, were not providing emergency obstetric care services when needed” (…) “that various equipment supplied by the project, worth USD 319,676.35 and Euros 347.24, required additional logistical supplies to be effectively put to use. Such equipment included anesthesia units which required regulators, oxygen cylinders and other reagents while incubator cultures, incubator baby, defribrators, counting chamber, colorimeter required Medias, distilled water, thermometers, tubes and batteries”.

When it comes to handling Public Debt Part 2:

“Uganda benefited from the various Debt relief initiatives like the Heavily Indebted Poor Country (HIPC) Initiative in 1998, the Enhanced HIPC in 2000 and the Multilateral Debt Relief Initiative (MDRI) in 2006. Despite these initiatives, GoU borrowing has been rising over the years from USD 5.7 billion in Financial Year (FY) 2011/12 to USD 7 billion in FY 2013/14. The growing National debt, if not properly managed, could revert to unsustainable levels as was the case in the past” (…) “In the FY 2013/14 Public debt increased to USD 7 billion up from USD 6.4 billion in F/Y 2012/13, reflecting a 9.38% increment in one year alone, the increment was way above the GDP growth of 6.2% in the FY 2013/14. Domestic debt accounted for 9.55% (UGX 1,437 billion) of the National budget, 2014/15 an increase of 1.65% (UGX 397 billion) from 7.9% (UGX 1,040 billion) in financialyear 2013/14. External financing on the other hand increased from UGX 2,660 billion in F/Y 2013/14 to UGX 2,733 billion of the National budget, 2014/15 an increase of UGX 73 billion. As non-concessional borrowing increases, the need for proper debt management becomes even much greater” (…) “On average, 60% of public debt is external loans of which Multilateral loans constitute over 80%. The domestic debt is largely derived from the sale of bonds which constituted an average of about 60% over the period FY2011/12 – 2013/14 “ (…) “In evaluating whether the debt, acquisition process facilitates debt sustainability, the audit mainly focussed on the acquisition of external debt since it constitutes over 60% of the National debt portfolio” (…) “The 2012 corruption scandal involving the Prime Minister’s office resulted in a changed relationship between multilateral lenders to the Ugandan government and a consequent reduction in the amount of aid in the form of direct budget support. Budget support in 2011/12 amounted to 168m USD, but reduced to 24.1m USD in 2013/14. The shortfall has in part been filled through domestic financing” (…) “The lack of coordination between debt and cash management functions contributed to inaccurate forecasting of cash needs. This exacerbated the problem of unplanned cuts to government programmes and led to the needless issuance of short-term debt, with the associated debt service costs” (…) “it was noted that local government authorities still held significant cash balances accrued from non-tax revenues and unutilised balances which were not remitted to the Consolidated Fund regularly, and that some accounts containing cash lay dormant, risking embezzlement” (…) “the current economic conditions characterised by reduced exports and a depreciating Ugandan Shilling against the dollar (30% for the last 4 months) there is a risk of stress which can affect future sustainability. Interest rates on domestic debt remain a cause for concern due to their high contribution to overall debt service costs (78%)”

When it comes to Health Care Part 2:

“Over the past three financial years 2011/12, 2012/13 and 2013/14, there has been an 18% increment in the funding of RRHs from UGX 53.86 billion to UGX 63.56 billion” (…) “Jinja nd Lira RRHs revealed that Jinja RRH which ran a 13-bed Intensive Care unit only used 6 of the beds, leaving 7 beds idle in the unit while Lira RRH had not utilized its 16-bed ICU since FY 2012/13. The Hospital Directors of Jinja and Lira RRHs explained that more nurses wouldhave to be deployed as each bed required at least 2 full time nurses to the unit to ensure full utilisation of the unit without compromising the quality of care. The unit would also require full time doctors and an anaesthesiologist. In Lira RRH, management explained that the ICU had not been commissioned and that its underutilisation was also due to the absence of an oxygen plant” (…) “With the current ICU bed capacity in Uganda of 61 in all public and private hospitals, 23 unutilized ICU beds in Jinja and Lira represents a wasted resource. It is estimated that about 10 critically ill patients were deprived of ICU admission daily and as a result succumbed to their illnesses” (…) “Hospital managers in response attributed this to the lack of bio medical engineers and high costs of repairing the equipment, for instance, according to Jinja RRH, the maintenance of the En-Visor ultra sound machine and the repairs of the Duo-Diagnostic big x-ray machine requires not less than UGX 15 million, and without a medical equipment maintenance fund, it is a challenge to maintain and repair the radiology and imaging machines. Management of Fort Portal RRH attributed the low usage of the x-ray and ultrasound machines to stock-outs of the supplies, such as reagents and films required for the operation of this diagnostic equipment” (…) “The average doctor-patient ratio per year in RRHs was 12440:1 implying one doctor for 34 patients per day while clinician- patient ratio was 10652:1 annually implying one clinician for 29 patients” (…) “For example; Kabale, Fort Portal, Masaka and Mbale Regional Hospitals referred some special cases to Mbarara RRH for services like CT scan, renal dialysis, neurosurgeon, paediatric surgery. In addition, lack of adequate staff has led to referrals to the National Referral Hospital and this has further resulted in the congestion and handling of cases at National Referral Hospital which cases could be handled by the RRHs. The process of referrals is costly and in some cases patients lose their lives in the process of reaching the health facility to which they have been referred”.

 When it comes to Management of Sewage in Urban areas:

“Poor sanitation costs Uganda 389 billion shillings annually, equivalent to 1.1% of the national GDP” (…) “Fifty six percent (56%) of the pipes in Kampala were built in the 1940s and 86% of these have been operational for 35 years or more” (…) “National Water and Sewerage Corporation (NWSC)” (…) “NWSC had spent UGX 10.9billion towards sewage management activities in the areas under its jurisdiction over the last three years” (…) “the volume of sewage generated in the different towns and the volume of sewage collected and treated by NWSC, a study conducted by Mott Macdonald on behalf of NWSC in December 2012 estimated that by 2014, a total of 238.9 ML of wastewater would be generated of which, only 8.38ML would be collected and treated. This leaves approximately 230.52 ML of generated sewage uncollected and therefore not treated”.

Short ending:

I hope this was worth your time and also giving you an indication on the matters on the ground. This is just a fragment on the matters and what got told in the report. This just comes as gift to you. Especially to all of you who don’t use time reading the report on your free will or are lucky enough to get the report in your mailbox. Never the less, hope you got enlighten and also got a picture on how the monies is spent in last FY. Peace.

Arrival Statement: African Union Election Observation Mission (AUEOM) to the 24 May 2015 Parliamentary Elections in the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia (24.05.2015)

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Press release: Red Cross responds to growing need for regional assistance following Burundi pre-election violence (23.05.2015)

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Nairobi/Geneva 23 May 2015 – The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) is deeply concerned about the current situation in Burundi and its humanitarian consequences in the country and region.

Pre-election tension and violence have intensified in recent weeks in Burundi, resulting in a number of casualties in the capital of Bujumbura. More than 100,000 Burundians have fled across the country’s borders into neighbouring Congo, Rwanda and Tanzania.

The Rwandan Red Cross reports that 26,756 Burundians have crossed its border over the past three weeks, while UNHCR reports at least 76,520 Burundians have fled to Tanzania.

In Tanzania, the men, women and children, who fled their homes only with what they could carry, are also now facing a cholera outbreak. According to health officials, 33 people have died so far. The outbreak is feared to be worsening with more than 2,000 suspected cases now reported, increasing at the rate of 300 to 400 new cases per day, particularly in Kagunga and nearby areas. At least 15 suspected cases have been reported on the Burundi side of the border. Many cases of acute watery diarrhoea have also been reported.

“Over half of the refugees from Burundi who seek refuge in Tanzania are children who are particularly vulnerable to infectious diseases like cholera. Many of the families arriving are female-led which makes them even more vulnerable to violence and insecurity,” said Finn Jarle Rode, IFRC regional representative, East Africa. “There are urgent needs in water and sanitation, health, first aid and shelter.”

IFRC is supporting National Red Cross Societies in Burundi, Rwanda and Tanzania in responding to the urgent and rising humanitarian needs, especially those of woman and children who are the most affected in the current crisis, and to ensure close collaboration and coordination between the three National Societies.

On 20 May, IFRC launched an emergency appeal for 1 million Swiss francs to support the Tanzanian Red Cross Society in delivering assistance to 20,000 Burundian refugees with a focus on emergency health, water, sanitation, hygiene promotion, emergency shelter, and relief. Since the beginning of the crisis, staff and volunteers of the Tanzania Red Cross Society have been on the frontline of the response, providing people in need with immediate humanitarian assistance. A Field Assessment Coordination Team (FACT) has also been deployed to further evaluate the needs of the refugees and update the Red Cross response plan accordingly.

In Burundi, the Red Cross deployed three first aid mobile response teams in Bujumbura. They are offering onsite first aid treatment, evacuation of the injured to hospitals, and referrals of pregnant women caught up in the violence. Burundi Red Cross is monitoring the situation closely in all provinces and has pre-positioned stocks to be able to adapt its response to the fast changing context.

In Rwanda, the National Society has been supporting refugees at different entry points, in two transit camps and in one permanent camp with registration, first aid, psychosocial support, distribution of non-food items and helping separated family members regain contact with their loved ones.

“The Red Cross is on the front lines of this response, and currently, a lot remains unknown,” said Jarle Rode. “As the needs of those affected become clearer through our on-going assessments, we will undoubtedly have to seek significant additional resources to ensure affected people and families in Burundi, Rwanda and Tanzania receive the humanitarian support they deserve.”

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) is the world’s largest volunteer-based humanitarian network, reaching 150 million people each year through its 189 member National Societies. Together, the IFRC acts before, during and after disasters and health emergencies to meet the needs and improve the lives of vulnerable people. It does so with impartiality as to nationality, race, gender, religious beliefs, class and political opinions. For more information, please visit www.ifrc.org/africa. You can also connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Flickr.

Address by His Majesty Ronald Muwenda Mutebi II Kabaka of Buganda at a Special Prayer Service held on 24th May 1996 in remembrance of the 1966 attack on the Lubiri

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Your Excellency, Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, President of The Republic of Uganda; Your Excellencies, Members of the Diplomatic Corps; My Lord Bishops; Obuganda:

We are greatly honoured to have in our midst, His Excellency Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, President of The Republic of Uganda; and all the guests from inside and outside Buganda and Uganda to remember the storming of the Lubiri by Uganda Army troops on the morning of 24th May, 1966.

Let me begin by once again congratulating President Museveni on his victory in the presidential elections which were concluded recently. Mr. President, may the Lord guide you as you steer the ship of state to greater peace, stability and development.

Your Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen, I decided to remember the 24th May because it is of great significance to my family, Buganda and Uganda. The events of that fateful day changed our lives as a family and the lives of the Baganda and Ugandans in a fundamental way and many of us are still trying to come to terms with the changes the events of 24th May 1966 brought about.

I thank the Lord for having enabled my father, the late Ssekabaka Mutesa II and some of his aides, for having successfully fought their way from the burning palace to safety. We should remember the clergy at Lubaga for the hospitality they offered my father at his greatest hour of need and for assisting him to escape to safety. I thank his loyal subjects who assisted him on his long march to freedom. I thank the British government who agreed to accept him as a refugee and all those who supported him and comforted him in the loneliness of his London exile.

Let us remember all those who stood by him and fought by his side and died at the hands of the Uganda Army of which he was Commander-in-Chief; Let us remember all those who were imprisoned and tortured; Let us remember all those who lost their loved ones and those that had to live in constant fear of the authorities and those who were traumatised by the violence unleashed by the authorities.

This is a very sad chapter in the history of our country but we cannot skip it, because there are lessons to be learned from it that can greatly contribute to the building of a peaceful and united Uganda.

On that fateful day the Lubiri, embodiment of Kiganda culture and traditions and the very soul of Buganda went up in flames and brought to a halt almost 1000 years of history. For once in her long history Buganda was without a King. She became an ant-hill without the queen ant. We never lost hope that one day our cultural integrity as Baganda would be restored and we thank God that, that integrity which we craved and cherish was restored in 1993.

The Baganda cannot continue to mourn indefinitely for what was lost. We should not continue to labour under the burden of self pity because this self pity will destroy our soul and, therefore, our resolve to rebuild Buganda. Let me in this connection draw the attention of our people to the book of Nehemiah in the Holy Bible for inspiration. In chapter 2 verses 17-18 and I quote “Then I said to them ‘You see the trouble we are in, how Jerusalem lies in ruins with its gates burned. Come, let us build the wall of Jerusalem, that we may no longer suffer disgrace’. ….and they said ‘Let us rise up and build’. So they strengthened their hands for the good work”.

Instead of lamenting the sorry state to which Jerusalem had been reduced and stopping there, the children of Israel rebuilt Jerusalem. I would like to tell the Baganda that 30 years of mourning are enough. Now is the time to begin rebuilding Buganda with our brains and hands. No greater tribute can be paid by us to the memory of those who suffered and died at the hands of tyrants than the rebuilding of Buganda in all respects.

The place to begin the building of Buganda is the discipline of our youth. Buganda was built on discipline and I, therefore, charge parents and opinion leaders in Buganda to inculcate discipline amongst our youth. They are the ones who are going to build the New Buganda of our dreams and they must, therefore, have the discipline to do so. I ask all the leaders in this crusade to lead by example. That is the only way our youth will learn to lead disciplined lives.

It is sweat and toil that makes countries prosperous. The Baganda must, therefore, sweat and toil to make the land of their ancestors a great place to live in once again. The Baganda should stop running away from Buganda in the hope that somehow miraculously somebody else will develop the land for them to come back to when it begins to flow with milk and honey. Nobody will develop the land for you but yourselves, and this is the greatest challenge that you face. Baganda derived great pride and satisfaction in the payment of taxes in the past. Baganda were very proud of their good manners. Let us rediscover that pride and use it to rebuild Buganda and Uganda. Buganda was built on accomodation and the palaces of the Kabakas were the melting pots of nationalities and talents. Buganda still stands on her record of accomodation but what we ask for is reciprocity. Indeed Uganda would become a very strong and united nation if there was reciprocity all around.

Lastly let me make this pledge – the Mutebi reign will be one of reconciliation, unity, peace and development.

I thank all the celebrants and all those who have graced this occasion with their presence.

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