President Museveni has urged Ugandans to use the resources they have, and government financial support to improve their wellbeing.
Speaking in Ntungamo District on Thursday during the launch of the Social Economic Empowerment Programme for the district, Mr Museveni said some people have resources such as land but are not putting it to optimal use.
“Leaders, you have to tell people to work and get out of poverty. Everybody should engage in income generating work; we won’t tolerate those that don’t want to work when they have land. Those without land, we can support them to engage in other specialisation,” Mr Museveni said.
He further said those with little lands from half acre can carry out fruit growing, zero grazing, coffee growing, poultry and piggery. Mr Museveni said while many people now have built good houses and dress well, they are still not prosperous, and can do better and get rich if they commit to working hard using their resources and with government support. “True there is development, people have built good houses and you dress well than in the past, but what income do you have even when you have that good house? I want you to move from that level of being fairly well off to become rich,” Mr Museveni said.
He further said there are enough role models in communities and urged people to copy and learn from their neigbours to bring economic transformation to their families as well. The President asked those owning salons, the welders, carpenters, boda boda cyclists, restaurant owners, tailors, mechanics, women, PWDSs, agriculture produce dealers, vendors, and taxi operators to form and register the groups in the specialized sectors and government will give them startup capital.
The President said money to each group will be loaned to the members at one per cent interest per month. Mr Museveni advised that each member contributes some money before joining, so that in addition to government funds, they raise enough for the members to borrow.
Long term plan
“You can eventually grow and become a bank. Centenary (Rural Development) Bank started in the same way. There was no government; it’s now competing with international banks. This will enable you to use your (group) money instead of going to commercial banks that charge you highly (for borrowing their money)” Mr Museveni said.
Ms Janet Museveni facilitated training of the members that formed the groups and established enterprises that will benefit from the programme.
Free and Rich Uganda, which is implementing the programme, is owned by Mr Rodgers Aijuka, the director of Rap Tech Institute that trains youth in business, technical and entrepreneurial skills in Ntungamo. “I asked mzee to come and support you who have small enterprises. There are many groups formed after the training by [Enterprise Uganda executive director Charles] Ocici. The services that used to take people to Kampala are now here. This is going to relive people the hustle of travelling to Kampala,” Ms Museveni said.