President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni who doubles as the National Chairman of the National Resistance Movement (NRM) while meeting the NRM caucus members yesterday directed the Minister of Finance Planning and Economic Development to come up with a statutory instrument to operationalize section 90 of tier 4 Microfinance Institutions and Money Lenders act 2016 within two weeks to control interest rates.
Museveni said moneylenders have caused misery to families and individuals to an extent of committing suicide due to the high and unregulated interest rates.
“These money lenders who are causing suicide to our young people, who allows them to operate? Because I wanted to cancel all the loans of the money lenders,” Museveni said.
President Museveni also urged Members of Parliament to fight corruption if they want to be appreciated by the people.
“I’m going to crush these corrupt people. When you hear bloodshed do not get surprised. Because you are going to kill your country. So, I want you to support me If I bring with the Attorney General an amendment saying that if anybody extorts money in the name of the president, should go to jail for some time. We are going to attack a few examples and they will become examples of others,” Gen. Museveni assured NRM legislators.
He further tasked the political leaders to always do a socio- economic diagnosis to know the problems of the people they lead so that they are able to solve them.
He however said the NRM leaders were lucky because they belong to a political family that is able to diagnose and offer prescriptions in the form of solutions to Ugandans.
“The work of a local health worker is to simply implement the mass prescription for the area. So, this is the same way with the political leaders in an area. What is the sickness of the population?” he asked.
The President made the remarks yesterday during a meeting with the NRM Parliamentary Caucus that was held at State House Entebbe.
The meeting was also attended by the First Lady and also Minister of Education and Sports, Maama Janet Museveni.
President Museveni further appealed to the caucus members to mainly focus on enhancing the homestead incomes of people in their areas.
“So, we said the prescription is to work with Operation Wealth Creation (OWC) soldiers to talk to people and show them how to join the money economy through agriculture. As leaders your job was simple just to inform them to get the free government seedlings and to check whether the soldiers were delivering the seedlings in a good way, or if they were making some mistakes then you point them out. The problem is that in some cases even when they join the money economy they do so without “ekibalo” (calculation),” he noted.
He advised that if the politicians concentrate on the homestead incomes, they will be able to stabilise the politics in their areas by using government resources but not their money.
“Your work is very simple, monitor government programs because the government has already sent in money, and you are going to be very popular, if you are looking for popularity. If you come and say, the government sent money here, where is it and what happened to it? People will like you because you would be exposing the corrupt people, the thieves. You are here at the center, you have the information,” President Museveni said.
“Like now this Parish Development Model (PDM), if you really follow it up like in my area in Kisozi, I know how many homesteads there are, and I have so far involved 1,700 homesteads out of the over 2,000 homesteads. If you are to check your homesteads even if you cover like 50 homesteads each year or 100, they will get out of working for only the stomach and start working for the stomach and pocket but with “ekibalo”. You will get less pressure from politics because people will appreciate it,” he added.
The President also urged the leaders that while in society; they should look for some success stories that can inspire other Ugandans to work hard to uplift their livelihoods.
“Like for instance in your area if you manage to get some two or more successes of those who implement the word, then these are the ones you use. I have been telling you many times about the model farmer Nyakana of Fort Portal and I send people to go there and see. And if there are no good examples in your area, start one yourself,” he said.
The President also tasked the caucus members to support the State House Skilling programs, support the Ministry of Education with technical schools as well Emyooga program to help more youth to create jobs themselves to deal with the challenge of unemployment in the country.
“You have seen what my small skilling program with my State House Comptroller has done; it is very popular with the youth due to its impact.”
The NRM Chairman also updated the caucus about Operation Shujaa to wipe out the ADF rebels that are yielding results every day.
In the same meeting, the Vice President, Jessica Alupo gave a brief to the President on the UN General Assembly which took place in New York where she represented Uganda.
The Attorney General, Kiryowa Kiwanuka informed the President that money lenders are provided for by law and are licensed by the microfinance institutions which are managed by the ministry of finance.
“However, the Ministry of Finance was required under the law to make a provision for the maximum interest payable in this case which has not been done since 2016” Kiryowa Kiwanuka said.