Manifesto Implementation Unit (MIU) Director Willis Bashaasha has warned leaders across the political divide in the country to desist from early politicking but rather direct all energies towards entrenching and promoting government programmes.
Bashaasha made the call in an exclusive interview with this publication.
According to Bashaasha, the NRM government got a fresh mandate to steer the country forward, basing on promises contained in the NRM Manifesto 2021-2026.
He says these promises are summarized in the 5 thematic areas of this manifesto, namely; Creating Wealth and Jobs; Delivering Education and Health; Ensuring Justice and Equity; Protecting Life and Property and Achieving Economic and Political Integration.
“Government’s commitment to fulfilling this manifesto cannot be doubted because it has put in place all the necessary structures. However, it is evident that the shocks that came in the form of the COVID-19 pandemic lock downs and the instability in Europe have distorted resource mobilization thus pulling back our implementation timelines. But nevertheless, some progress is on and this is why we want to urge our leaders at all levels to really concentrate and rally Ugandans to work towards socioeconomic transformation which is the manifesto’s number one priority,” Bashaasha said.
According to Bashaasha, the current Financial Year is according to plan a year for full blown manifesto implementation, with the previous year earmarked majorly for planning purposes.
“That means all government programmes implementation stakeholders at all levels across the country should be focused on this major task. The limitations in resources make this duty even more critical and taxing because the few available resources must be efficiently utilized for the benefit of the wananchi,” he said.
It is against this background that Bashaasha wants leaders across the country to desist from early politicking, saying such a move distracts Ugandans— especially the youth— from focusing on programmes that the government designed to improve their socioeconomic livelihoods.
“The Parish Development Model was launched and as we speak now, over 80% of the required Saccos were constituted and some have received some funding. This therefore means that our people must be monitored and guided to ensure they dedicate all their efforts in this direction other than being distracted into opportunistic politicking at this critical time,” Bashaasha argues.
Bashaasha further says that with the NRM having clearly defined a clear political agenda and road map for the country constitutionally, there is now no logical basis for political careerism which is being displayed by pockets of leaders at this time.
“The president who is our vision bearer has clearly shown us where to presently concentrate our energies in both his speeches and actions. It is very clear that if he is not guiding us on what to do then he will either be launching a completed or new government programme. This is a clear indication that this is time to work since the political future of the country was clearly secured as prescribed by the different constitutional provisions. This is why I urge all leaders to follow the president’s example,” Bashaasha said, adding that the focus of everyone should be on helping Ugandans to increase production, find avenues for value addition and markets for the produce and output.
Bashaasha also decried the rampant theft of money meant for manifesto implementation. He however expressed optimism that current efforts to apprehend and stop the corrupt will help weed the systems of such self-seeking individuals.
“I would like to commend the state house anti-corruption unit and other anti-graft agencies for stepping up their oversight functions which has enabled the arrest of the corrupt people sabotaging government programmes like the PDM. There’s now great optimism that the vice will be forestalled on top of recovering the stolen money to benefit the masses,” he said.