Manifesto Implementation Unit (MIU) Director, Willis Bashaasha has appealed to leaders across the country to emulate the sacrifice of the Uganda martyrs in serving the masses.
Bashaasha who doubles as the Head of Laity for West Ankole Diocese made the call in an exclusive interview with this publication while conveying his Martyrs Day message.
He revealed that despite a few challenges facing Ugandans, the citizens have remained upbeat and very resilient; something which leaders across the board should harness to cause the much needed socioeconomic transformation which government through the NRM Manifesto 2021-26 intends for every single Ugandan.
“This political term kicked off with a couple of global challenges such as the Covid-19 lockdowns and the Russia-Ukraine war, whose spillover effects have occasioned a torrid financial strain on developing economies like Uganda. However, it is very encouraging to see that our people have continued to work harder while keeping the belief that things are going to get better. That’s the true spirit of the Uganda martyrs and I want to commend all Ugandans for this resilience,” Bashaasha said.
He however reserved special praise for the government led by President Yoweri Museveni for offering solution-based guidance which has helped to mitigate these challenges and given Ugandans much hope for a better future.
“Government led by our President, Gen. Yoweri Museveni should take credit for leading citizens through this challenging time. You will recall that right from the onset of the pandemic, our President took to the frontline and protected us from the million deaths which were witnessed by world super powers; it is no surprise that Uganda was ranked second in effective management of the pandemic globally. However, even in the face of the economic hardships, government’s steadfast approach saved the economy from collapse and as shown by the latest figures from the Ministry of Finance inflation is back to single digits (at 8% now), with economic growth also continuing to rise when compared to the immediate post-Covid period,” Bashaasha observed.
Manifesto Week Shows Positive Outlook
Bashaasha also appealed to Ugandans to keep the focus on the available socioeconomic empowerment programmes, revealing that the reports from the recent Manifesto Week showed that the country is on the right trajectory of achieving its development targets including Vision 2040.
“A lot is being done and I am happy that we had a chance to communicate to Ugandans during the week about what’s being done in terms of implementing the social contract the government signed with them. As revealed by the Rt. Hon. Prime minister, for instance, government has fully achieved 20% manifesto implementation, with 77% commitments on track to be completed. That means that with all stakeholders including the wananchi and leaders engaging the right gears, we can achieve full targets by the end of the term,” he said.
He thus challenged leaders at every level to convey the right message to the people at the grassroots to engage in productive work because the infrastructure to act as a springboard for socioeconomic transformation has been put in place by government.
“One of the key challenges which emerged during the Manifesto Week presentations was low productivity of our people. But if we are to look at it with optimism, that challenge means there is still too much untapped potential within the population. I therefore urge all manifesto implementation stakeholders including RDCs, political and technical personnel in the MDAs and local governments harness this potential by picking up the president’s message and mobilizing our people to engage in more productive ventures through progarmmes like the Parish Development Model, Emyoga, OWC, among others,” he said. Bashaasha however cautioned that such productivity will only be enhanced if the impediments including corruption and senseless apathy towards government programmes are cured.
“Even before we blame corruption, I urge Ugandans to emulate the conviction the martyrs had towards their faith to love their country and government. Many times people reject or dismiss government programmes even without trying to understand them. This is very bad because such people also go ahead to poison the minds of others who would have benefitted from the projects. This is why all leaders have a duty to speak constantly about these programmes so that our people can understand them and adopt them for their own socioeconomic empowerment,” he said.
Bashaasha’s message comes at a time when the president has ordered NRM leaders to mobilise the masses to take up development programmes with conveying the right messages. The president issued the guidance during the ten-day NRM retreat with NRM MPs at NALI-Kyankwanzi.