Ugandans have been urged to put emphasis on the creation of more jobs for others, and ensure the gradual improvement of welfare for those in the working cohort.
This remark was made by the President and Commander in Chief of the UPDF H.E Gen Yoweri Kaguta Museveni during celebrations to mark the International Labor Day at Namutumba District headquarters on May 1st, Monday.
This year’s celebrations were held under the theme: “Promoting Positive Work Culture and Ethics: A prerequisite for increased Investment, Employment Opportunities and Household Incomes.”
The annual event is commemorated in appreciation of the contribution of workers to national development and helps on raising national and international consciousness on the importance of promoting and protecting the rights of workers. The day is also used as an occasion to remind workers of their responsibilities and obligations.
Speaking at the function, President Museveni congratulated all workers and promised to increase district fund allocations for the maintenance, repair and reconstruction of both tarmac and murram roads to ensure good service delivery.
President Museveni reiterated his Womens’ Day speech of promoting the efficient adoption of the Parish Development Model to create more 7 million new jobs per acre.
“Agriculture alone creates more jobs than the population of Uganda. If we fully commercialise agriculture, we can create more jobs for Ugandans.
Usage of small pieces of land for pigery, zero grazing for cattle, diary and poultry creates more than 10 jobs to cater for 7 million homesteads,” President said.
He noted that economy is widely vested in raw materials such as coffee and cotton and on this he said, if Ugandans would add value to them, it would grow Uganda’s economy to more than 50 billion.
President Museveni further stressed that having a stable country, with good infrastructure ( like roads and electricity) and the enaction of efficient policy decisions, among others; leads to economic growth.
He said: “The economy has expanded from 1.5 bn to 50bn and yet we are investing in raw materials like coffee and cotton.
He called for value addition to further expand the economy.
The visibly bitter President, however, warned corrupt politicians and civil servants, who he said ask for bribes from investors and delay investment decisions.
He noted that the act raises the cost of doing business.
“Stop, because I will definitely collide with you. Assist wealth creaters, don’t ask for bribes or delay decisions, just like UDB does,” he warn.
In his closing remarks, President Museveni discouraged wetlands encroachment and hinted at developing our own model and structuring a different approach other than thinking of International Labour Organisations, saying Uganda is very rich and can servive on its own through other sustainable developments like forestry and tourism.
“We should have plans according to our means and not other countries,” noted President Museveni.
President Museveni emphasized investment in commercial agriculture, services, industry and ICT to create more jobs for Ugandans, other than improvement of welfare.
He urged Ugandans to be competitive with the rest of the world by reducing on the cost of doing business in the country, through programs like cheap and reliable power and repair of the old railway. “I want all of us to be part of the future of the new Uganda and Africa. Therefore, change your self,” the President ended his speech.
The Minister of Gender, Labour and Social Development, Among Betty Ongom in her speech echoed that most youth work under vulnerable positions with no formal contracts.
She noted that the economy has continued to generate more jobs especially through technology that has altered online bussinesses and numbers of employed persons have highly increased since 2016.
“We have 10 million in employment, 1 million unemployed while 85% work in the formal sector. Unemployment has reduced,” Hon Among noted.
She applauded the President for the job creation innitiatives like the Parish Development Model, Emyooga and Operation Wealth Creation, among other development initiatives.
The representative of the workers, Sr Beatrice Achiro Kyomukama saluted and thanked President Museveni for the support rendered to workers.
She too appreciated the people of Uganda towards their tireless efforts and contribution to the development of the country and stabilisation of families.
She noted that the biggest challenge for many workers in Uganda today is mindset change, total lack of culture and indiscipline.
“When you break the culture of indiscipline, you get superior performance,” she echoed.
She pledged to continue organising workers into labour unions to transform the working people and unveil innovative systems and structures to generate critical and vibrant workers of integrity.
Dr. Eng Mugisha, the representative of the Federation of Uganda Employers, thanked employers for their immense contribution to the social economic transformation of the country through investments in productive activities and job creation.
“Your contribution to the growth and development of economies cannot be taken for granted,” Eng Mugisha noted.
At the same function, 64 medals were awarded by the Masters of Ceremonies of the Chancellory Maj Gen George Igumba, on behalf of the President, to personalities for their distinguished contribution towards the Social Economic transformation of the country.
The function was also graced by the attendance of Her Excellency the Vice President (Rtd) Maj Jessica Alupo, His Lordship Hon Chief Justice
Alphonse Owiny Dollo, 1st Deputy Prime Minister Hon Rabecca Kadaga, 3 Deputy Prime Minister Hon Rukia Nakadama, Cabinet Ministers, diplomats, Members of Parliament, RDCs, Security Chiefs, Cultural and Religious leaders, among others.