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Sunday 21st November, 2015

Manifesto Launch Remarks

The choice in 2016, ladies and gentlemen, is clear: change or more of the same?
This manifesto, beginning to end, proposes real change; change that is both micro and
macro; change that is both meaningful and measurable. It is more than a public
announcement of ideas or ideology; it is the manual upon which we intend to perform
a radical re-organisation of Ugandan society.
This we I speak of is The Democratic Alliance (Uganda). And we are committed to
a government of national unity and to the following goals:
-! To undertake appropriate political and electoral reforms
-! To reorganise and rebuild state institutions and cut down the size of
-! To establish a credible electoral management system and organise free and fair
-! To undertake economic reforms to stimulate job-creating economic growth and
create conditions for equal opportunity and shared prosperity
-! To implement measures to eliminate the cancer of corruption
Additionally, we commit ourselves to:
-! A cabinet of not more than 21 ministers and 21 state ministers and
-! a government that ensures gender parity
To do any of the above, we need good governance. We need a government that
respects the rule of law in totality and shuns impunity. We need strong institutions and
a zero-tolerance culture to corruption.
What is the rule of law? A working definition would be government by law and not by
the arbitrary feelings and decisions of powerful individuals. The rule of law simply
means that nobody is above the law. It means that whoever you are in society
whether youre the president, or the LC1 chairman, whether youre the head teacher or
the owner of the biggest stall in Nakasero market you cant just do whatever you
want, whenever you want; it means that you are bound by the requirements of our
national laws and that you are answerable to the authorities.
This idea is especially important within government itself. As President, I will expect
those in my cabinet, those in my office and those in government-at-large to conduct

themselves with utmost virtue. For too long, the people of Uganda have suffered at the
hands of the unprincipled. Today, corruption consumes nearly 2 trillion of our GDP.
That ends the moment I take office. I pledge to you today that those who are found
guilty of corruption will be dealt with swiftly and without mercy.
Within the first hundred days, government will amend the leadership code in order to
empower the Inspector General of Government to access financial records of all
public officers and compare them to the declarations submitted. All public servants
shall be required to not only declare their assets but also their sources of income.
Further, corruption cases will be expedited. Whilst in court, the assets of the accused
will be frozen. And if found guilty liquidated immediately.
Additionally, government will strengthen the law that protects whistle-blowers,
encouraging citizens to report cases of fraudulent conduct both by government and
private companies. We shall also legislate to allow Qui Tam lawsuits where a private
individual sues another (be it a government agency, a private company or an
individual) on behalf of the Government of Uganda.


Good governance is the first of our primary concerns. The other two are: the state of
our economy and service delivery.
We begin with the economy. It is time for government to take serious steps towards
job creation so that young Ugandans, so many of them desperate, and some of them
having reached their wits end, can finally find security in their own country.
This endeavour, of transforming our economy, will begin at the Sub-County level.
Indeed, the Advanced Sub-County Model (ASM) is the heart of our development
program. In every Sub-County in Uganda, we will create a large complex that houses
the following:
A community bank
A police post
A well-equipped, stocked and staffed health insurance facility
A Registration Office for Births, Deaths and Marriages
A community centre with at least 10 computers, a library and reading area with
free Wi-Fi internet access
! A sports facility
! A creative club for artists, musicians, dancers etc
! A stage and parking area for buses, taxis and bodabodas


A computerised Community Information Management System

A well-equipped, stocked and staffed health insurance facility
At least 1 farmers cooperative society and 1 cooperative society for teachers
A Transporters (i.e. bodaboda/taxi operates) Savings and Loans Association,
as well as one for women
! At least 1 silo for storage of agricultural produce belonging to members of the
the Farmers Cooperative Society

There are 1,388 Sub-Counties in Uganda. Imagine the possibilities! In terms of jobs,
the Advanced Sub-County Model would be responsible for the creation of nearly
450,000 new jobs across the country, finally putting young Ugandans to work. 70% of
this system will be staffed by young people from our volunteer graduate program.
You will read about other job-creating initiatives in our manifesto such as the Uganda
Commodities Exchange Company which my government will set up to link
farmers/owners of produce to buyers both local and foreign-based. This company
alone will create more than 1500 new jobs directly. But more than that it will lead,
indirectly, to the generation of thousands more as this modern Commodities Exchange
will lead to growth in all related industries. Industries such as transport and logistics,
banking, insurance and ICT services.
You will also read of lower taxes. My government will bring the VAT rate down from
18% to 16%. By doing this, government will be encouraging the emergence of
industries, as well as greater sales and profits for businesses. Thus private companies
around the country will have more room in their budgets to hire.
Even without such initiatives as above, there are over 32,000 jobs waiting to be filled
in Public Service according to the most recent Annual Report of the Auditor General).
These jobs are to be found at universities like Makerere and Kyambogo, at KCCA, in
various ministries and departments, government hospitals and authorities as well as in
the judiciary. My government will not sit idly by whilst graduates with masters
degrees have to resort to a life of being bodaboda drivers because they cannot find
work. We will fill up the vacancies in the Public Service with those who are qualified.
Those who lack certain skills will undergo skills training, making them more desirable
in the workforce.
Of course the work of job creation is not the work of government alone. In fact, the
burden of job creation is typically shouldered by the private sector. This is exactly as
it ought to be in a free-market economy which Uganda aims to be. But the
government must put in place the spinal infrastructure, must ensure that the right
conditions for job and industry creation exist.
This is exactly what our set-up at the Sub-County level will permit. Once these
complexes are built, and once several other spinal things (like good roads and
adequate electricity supply) are in place, our towns and municipalities and villages
will inevitably attract many different services: transport, finance, hotels and

restaurants, insurance, energy, telecommunications, ICT, education, leisure and

processed products. This will, in turn, create a higher demand for workers to deliver
these goods and services to all corners of the country, ultimately attracting more
opportunities for both domestic and foreign investors.
Therefore, in the next 5 years we expect such opportunities to have created between
500,000-1 million jobs in the private sector.

Job creation is a huge part of our plan to make Uganda work for everyone. But equally
important is industry. In Uganda today, we have a limited presence of manufactured
Ugandan products. This means we have a limited capacity to compete in global
markets. Furthermore, our manufacturing capacity amounts to a mere 7% of Ugandas
GDP. This is below the average of 11% for least developed countries. And yet we
know that a fundamental part of the development of any modern society hinges on its
ability to move away from a largely farming-based economy to a manufacturing-based
Between 1850 and 1950, income levels in Britain more than quadrupled due to
industrialisation. But like many developing countries we dont have the luxury of 100
years. What Uganda needs is accelerated development. It has been done before: in
Singapore, in South Korea, in Taiwan three countries that were not nearly as wellendowed as Uganda in terms of natural resources.
Imagine the possibility!
Imagine it and then believe that it can be accomplished here in Uganda, starting with
my government. This work of mechanising farming and mass manufacturing will
not end with my government, but it will begin the moment I am sworn in to office.

Industrialisation, better social services, job creation: these things dont take place in a
vacuum. They happen because there are roads, theres clean water, theres an adequate
supply of electricity. As the body cannot function without a spine, our plans will not
materialise without basic infrastructure.
We know that the roads sector has consistently received the highest share of the
Government Budget for the last 7 years. And yet we are all aware that many areas still
lack roads especially those areas where farmers have a need of taking their produce
to markets. A lack of decent roads in rural Uganda is hindering our farmers and yet
82% of our labour force is in agriculture. We also know that the roads we do have are
a lot of them of questionable quality. This is partly due to corrupt individuals who

seek to make money out of government projects. This kind of inefficiency and
misconduct must come to an end and it will.
In order for our economy to further grow and for incomes to further rise, it is
imperative we provide an answer to the electricity question. Uganda is one of the most
electricity poor countries in the world. In 2013, our electricity consumption was as
low as 215 Kwh per person, per annum. This is below the global average of 12,975
Kwh and the Sub-Saharan average of 553 Kwh.
And yet, Uganda has considerable renewable energy resources in hydropower, solar
power and biomass residues. It is time to invest in these electricity-producing avenues.
We propose, what is known as, a Grid-Tie Solar System where a home or building can
generate solar power and then load whatever power it hasnt used directly to the utility
grid. This means that every individual that uses this system can participate in
producing power for their communities, and for the rest of the country.
Among my governments top infrastructural priorities are the following:
1)! In my first year in office we will dedicate the time and resources required for
road-building. We have already identified various major roads that need to be
worked on. The fact is we have a rather large mess in our transport system.
During rush hour, many of our people lose what would have been productive
hours in traffic. To solve this problem, we must come together, the taxi
operators and other stakeholders to create a public transport system that works.
And it can only happen if the current taxi operators like UTODA are allowed to
own the new system.
2)! Extend electricity distribution network to all Sub-Counties and install a solar
electricity support system in those Sub-Counties that have not been served by
the national electricity distribution network.
3)! Embark on providing safe drinking water. Within the next 5 years, all urban
and rural areas will have safe water supplies within 0.5 kilometres of their
4)! We will build 200,000 toilets for those who lack access and work hard to
increase sanitation in high-density population areas.


What does it mean that Uganda has an inadequate number of health workers
where the ratio of doctors to population 1:24,000, nurses 1:1,700 and dentists
1:77,000? What does it mean that the World Health Organisation ranks Uganda
161st out of 186 nations in terms of healthcare performance?

It means that 16 women die everyday from pregnancy and childbirth-related

complications; it means hunger and malnutrition cost us 6% of our GDP; it
means patients in Kisoro have to buy gloves for the health workers looking after
them and that ordinary citizens in Kasese have to walk over 50 kilometres to
find a health worker to attend to their need. We dont have a poor healthcare
system. We have a broken one.
The good news, is that we can fix it if we do the following three things:
1)! Restructure the remuneration, benefits, and incentives given to medical
staff/health workers in order to encourage them to seek and retain
employment in Uganda
2)! Recruit 25,000 new primary healthcare workers to bridge the current
manpower gap.
3)! Introduce a program in which eligible doctors receive incentives to work
in rural areas.
4)! Provide a minimum healthcare package that includes control/management
of communicable diseases and childhood illnesses, sexual and
reproductive health and rights, immunisation, environmental health,
school health and nutrition, health education and promotion, epidemics
and disaster prevention. A minimum healthcare package that strengthens
mental health services and essential clinic care.
I believe, we believe, that healthcare is a fundamental human right, and it is our
intention to ensure that every citizen has access not just to basic health care but
to good health care. This is exactly what our Voluntary Health Insurance
Scheme will provide.
My friend and hero Nelson Mandela once said that Education is the most powerful
weapon which you can use to change the world. I happen to agree with him. And
because I so vehemently believe in education, I know that our education system, just
like our healthcare, is in need of an overhaul.
There are those who will say that Uganda has come a long way from the days of
widespread illiteracy. Thousands and thousands of more children are in school. This
is, of course, accurate. We now have Universal Primary Education, and Universal
Secondary Education. There are more classrooms around the country today than there
were 30 years ago and more of our citizens are able to read and write.
However the challenges our education system currently face are greater in terms of
curricular and infrastructural quality. If this were not the case, we would not have

dropout rates for UPE and USE as high as 71% and 40% respectively in some areas;
we would not suffer from such a large skills gap; we would neither have such high
levels of teacher absenteeism or a pupil to textbook ratio of 9:1. Certainly we would
not have children studying under trees and writing in dust as I did when I went to
school for the first time in the late 50s.
There are many things I propose to do to remedy this situation in our manifesto, but I
will quickly list 10 of them:
1)! My government will increase the education budget from 14% to 20% of the
national budget, in line with the goals we as a country endorsed at the Dakar
World Forum for Education 2000.
2)! We will recruit and train new teachers, as well restructure their remuneration
and benefits with the aim of reducing the teacher-student ratio.
3)! We will ensure that teachers have adequate benefits such as housing in order to
battle the high levels of teacher absenteeism.
4)! We will overhaul the current curriculum for all formal schooling up to the
tertiary level.
5)! We shall build more schools and classrooms
6)! Each sub-region will have at least one university and vocational institute
7)! We will implement a new school curriculum which is responsive to ICT
knowledge and the information-based economy of the 21st century. Our
children must not be left behind!
8)! We must and we will study the causes of the alarming drop-out rates of young
girls in primary school and thereafter seek remedies to reverse this dangerous
trend. There is no reason why any girl whether rural or urban, whether rich or
poor, whether from the north or the south, whether Christian or Muslim or
Hindu should leave school before the age of 18, let alone at the tender age of
9)! We shall restore the glory of our historic schools such as Sir Samuel Baker
School, St. Josephs Ombaci, Ntare School, Tororo Girls, Mutorere S.S.
Kangole Girls, Kigezi High, Busoga College Mwiri and others.
10)!Finally, we will gradually introduce nursery sections in all government-aided
primary schools, having developed a pre-primary education policy with a
curriculum that has set standards and includes basic ICT skills.
Our aim, in all this, is to restore the dignity and glory of teaching as well as to have
schools that produce citizens who are confident, self-aware, ethical, responsible,
innovative and patriotic.

Now, more than ever dear friends, is the time for patriotism!
Not a patriotism based on ones allegiance to a political crowd or ideology but a
patriotism based on ones love for our country, Uganda.
Some of our most patriotic citizens dont actually live in Uganda. They live in India,
in America, in Germany and in China. These are our fellow brothers and sisters in the
diaspora and it is time they had a government that recognised them as citizens who not
only love their country but contribute immensely to her economic and social
advancement. For this reason, my government will register and issue Non-Resident
Ugandan identification cards at all our embassies and missions abroad and all those
who register will be eligible to vote in national elections, at their nearest mission.
There is more in store for the diaspora under my leadership and the leadership of The
Democratic Alliance (Uganda) because ours will be a modern, inclusive and tolerant
Part of loving ones country is being actively involved in its advancement not just
nationally but within our own communities as well. This is why my government will
be reinstating community service (or bulungibwansi). We will all make a collective
effort at improving our neighbourhoods by cleaning communal roads as well as
communal water supply sources. And we will all be participating in a health
inspection regime at both household and communal levels where competitions will
reward the best whilst encouraging the least performers.
An often over-looked method of instilling patriotism in citizens is through sport and
arts and culture. My government will be committed to the arts not merely because the
work artists do helps to build a sense of national identity but because everywhere in
the world, without exception, artists, writers, singers and painters have contributed
immensely to the historical and cultural fabric of any nation. We must, in Uganda,
begin to recognise this and duly give them the esteem they deserve. My government
will do so by enforcing copy right and intellectual property laws, as well as placing a
creative arts centre in every Sub-County in order to nurture this section of our
Similarly, to all our sportsmen and women (be they runners, tennis and rugby players,
footballers or netballers) I pledge better facilitation from government, a rejuvenation
of community sports and facilities, as well as the development of regional stadiums
and sports centres of excellence.


Patriotism is not an attitude for our citizens alone. Patriotism is what drives the work
of our armed forces and all our gallant men and women at work, whether here in
Uganda or in South Sudan, Somalia and in Central African Republic.
The security of East Africa and Africa at large is too important to bet on and the
realities of global terrorism require both military might and well thought-out policy.
This is why under my government our forces will continue to secure both Somalia and
the Central African Republic from the torment of terrorism in whatever form. I
believe in the ability of the UPDF. It may not be a perfect force but it is a force that
we, as Ugandans, can all be proud of. I believe in the UPDF and I know that with
strong, clear-headed, discerning leadership, as well as with help from our neighbours
and our partners around the world we can be successful in the battle against 21st
century fascism.
The work our officers do in those countries is vital not just to protect the innocent
citizens in those countries but to protect us here at home. Surely, then, at the barest
minimum, our forces should earn a decent wage and benefit from facilities good
enough for themselves and their families. That is why my government will undertake
to improve their welfare whatever this requires: be it an increase in salary or housing
for the families of those who have died or have been injured in service.
But service is not only for those who are already members of our armed forces. Under
my government, the chance to serve will be made available to every young person in
an exclusive national service program called The Uganda Cadets. Here, students
will be taught the basic tenets of Ugandas core values namely peace, unity, equality,
democracy, freedom, social justice and progress. Furthermore, all students will serve
in one of three areas: The Literacy Program, the Medical Program or the Armed
Forces Program.
There is one last patriotic undertaking that I want to bring to light. My fellow
Ugandans, it is time for us to build a Uganda that is safe for and fair to girls and
women. Uganda must work for women! I call this a patriotic undertaking because
when half of our population suffers any kind of systemic disadvantage, then it is
incumbent upon everyone to join together and seek to remove this handicap.
That is why my government is determined to ensure the following: safer childbirth
and pre- and ante-natal care, affordable health insurance, a better healthcare package,
protection from sexual and physical violence, an end to child marriage, a review of
special interest groups leadership and representation, security of ownership of land
and property, affordable and convenient agriculture finance and enhanced food

These are the pledges I make to you today and you can hold me accountable when the
time comes.
God bless you all and God bless this country, Uganda.