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Serena International Conference Centre, Kampala: March, 9, 2015
Your Excellencies
Invited Guests
Ladies and gentlemen in your respective capacities
On behalf of the members and supporters of the Forum for
Democratic Change and many Ugandans across this country who
share the values and aspirations that we stand for, I welcome you to
this historic event when we launch our policy agenda for triggering
Ugandas Leap Forward.
Let me first of all acknowledge with gratitude and respect the
distinguished service of my predecessor Col.(Rtd) Dr. Kizza Besigye
and all of you leaders of our party for your collective and individual
contribution in building our Party.
Party Chairperson, Madam Joyce Sebugwawo, thank you for your
continued leadership and stewardship.
Thank you Madam Secretary General and your team and everybody
else that has worked tirelessly to organize this event.
Yesterday March 8, 2015 was the International Womens Day. As a
Party, we celebrate the great contributions of all Ugandan women.
Those who till our farmlands, those who teach our children, those
who spend sleepless nights looking after the sick, those who serve
in our military, at home and abroad, those who serve in our police,

prisons and intelligence services and all those running businesses,

or work in our public service and the mothers of the Nation.
The values that I espouse are an outcome of the nurturing of my
mother. I would not be what I am if it was not for the sacrifices and
huge influence that my mother had on shaping my character. A
tough disciplinarian, hard working woman of impeccable values, she
was. May God rest her soul in eternal peace.
Thank you Anna Adeke for honoring this occasion and for your
wonderful speech. There perhaps could be no better way to
celebrate the Ugandan women and our young people than listening
to you share their dreams and aspirations.
Today, I am profoundly humbled and honored to present to you our
Party policy agenda for triggering Ugandas Leap Forward.
Ugandas Leap Forward is our contract with you the people. It is a
contract to create a new dispensation and build a new foundation
for creating opportunities for all and bring about boundless
opportunities and shared prosperity.
Todays challenges are clear and we are conscious of the burden
and task before us.
We have had over two decades of jobless growth. Our country is
among the 50 most corrupt countries out of 176 countries ranked in
the Corruption Perception Index.
Our country is ranked as the most corrupt among the partner states
of the East African Community according to the East African Bribery
Index (2012).

And the Global Integrity Report 2011-12 noted for a second year
running that corruption is the biggest obstacle to doing business in
Parents across this country work very hard and sell the last of their
assets to send their children to school only for them to graduate into
a jobless market.
Official statistics tell us that poverty levels have gone down but out
of every 100 Ugandans, 40 of them live on the edge and stand the
risk of slipping back into poverty.
For over half a century since Independence, we have failed to
restructure our curriculum to respond to the needs of a changing
global economic architecture, the digital age and growing
The introduction of Universal Primary Education in 1997 has been
hailed as a signature accomplishment of the ruling party. But we
know that out of the 2.1 million children reported to have been
enrolled in Primary One, only 485,703 sat for Primary Leaving
Examinations (PLE). Since then, an average of 1.5 million children
remain unaccounted for every after 7 years.
How is it possible that we keep on congratulating ourselves for
improving education service delivery and yet we cannot provide a
decent learning environment, much less provide a decent meal to
our Nations children?
I can go on and on to highlight the many challenges and failures but
this is not for this moment. Today, we want to share with you a
policy package that will help create a new momentum to grow the
economy, create decent jobs and expand opportunity for every


Let me state clearly that we by no means discount the progress that
we have made as a country. And we acknowledge each of our
leaders who have made a contribution towards this progress,
however minimal.
However, we believe that the foundation beneath whatever progress
has been made in the last 52 years is unstable and could give way
when subjected to more stress.
The limits of the current leadership of our country need not be
emphasized. More importantly, the limits of the policies that are
being pursued are quite evident.
Economic growth has slowed down over the last 5 years, income
inequality is on the rise, levels of unemployment are frightening, the
delivery of public services has almost ground to a halt, and we are
experiencing systematic democratic reversals.
As a people, we can choose to remain in a state of denial. However,
the idea that a new leadership with a new set of ideas, a new
commitment and greater discipline is needed cannot be
overemphasized. We need to trigger and sustain a new momentum
to spur inclusive growth, eradicate extreme poverty that is trapping
over 40 percent of our people in perpetual vulnerability and create a
new optimism for our young people.
Today, I am greatly honored to present to you and the people of
Uganda our Four Point Action Plan to trigger Ugandas Leap
Forward to a future of opportunity and shared prosperity.
A plan to invest in our people and expand opportunity for every

A plan to re-engineer new sources of growth and create wellpaying and decent jobs for our people;
A plan to strengthen our national security, create a new
leadership and strengthen our public service; and
A plan to build people-centered regional integration and global
For the FDC, human development is more than the mere production
of goods and services, or the building of roads, bridges and dams,
or even the rise or fall in gross national revenue and per capita
It is about creating an environment in which citizens can develop
their full potential, lead productive lives in line with their needs,
interests and our collective national aspirations.
This is why our plan to invest in our people and expand opportunity
focuses on:
building a people-centered and resilient economy built around
economic freedom, free enterprise and strong worker and
social protection programmes;
giving every Ugandan child an opportunity to learn, compete
and succeed here and abroad;
building a functional, well-resourced public healthcare services
system and establishing an effective national healthcare
insurance policy that cares for all our citizens; and
a systematic plan to accelerate the formation and retention of
skilled human capital.
(Economic policy)

The overriding goal of our economic policy is to eradicate extreme

poverty and accelerate the attainment of shared prosperity for all
Ugandans, with particular emphasis on the 40 per cent of our fellow
Ugandans who are at the bottom of our economic strata.
In pursuing this goal, we will guarantee economic freedom as the
basic foundation for innovation and economic justice. Through
appropriate policies and legislation, we will ensure descent
conditions at the work place for Ugandan workers. We undertake to
establish a strong social security safety net that protects every
We have outlined a package of policies that will dramatically
improve the investment climate for both nationals and foreign
investors. These include strengthening the rule of law, creating a
skilled workforce, a strong monetary policy and, a systematic and
comprehensive investment programme in transport and energy
I can promise you fellow Ugandans that Government under FDC will
not stop at complaining about bureaucratic red tape, as is the habit
of the incumbent ruling party. The FDC will promptly and
expeditiously fix the problem, reduce the cost of doing business and
get businesses growing and expanding.
We believe that strong local governments are the foundations for
building local economic and social infrastructure, improving public
service delivery, and increasing demand for accountability and good
That is why we will dedicate a significant percentage of the national
budget towards local government funding through discretionary
funding mechanisms.

(Education policy)
We have outlined an education policy that puts emphasis on the
collective responsibility of the state, parents and guardians in
ensuring the delivery of quality and rewarding education for our
Our education policies and measures will tremendously and
systematically transform our Nations education system to create
the next generation of quality human capital needed to trigger
Ugandas Leap Forward, while giving all Ugandan children an
opportunity to fulfill their dreams and contribute to growing our
economy and strengthening our democracy.
FDC led Government will adopt policies and measures that give
honor to our Nations teachers who do a heroic job operating at the
frontline of our education system.
In particular, we are committed to establishing a remuneration and
compensation system that honors the long hours that our teachers
put in, build their pride and reward them for the sacrifice they make
in the classroom every day.
(Health policy)
We have outlined a coherent policy agenda to address our health
challenges including the commitment to revamp our Nations referral
We will invest in inspiring our health workers to create a new
generation of a health workforce that takes pride in patient
We will realign the health sector governance institutions to remove
duplication of effort, improve intra-system accountability and

resource local governments to take responsibility for ensuring

effective delivery of health services at the local level.
i) Re-engineering new sources of growth and stimulating job
creation by implementing game-changing initiatives
We have outlined a plan to re-engineer new sources of growth and
stimulate job creation. The policies of the Government under the
ruling party have positioned Uganda as a big, unregulated
consumer market buying almost everything made outside from
tooth picks to textiles and cell phones.
Our economy currently operates like a big supermarket run with a
kiosk mentality.
In sharp contrast, the FDC-led Government will adopt and pursue
game changing policy initiatives to trigger the Leap Forward towards
building an economy that is inclusive, a society of entrepreneurs
and innovators, and a country that operates at the frontlines of the
regional and global economy.
That is why our policies will focus on putting women and the youth
at the heart of our economic transformation agenda. Our policies
will shift women and youth programming from the current patronage
The FDC-led Government will adopt very specific indicators for
measuring the success of our youth and women intervention
Our goal is to see that on an annual basis, there is:
Systematic and measurable reduction in youth unemployment;
Increase in youth and women owned enterprises through
credible and affordable credit schemes among others; and

Creation of business incubation programmes for women and

youth entrepreneurs.
We have outlined a set of policies and actions to boost export
growth by systematically investing in the agricultural sector and
protecting local agribusiness from harmful competition in contrast to
the firefighting policy approach of the ruling party. This will include
fast tracking the establishment of a national bank for agricultural
transformation as the epi-center for agricultural finance delivery.
Consistent with our focus on the agriculture sector, we will adopt
policies that create more responsibility and accountability in the
governance of our natural resources. This will include a transparent
and accountable regime for utilization of revenues from oil and other
mineral resources.
The policies of the NRMO have suffocated our local governments
and defaulted on the grand bargain set out in our Constitution.
Power has been systematically grabbed from them, they are
chronically underfunded but they are blamed for the failures of the
Our policy package also focuses on strengthening our local
government system and making them the epi-centres of local
economic development and the effective delivery of public services
to Ugandans. .
Our targeted investments in science and technology, the present
and future cities programme and a dedicated National Venture and
Innovation Fund will help create a new momentum and trigger a
new wave of growth that is inclusive and sustainable.
iii) Leadership, National Security and a Commitment to Public


Thirdly, we have outlined our policy agenda to strengthen our

national security, law and order while building a credible public
service leadership that is patriotic, time conscious and confident.
Our policies will build credible leadership in the public service and
strengthen our national security, law and order. We will focus on
building the institutions of state, securing their autonomy, giving
them the confidence to implement national programmes, rewarding
them for exemplary performance and continuously holding them
accountable for non-performance.
We are conscious of the fact that a full transition of our military into
a fully modernized force subordinate to civilian authority is still
constrained by an incomplete political transition process.
The FDC-led Government will build on the progress made to date
by focusing on strengthening our military in the areas of:

information acquisition and processing,

guidance, energy and materials,
environment, systems and modeling, and
prioritizing the welfare of the men and women in uniform.

I had the honor and privilege to serve in our Nations military and I
salute all our officers and men for their sacrifice in securing our
countries borders and executing missions abroad. Our military has
educated and well trained officers and men who have the capability
to fully professionalize when the right political conditions are in
Government under the FDC will create the political environment in
which the military and political leadership respect each other, and
the military is fully subordinate to civilian authority.


Military service is the highest form of sacrifice a person can offer for
his or her country. Abusing the military to serving individual interests
is the worst degradation that can be visited on the men and women
in uniform.
The military needs to be honored and as such it is our intention to
create an environment that honors and gives dignity to the men and
women while in service and upon retirement.
Government under the FDC will never tolerate a situation where our
retired service men and women have to trek distances to come to
our parliament as the only means to secure their welfare and a
dignified retirement.
Our defense, security, law and order policy seeks to deal with newly
emerging but also ever changing security threats including terrorism
and its root causes such as widespread unemployment, poverty and
We will establish an independent judicial system that is anchored on
the rule of law, justice and the aspirations of our people. A police
force that works for our people by ensuring the police is properly
resourced and the welfare of police officers is given utmost priority.
Our investments in the judiciary and police seek to align these
institutions to play a frontline role in confronting systemic and
emerging challenges such as corruption, new forms of crime such
as human trafficking, human sacrifice and drug abuse.
iv) Building citizen-centered regional integration and global
Finally, we will refocus Ugandas leadership and engagement at the
regional and international level to be anchored on national interest


and guided by our role as a regional actor. All our foreign missions
will be required to report on their work by reporting on our level of
influence, how capable we are in penetrating regional and global
markets, and how many jobs are created by our actions.
As I conclude, let me point out that going forward, we will have to
continuously and systematically confront the culture of handouts
that has been created by Mr. Musevenis regime survival politics.
This culture is having a negative impact on the National psyche.
While on the surface, his actions may be seen as acts of
magnanimity, underneath, it can only be motivated by evil
There is a relationship between self-confidence, productivity and
innovation. Our people have systematically been broken in spirit
and have been turned into beggars in mentality. This dangerous
trend has had direct negative consequences on the productivity of
our people. We have to roll back this mentality if our policies are to
work and our actions to have full meaning.
People need to be given a hand up on the ladder of economic
success rather than handouts. Shortcuts and quick fixes can
never be an engine for sustained, internally generated economic
growth and social progress. It can never create a society that is
affluent and at peace with itself.
Indeed the outcomes of what Mr. Museveni has systemically
created through crushing the spirit of our people is a deep sense of
hopelessness, frustration and steadily boiling anger. This situation
needs to be defused before it boils over or explodes.


The tragedy of our current leadership is that they measure progress

by the failures of the past rather than the promise of the future. The
challenge of our time is not so much about whether we havent
made progress but that the current regime measures progress in
relation to where we are coming from rather than where we should
For example, we can appreciate that our revenue collection has
increased from US$40 million in 1986 to approximately US$2 billion.
What we should be doing is to measure our progress by what we
have done with this increased revenues and where we should be if
a significant part of it was not stolen or siphoned off through
patronage schemes and corruption.
However, within the same period, countries like Singapore, Malaysia
and Vietnam have made significant leaps in terms of their GDP.
Even Vietnam which had an equally devastating conflict like our
country was able to increase its GDP 9 times to reach US$124
billion compared to Uganda which increased its GDP on 5 times to
reach US$17 billion over the period 1986-2011.
Because of leadership that is too much focused on our past failures
as a measure of success, we are now stuck with two decades of
jobless growth.
Massive unemployment have effectively excluded our young people
from participating in the economy. Eighty three percent of our young
people remain unemployed.


We have spent billions of taxpayers money to build a network of

health centres but we are unable to staff them and equip or supply
them with drugs.
The introduction of UPE, which is billed as a signature policy
accomplishment of the NRM, has been mishandled. If government
is telling the truth about the enrollment figures, then between 1997
and 2014, at least 16,913,105 children are unaccounted for since
they never registered for PLE; completion rates remain dismal and
the low transition rates are unacceptable.
An estimated 40 percent of our people remain in conditions of
perpetual vulnerability and continuously hang on the cliff facing the
reality of falling into poverty at the slightest shock.
The NRM regime has created a plethora of anti-corruption
institutions and formulated a multitude of anti-corruption policies and
laws but is incapable of implementing them. Institutionalized
corruption, stealing and political corruption are standing in the way
of our progress.
Fellow Ugandans, you know we deserve better than this.
Today, I am asking of each one of you to break out from the box
confining us to the status quo of economic, social and political


Like we read in the book of Deuteronomy 1:6-8, for eleven months,

the children of Israel had lived at the foot of Mt. Sinai. Eleven
months had led them into a state of complacency. They had grown
accustomed to their surroundings like many Ugandans have grown
accustomed to the ways of the current regime. But of course they
had not reached the Promised Land.
And God told them, You have stayed long enough at this mountain.
Break camp and advance. See I have given you this land. Go in and
take possession
Through this policy agenda, we make a contract with you the people
of Uganda. We will offer a brand of leadership that respects our
citizens, upholds values of honesty and respect for human dignity,
and respect for public office and public property.
Let me assure you that we will be uncompromising in pursuing the
policies and actions outlined in this policy agenda. Most importantly,
we will continuously hold ourselves accountable to all of you
Ugandans as we work together to create the necessary conditions
for Ugandas leap forward.
Fellow countrymen and women, we, like the children of Israel have
been led into a state of complacency for close to 30 years. We
have stayed on this mountain for too long and we must reject the
status quo. Jobless growth; a broken healthcare system; an
education system that does not prepare our children to compete
regionally and globally; a patronage system that has reduced many


of our people to beggars; and a business environment that is biased

against those who play fair; and a corruption machinery that is
robbing our country to the marrow.
The Forum for Democratic Change is giving you a roadmap to a
future of greater promise, opportunity and shared prosperity. We
have the will, the resolve, the commitment and the discipline to work
for the future that we all deserve.
We have stayed too long at this mountain. This is our time to break
camp and advance to the future of promise and shared prosperity.
God bless you.
For God and my Country