National Resistance Movement
NRM PARLIAMENTARY CAUCUS
Plot 10 Kyadondo Road Box 7778 Kampala Tel: 346295 – 346279
OCTOBER 26, 2011
RESOLUTIONS OF THE NRM PARLIAMENTARY CAUCUS RETREAT
KYANKWANZI, 16TH – 23RD OCTOBER 2011
WHEREAS WE, members of the NRM Parliamentary Caucus have been gathered in Retreat at the National Leadership Institute, Kyankwanzi, from the 16th to the 23rd October 2011,
WHEREAS we were further joined by His Excellency Yoweri K. Museveni, President of the Republic of Uganda and National Chairperson of the NRM,
HAVING been guided on the thematic focus of the Retreat by the NRM National Chairperson as being:
a). Conceptualizing and refocusing on the principles of the socio-economic transformation of Uganda;
b). Urgent interventions by Government to deal with the current economic situation, which is negatively impacting on the population and the country as for example:
i). Unfavourable balance of payments, which among other things has contributed to the depreciation of the shilling, high bank lending rates, etc;
ii). Shortages and hikes of prices of such essential commodities as electricity, sugar, charcoal, fuel, etc; and
iii). Increased cost of production rendering locally produced items uncompetitive.
NOW THEREFORE, HAVING:
a). Received and exhaustively discussed the Keynote Address by the NRM National Chairperson titled, “Socio-Economic Transformation”, where he extrapolated for the meeting the four core principles of NRM as being:
i). Nationalism and Anti-Sectarianism;
iii). Socio-Economic Transformation from a Peasant Society to a Middle Class and Skilled Workers’ society; and
iv). Democratic Governance.
b). Received and exhaustively discussed important presentations by various experts on the following topics, sectors and sub-sectors:
i). Macro Economic Policy and the Performance of the Ugandan
ii). Monetary Policy, Inflation and Growth;
iii). The Energy Sector;
iv). The Agricultural Sector and Value Addition;
v). Job Creation;
vi). The Private Sector and Economic Development;
vii). The Trade Sector;
viii). The Transport Sector;
ix). The Tourism Sector;
x). The Outlook of Uganda’s economy in the global perspective; and
HEREBY RESOLVE AND RECOMMEND AS FOLLOWS:
1). MACRO ECONOMIC POLICY AND THE OVERALL PERFORMANCE
OF THE UGANDAN ECONOMY
a). That the Caucus strongly endorses and supports the continuation and vigorous implementation of the current overall economic policy framework, with the vital components and elements of:
i) prioritizing investment in critical infrastructure (such as energy, the railway, roads and ICT);
ii) modernization of agriculture;
iii) value addition;
v) export-led growth;
vi) building a modern services sector;
vii) better service delivery; and
viii) job creation to ensure socio-economic transformation and take off to middle income status.
The economic policy framework further, entails prudence and careful prioritization of sectors, sub-sectors and tasks while maintaining the current focus on:
i). keeping Peace, Security, Law and Order;
ii). ensuring Macro-Economic Stability;
iii). accelerating development of the Energy Sector critically needed for the economy to grow;
iv). industrialization by adding value to all our products that are not consumed fresh in respect of agricultural products, and adding value to minerals as well as forest products, promoting light engineering and ICT (BPOs, designs etc);
v). modernizing Services (tourism, professional services, banking services etc);
vi). Modernizing agriculture through the use of improved seeds, the use of modern agro-practices, the judicious use of fertilizers, irrigation, mechanisation and correct enterprise selection;
vii). Developing the human resource through ensuring literacy (alphabetization, numeracy) and skills for all, intellectualizing the widest possible sections of society and ensuring health for all through immunization, hygiene, nutrition, behavior change as well as ensuring that the medical and the midwifery services at the sub-county are adequate and accessible;
viii). Expanding and modernizing infrastructure such as roads, electricity, the railways, piped water, ICT etc which will help lower the costs of doing business in Uganda, thereby making enterprises profitable;
ix) promoting employment;
x) expanding the tax base;
xi) producing adequate goods and services for consumption as well as promoting exports to strengthen our shilling.
xii). The NRM having worked for the creation of regional markets in Africa and for access to international markets, must ensure that Ugandan goods and services reach regional and international markets so as to improve earnings and subsequently the welfare of Ugandans.
x). Special emphasis be put on resolving the shortage of some essential commodities such as sugar, charcoal, etc.
2). MONETARY POLICY, INFLATION AND GROWTH
a). The Caucus urges Government to utilize fiscal measures as a concurrent tool for dealing with inflationary pressures, accompanied by prioritizing public expenditurealongside the continued drive for increased productivity and growth in the economy in the medium and long terms.
b).The Caucus supports careful and prudent utilization of interest rates by the Bank of Uganda, as an instrument for controlling inflation in the short term. However, a multi-sectoral/multi-discipline task force or committee, to include the Central Bank and private sector among other stakeholders, should be constituted to study the matter further.
c). The caucus urges a particular priority for the Central Bank to urge commercial/retail banks to implement a fixed interest rate policy on salary loans so that ordinary working Ugandans are able to plan their financial commitments with some stability.
3). EMERGENCY INTERVENTIONS BY GOVERNMENT TO DEAL
The Caucus welcomes and supports urgent interventions by the NRM Government to deal with shortages of various commodities such as the removal of taxes and streamlining sugar imports. The caucus underlined that local production must be increased as the sustainable solution to meeting local and regional demand for sugar.
4). JOB CREATION
a). The caucus urged Government to put in place a number of requisite interventions in the short, medium and long-term to address unemployment. These should include among others:
1) Business Incubation Centers;
2) Business Processing Outsourcing (BPOs);
3) Technology transfer;
4) Accelerated value addition;
5) Shortening the time for issuance of licenses to investors;
6) Provision of common-user facilities e.g sheds;
7) Intensification of agricultural modernization at the village level;
8) Establishment of technical institutions;
9) Action learning;
10) Externalization of labour;
11) Internship or apprenticeship;
12) Community-based centers for PWDs;
13) Promotion/ funding of the informal sector (hair salons, mechanics, masons, etc);
14) Establishment of an SMEs framework;
15) Establishment of industrial parks;
16) Packaging and promoting Uganda’s investment opportunities;
17) Implementation and popularisation of the Copy Rights Law and patenting;
18) Establish a one-stop reference/ data bank job center;
19) Establishment of a land fund for youth to engage in agriculture; and 20) Setting up of a skills and talents Development Fund.
5). THE PRIVATE SECTOR AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
The caucus called on government to fast-track the enactment of all pending commercial laws to facilitate efficient business processes. Such laws include but are not limited to:
a). The Counterfeit Bill;
b). Public Private Partnership Bill;
c). Chattels Securities Bill;
d). Industrial Property Bill, 2009;
e). Capital Markets Amendment Bill;
f). Sales of Goods and Supply of Services Bill;
g). Free Zones Bill;
h). Investment Code Amendment Bill;
i). Accountants Bill;
j). Anti-Money Laundering Bill;
k). Insurance Amendment Bill (2010);
l) Uganda Retirement Benefits Authority Bill
m). Company Bill
n). Public Order Management Bill
o). Compensation Bill (in special circumstances/ conflict areas)
p). Money lending Bill
6). THE TRADE AND INDUSTRY SECTOR
The caucus urged government to:
a) establish Consulates in Mombasa and Kuwait in order to facilitate bi-lateral trade and commerce.
b). the Ministry responsible for Trade should utilize the requisite statutory instrument to guide traders and business people on the standards and quality of goods.
c). Government should expedite the commencement of operations of Uganda Development Corporation (UDC) as a Government investment vehicle.
d). there is need to fast-track the rebuilding of co-operatives as vehicles for production, value addition and marketing.
7). BOARD OF SURVEY: INFRASTRUCTURE DEVELOPMENT
The caucus recommended that a Board of Survey to study and guide various Government projects/procurements on unit cost for infrastructural development be established. This would cover areas such as road construction and maintenance, the building of power stations, dams, boreholes, schools, etc.
More importantly, this would enable Government and other agencies to bench mark the costing of Government projects of independently verified figures.
8). LAND IN THE ALBERTINE GRABEN AND OTHER MINERAL RICH AREAS/ STRATEGIC INVESTMENT
a). The caucus called upon Government to urgently come up with a comprehensive policy and relevant legislation on land in the Albertine Graben and other mineral-rich areas in order to ensure its optimal use and mitigate against speculation and civil strife.
b). Government should come up with constitutional amendments to address land requirements for strategic public sector/ infrastructural investment and development.
c). It further recommended that the Land Fund be given priority in national budget allocation.
d). Government should establish a fiscal plan for the Albertine Graben region and other mineral-rich areas.
e). The caucus emphasized the need for funds to be provided for surveying and securing land in the entire country.
9). THE TOURISM SECTOR
Appreciating H.E The President’s decision to create a new fully fledged Ministry of Tourism, Wildlife and Heritage, and noting the great potential of tourism in transforming Uganda’s economy, the Caucus urged Government to provide adequate funding to the ministry to promote tourism. It noted that tourism contributes significantly to GDP, brings in foreign exchange and creates employment in the country.
The caucus urged Government to deal with and tackle firmly, situations that may project a negative image of the country, thereby threatening the tourism sector and undermining investor confidence.
10). THE AGRICULTURAL SECTOR, VALUE ADDITION AND EXPORT
a). The caucus urged Government to provide adequate budgetary support and prioritizing budget allocation to agriculture by increasing its share from 4.5% to 7%. Additional funding would enable the ministry to pursue value addition by:
i). Coffee exports – Adding value to most of our coffee exports through processing so that we earn more from that product.
ii). Maize production – Adding value to our maize through the provision of maize mills possibly per sub county so that we export maize flour and manufacture animal feeds.
iii). Fruit production – Attracting or constructing fruit factories for the production of fruit juices and jams in Kayunga, Soroti, Luwero, Masaka etc where there is already significant fruit growing.
iv). Tea production expansion – Expanding the growing of tea on the bare hills of the South-West as well as other areas such as Mityana, Masaka etc.
v). Cotton milling and spinning – Leasing LAP and Phoenix textile factories to capable investors to convert all our cotton to textile instead of exporting it as lint.
vi). Milk production and expansion – Expanding the already successful milk sector by targeting the eventual provision of six (6) Friesian cows per homestead in rural Uganda.
vii). Leather production – Converting all our hides and skins to leather as well as rehabilitating all run down tanneries.
viii). Wheat growing – Supporting wheat growing in Sebei, including by tarmacking the road beyond Kapchorwa. Wheat growing can also be promoted in Karamoja, Kabale, Ibanda, Buhweju, Zombo etc.
ix). Sericulture – Supporting the production of silk, which is already being produced in Sheema and Kiruhura districts, and can be extended to other areas. The Ministry of Agriculture should study the compatibility of mulberry trees with other crops so that small holder farmers can grow the mulberry trees as boundary trees as well as windbreaks but also use their leaves to feed the silk worms.
x). Banana project expansion – Supporting the completion of the banana project being led by Dr. Muranga so that it can go into commercial production
xi). Wood products – Support and promote value addition to our wood products by promoting companies that make furniture, make wooden floor tiles, plywood and other timber products.
xii). Ferterlizer project – Compensating affected communities in Tororo so that the fertilizer project is revamped and there takes off.
b). The Caucus urges Government to accelerate the following:
i). increased investment in Research and Development Institutions;
ii). increased funding for research in indigenous knowledge, including medicinal plants and commercializing the resultant products;
iii). development of technology and industrial parks;
iv). revamping skills capacity building curricula as well as revising the syllabus on agro processing;
v). development of managerial acumen;
vii). prioritization of the provision of funding for heavy equipment and plants including tractors, combined harvesters etc and water for production;
viii). developing the beef industry by establishing abattoirs and attendant facilities in the cattle corridors, including Karamoja.
ix). Promote, empower and fund local fishing communities with better gear and related equipment to enhance the fishing sector, while halting illegal farming at lakesides and observing good fishing practices such as fish- farming;
x). Promote the expansion of cocoa-growing and value addition in Bundibudyo, Mukono and any other district;
xi). Enhance agriculture infrastructure with the provision of: water for agricultural production; valley tanks and valley dams for livestock; water for fish resources/ farming; disease, pest and vector control and regulation of livestock and fishes; quality seeds, stocking and planting materials;
xii). availing of cheap agricultural loans for farmers; and
xiii). Financial support be given to the Prison Department to become a seed centre for provision of seeds.
c). The caucus recommended the establishment of a taskforce/ committee to review the best ways to intervene in the villages in the various sectors of agriculture. This taskforce was charged to produce a concept paper on the same for the National Chairman and the Caucus.
a). The caucus appealed to government to put in place an enabling law to operationalise Articles 8(A) and 17 of the Constitution of Uganda to promote patriotism, national interest and the Common Good, and the duties of a citizen of Uganda.
b). It further urged government to implement a recommendation by the NRM Parliamentary Caucus Retreat of July 2007, for the National Leadership Institute (NALI) to be designated and transformed into a modern National Leadership Centre. It recommended that the leadership centre so created must be fully strengthen and facilitated.
a). Among its general recommendations, the Caucus emphasized that political leadership should actively involve itself in mobilization and monitoring Government programs and projects paying particular attention to value for money and utilization of funds. The leaders with the responsibility to monitor projects range from LC I, LC III Chairpersons and Councilors, LC V Chairpersons and Councilors to Members of Parliament.
b). It urged Government to do everything possible to hold accounting officers accountable for the proper utilization of public funds and resources. These range from the Permanent Secretary, Town Clerk, Chief Administrative Officer (CAO), Sub County Chief, Managing Directors to Executive Directors of Commissions and Statutory Bodies, etc.
c). The Caucus recommended that the NRM Government and Parliament should work together to expeditiously iron out weaknesses in existing laws that undermine law and order, stability and general well-being of the citizenry. The legislation should additionally deal with economic sabotage, promote tourism as well as ensure that more investments flow into the country.
d). In addition, Government should urgently investigate the repeated delays in release of funds from Ministry of Finance to sector Ministries and Departments; and institute corrective measures to address these delays.
e). The Caucus recommended that Government fast-tracks the issuance of National Identity Cards by 2012 so as to stem the phenomenon of illegal immigrants.
f). The Ministry of Trade should conduct training of traders/ trade associations in export trade and industrialization. In addition, the ministry should work with Ministry of Education/ NCHE to promote training in applied international trade and business.
g). Government should strengthen inter-sectoral and intra-sectoral collaboration of its departments for better service delivery and socio-economic development.
h). In its concluding recommendations, the Caucus committed itself to fighting corruption and giving it zero-tolerance.
i). It undertook to meet quarterly to update itself of the state of affairs of the country.
j). Finally it created a Committee to work on its action plans in line with its resolutions.