Last Updated on: 7th June 2023, 12:47 pm
Somalia: UPC is calling upon the international community like AU and IGAD to take a keen interest in the situation and advance a mechanism of dialogue that can help out with conflict resolution and management, especially in those African countries where political instability is being registered.
Kampala, June 7, 2023: President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni will address that nation Wednesday, June 7 under the Constitutional mandate (Article 101 subsection (1)). The address will start at 2 pm at the Kololo Ceremonial Grounds, Kampala.
The nation is expectant and hundreds of thousands or millions of Ugandans want to hear what Museveni will talk about. At the moment, Uganda is in the news for its Anti-gay Law, OPM Corruption, and loss of lives of 54 UPDF soldiers in Somalia; climate change and rising poverty level.
In a statement issued on Wednesday, a few hours before the address, Uganda People’s Congress (UPC) says this (SONA) is coming at a time when the country is experiencing tough socio-economic challenges and the general citizenry is eagerly waiting to see what the State of the Nation Address holds for them!
“Our budget for new FY 2023/2024 which has been approved by Parliament registered huge budget cuts on key Ministries and Sectors and UPC warned the government to be very prudent on that step. This is indeed a big challenge especially at this material time when some of our development partners are threatening to withdraw funding due to the anti-homosexuality law which was recently assented to by the President of Uganda,” Arach Oyat Sharon, spokesperson, said.
“As a country, we need to stand by our values and cultural beliefs. However, the public needs to be assured and know the mitigative measures so that our efforts are not in jeopardy.
“As we await the President to address the nation this afternoon, it is worrying to receive reports that our key government establishments like hospitals and health centres are under threat of being disconnected from water and electricity due to accumulating bills. It should be noted that water and electricity are essential necessities at such facilities that should not be played with.
“This adds to the list of unresolved issues in the health ministry like insufficient medicine in Government health outlets. Last week, a local newspaper carried a story that the Organ Monitoring Machine was stolen from Mulago, a National Referral Hospital. UPC calls for special intervention from the government to normalize the situation as the lives of our people are at stake.
“Our health workers, teachers and local government employees have been crying out for better pay. We acknowledge and appreciate the engagements between Government and professional bodies that have seen promises and commitments to address the same. However, implementation has always been slow, which creates labour unrest. This should be given the utmost attention! UPC is therefore expecting the State of the Nation Address not to ignore the plight of our workers entirely. Something should be done to have harmony in labour and industrial relations.
The government-paid workers in sectors like health and education continue to cry, protest and lay down tools over meagre pay. The government is responding intermittently to their issues.
Al-Shabaab’s massacre of UPDF soldiers
“The Party is concerned with the role of our troops in Somalia and sympathizes greatly with the Government, UPDF and the families of both fallen and injured soldiers. However, UPC is calling upon the international community like AU and IGAD to take a keen interest in the situation and advance a mechanism of dialogue that can help out with conflict resolution and management, especially in those African countries where political instability is being registered,” Arach said.
“The guns and bombs in Somalia need to stop and a true political process of uniting the country commences. A political approach may offer sustainable peace and stability in this war-torn country and find a lasting solution.
“On security in the country, we are consistently experiencing gun violence and registering cold blood murders that recently claimed the life of; the Minister of State for Labour Hon. Charles Okello Engola, blogger Isma Olaxes, the Indian businessman, security guards and many more lives lost and we continue to lose across the country. We need proper gun control and concrete investigations.
“On education, the country is concerned with the progress in implementing the new secondary school curriculum. Interestingly, the Government is implementing the said new curriculum before the release of the report by the Education review commission that would inform the education reforms.
“Both the teachers and students seem to be lost and need immediate guidance on its implementation. For higher education at colleges and universities, the issue of expired courses is creating a lot of tension for both parents and students. The government ought to resolve this issue very fast.
“It is our hope that the State of the Nation Address will sort out the dilemma and give hope to the citizenry.”