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Ministers are selfish, sleepy - Museveni

President Museveni addressing investors at State House

President Museveni addressing investors at State House

President Yoweri Museveni has accused his ministers of being selfish and sleepy, which he says affects potential investments in the country. 

Speaking during the 6th presidential investor round-table meeting at State House Entebbe, Museveni said there's no doubt that many of the people in the ministries do nothing. His comments followed defensive statements by the state minister for Agriculture, Christopher Kibazanga on why the ministry had failed to transform the sector especially on value addition. 

Mahmood Hudda, the managing director of Mayirye Estates Limited which exports flowers, proposed that the ministry shifts its policy from small to large scale farming that requires establishment of green houses, irrigation and modern farming methods.

Hudda noted that Uganda has a lot of opportunities of adding value to things like coffee, avocado, passion fruits and others to grow its economy. He said the ministry needed to modernize before farmers do. 

In response, Kibazanga said the country was in the process of branding its coffee and that discussions were ongoing. He promised to come up with a cabinet paper recommending that avocado becomes one of the country's strategic crops. 
 
Kibazanga hastened to add that the agriculture sector is private sector driven and that government could only carry out research and extension. His remarks angered Museveni who accused him of wasting time and contradicting himself on the mandate of his ministry.

"Many of these ministers are selfish, they think about themselves. If you don't listen, then you are negative. You try to cover up your ignorance," said Museveni.
 
Museveni rubbished the minister's statement, saying it doesn't add up. "The ministry apart from research and extension regulates the sector. Saying that the sector is private led... I think this should not even go on our record. What the minister is saying doesn't add up."

Hudda further pinned Kibazanga's ministry, saying he had written several letters and concept papers on different matters without any response. Museveni agreed with Hudda, noting that many people in the ministries are parasites.

"The people of Uganda have no problem. If you tell them to do that, they will do it, do this they will do it….There is no doubt that many of the people in the ministries are really parasites because they don’t do anything, they don’t give up positions for others and we call this parasitism. Am very glad that you’re seeing this." said Museveni. 

Asked by journalists why he doesn't drop the sleep ministers, Museveni said that it wasn't only ministers but also Ugandans who are not taking up opportunities and associating with the right people to grow the country.

© 2016 Observer Media Ltd