Incumbent presidential candidate Yoweri Museveni has spent much of his first 21 days on the campaign trail launching roads, markets and hotels.
On November 9, the incumbent officially kicked off his re-election campaign for a sixth term of office at Kawumu in the central district of Luweero and later moved to Lango West Nile and Acholi sub-region and trooped into Karamoja sub region on November 18 where he commissioned several infrastructure projects.
Museveni officially opened the newly constructed Hotel Africana in Moroto on November 20, the very first multi-billion hotel in the area. Museveni said the hotel will attract more tourists to the area and pledged a tax exemption for the hotel owner. The approximately Shs 29 billion hotel was constructed partly using a loan from Uganda Development Bank.
It has 70 rooms, two restaurants, board rooms, conference halls and a fully-fledged commercial kitchen. On November 21, the president commissioned the National Backbone Infrastructure (NBI) Phase IV Project in Moroto, which he said will connect Karamoja to the rest of the world through internet.
He said the project will reduce internet costs and ensure that all government services are online. The project was funded by the World Bank and set up by Huawei Technologies under the National Information Technology Authority-Ugandan (NITA-U). That same day, Museveni also commissioned the 150.3 kilometer newly tarmacked Soroti–Moroto road, fully funded by the Ugandan government.
He said the road will reduce travel time between Soroti and Moroto and spur development in Karamoja. He also broke ground for the upgrade of Soroti-Lokinyatara road. After commissioning all these projects in the Karamoja sub-region, Museveni taunted the opposition in a tweet, “I feel embarrassed on behalf of the opposition.
"I was in Karamoja sub-region, opened a good hotel, commissioned the road from Soroti to Moroto and the internet linking Moroto to New York by underground cable. I feel sorry that people are there talking but not appreciating facts.”
On November 21, Museveni and his campaign team trooped into Teso sub-region and while there, he commissioned the Soroti Main Market. The new market has 1,390 facilities including stalls and retail stores accommodating over 2,000 vendors. Constructed using a loan from the African Development Bank, the market building has banks, restaurants, medical facilities, child daycare space, underground water-harvesting facility, office space and is expected to create about 3,000 jobs for Soroti residents.
In Elgon sub-region, Museveni commissioned a 50 megawatt mobile power station meant to serve Sino Mbale industrial park. The mobile power station will address the power shortages that have dogged the industrial park and will be in use until the under construction permanent power station is complete.
Sino Mbale industrial park sits on 619 acres and hosts over 80 factories and will employ 15,000 people directly. On November 26, Museveni pre- sided at the groundbreaking event for the upgrade of the 92 kilometer Muyembe-Nakapiririti road, which will link Uganda to Kenya, South Sudan and Ethiopia.
He said for the road to make meaning, they must emphasize regional integration largely to engage in lucrative trade and easy movement of goods and services from country to country.