LIVE: State of the Nation Address; The issues

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On February 9, 2016 President Museveni ordered police and other authorities to stop arresting people for being “idle and disorderly”. He has recited the order which has never been implemented in the SOTN2017

The president made the first order while addressing his supporters at Kazo grounds in the new Nansana Municipality, Wakiso District

He also tasked his aides at State House to remind him to engineer the repeal of the law criminalising ‘idle and disorderly’ persons.

No such legislation to repeal the order has been brought before the House more than a year later.

Section 167 of the Penal Code Act criminalises wandering persons, those gambling for cash or prostituting as being idle and disorderly and if convicted in court, they, if prostitutes or involved in soliciting for immoral purpose, face a maximum seven years imprisonment. Other aspects of the offence attract three months in jail or Shs3,000 fine or both.

Critics say the law on being idle and disorderly, said it was enacted during the colonial era and is now outmoded and oppressive and should be abolished. Uganda Prisons officials have complained that prisons are crowded with petty offenders, most of them on remand, imposing unnecessary burden on resource-constrained detention facilities.

In his 2016 State of the Nation address President Museveni said government was to capitalise the Uganda Development Bank (UDB) to give low interest loans to manufacturers and those in the Agriculture sector.

“Therefore, the Uganda Development Bank (UDB), which we had deliberately kept away from privatisation, should be capitalised to fund manufacturing and agriculture,” he said. This, however, did not happen.

President Museveni has made a similar promise in the 2017 State of the Nation address saying Shs 50bn has been put in the treasury to capitalise UDB. When challenged from the audience that this has not happened, not even in the 2017/18 budget, the incumbent said a proposal about the same would be brought to the parliament “soon”.

President Museveni buys a pair of shoes in

President Museveni buys a pair of shoes in Wandegeya.

In his 2016 State of the Nation address President Museveni directed government institutions to buy locally made products.

“Government institutions, without exception, must buy locally made products provided they are of good quality and comparable price. That, however, should not be an excuse for continuing to import what can be made here. If the quality is not yet perfect, discuss with the manufacturers how that can be improved. All the uniforms for the Army, the Police Force, the Prisons Service, the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA), the Medical services, etc., must be bought locally. So should the boots, the belts, the head-dress, the jackets, etc., etc.”

The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Cooperatives recently formulated the Buy Uganda Build Uganda (BUBU) Policy.

The policy according to a statement by the same ministry aims at increasing the consumption of local products through public procurement and encouraging the Private Sector to consume locally originating products thus increasing the participation of the locally established firms in domestic trade.

President Museveni, in his 2017 address, lamented about the same saying Uganda is enriching other countries by importing products that we can produce locally.

“For shoes, furniture, automobiles, computers, we are still depending on imports which cause a lot of hemorrhage on the economy,” he says.

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