Addressing his bazzukulu on the 8th September, 2023 at Kololo Ceremonial Grounds, HE Yoweri Kaguta Museveni re-echoed the need for free education noting that a country to develop must have educated citizens.
Museveni made the remarks at the celebrations of the Katonga Heroes, an event that was organized by the bazzukulu spear headed by the National Coordinator Bazzukulu Ba Museveni, Hajjat Hadijah Namyolo Uzeiye who also manages the Office of the National Chairman NRM – Kyambogo.
At the same event, bazzukulu reflected on the achievements of President Museveni and appreciated the rough journey he has brought the nation thus appealing to him to contest again for presidency in 2026 elections.
Back to Museveni’s call for free and quality education, he said; “We can only have a modern society if we make education free… free to all. We do not want a peasant to produce another peasant.”
It’s worth noting that Museveni’s NRM government introduced Universal Primary Education (UPE) in 1997 and Universal Secondary Education (USE) in 2007. According to the statistics from Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBOS), the country’s literacy rate is at 70%, a milestone attributed to the provision of free education by the government.
However, the President believes that there would have been higher scores if the Head Teachers and School Management Committees plus the Boards stopped levying fees of any kind from the parents in all government schools.
He said he recently held a meeting at Kyankwanzi with all the Head Teachers from Eastern Uganda and he tasked them to stop milking fees from poor Ugandan parents.
“…I told them that the Head Teachers in government schools have been blocking our plan for free education for all,” he told the bazzukulu.
Reports show that most government schools through their School Management Committees and Boards charge fees from the parents to cater for the feeding and other development needs. The President argues that his people are still poor and education is one of the bases to transform them into modern society.
The President rallied the bazzukulu and all Ugandans to support him in fighting the school heads to ensure that all Ugandans can access free education without any hindrances.
On the economy side, the President advised the bazzukulu to focus on the four sectors; ICT, Services, Commercial Agriculture, and Industry in abid to curb poverty and unemployment that have been key challenges to Uganda for long.
He informed the gathering that government is now fighting the war of kicking poverty out of the homesteads of Ugandans and the above four sectors are fundamental to winning that war.
He was impressed with the exhibition that reflected value addition and tasked his staff to ensure that they were accorded all the support to grow their productivity. Also, the President was impressed by the gesture of the bazzukulu to organize a birthday for him that they annexed to commemorate the Katonga heroes who fought the Katonga battle that happened in September 1985.
Gen. Salim Saleh who was the commander of the above mentioned battle noted that this was among the toughest throughout the NRA guerilla bush war. In his message that was read by his daughter Ms. Desire Muhoza, he requested the bazzukulu to learn the lesson of determination from the Katonga heroes.
He further asked the youth to join him in fighting poverty in all homesteads and his dream is to see that youth have something in their pockets. He promised that by 2026, poverty would have reduced to only 30%.
The National Coordinator Bazzukulu Ba Museveni Hajjat Hadijah Namyalo revealed to the President,”…As we fight for value addition, seek for empowerment, as we try to secure our future for the betterment of this nation, we are not going to negotiate power.”
Hajjat Hadijah who spoke amidst chants from the flooded bazzukulu and Ugandans at Kololo advocated for President Museveni’s continued leadership come 2026 elections.
She also informed the Head of State that the veterans are devastated and always blocked whenever they attempt to forward their issues to him making them regret their sacrifice. This prompted the President to task Hajjat Hadijah to organize and take them for a meeting with him (Museveni) to further discuss those challenges that continue to hinder them yet he formed an association headed by Hajji Sseddunga to manage all the veterans’ affairs.