The problem in Uganda is not jobs but lack of vision, says President Museveni

This year's celebrations ran under the theme: “Improving Access to Labour Justice, A Prerequisite for Increased Productivity”.

President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni has revealed that the current problem in Uganda is not jobs but rather attitude and lack of vision among citizens who don’t listen to the National Resistance Movement (NRM)’s message of wealth creation.

“Don’t tell me about the lack of jobs, talk about lack of vision. The jobs are there,” he said.

The President made the remarks today during the International Labour Day celebrations held at Mukabura Grounds, Fort Portal City.

The International Labour Day, also known as May Day, is commemorated annually on May 1st to recognise the contributions and achievements of workers worldwide and promote workers’ rights and opportunities.

This year’s celebrations ran under the theme: “Improving Access to Labour Justice, A Prerequisite for Increased Productivity”.

According to the President, since 1996, he has been preaching about wealth creation especially through commercial agriculture with the right enterprise selection and if Ugandans religiously followed the message, the challenge of jobs would not be an issue.

“In 1996, Uganda had somehow stabilised and in our manifesto, we mobilised people on what to do to get out of poverty. We advised you on the four-acre model. In the first acre grow coffee, on the second acre grow fruits, then the third acre grow pasture for zero grazing, on another acre grow food crops. Then in the backyard do poultry and piggery for those who are not Muslims. Those near the swamps set up fishponds,” he said.

“If people utilised the arable land of Uganda well to create wealth through agriculture all those children who go out to work for the Arabs would not be going there. Jobs are here,” the President insisted.

President Museveni further cited an example of model farmer, Mr. Richard Nyakana of Rwengaju who listened to his message, and he now makes Shs 180 million annually from dairy, poultry farming and value addition on 1 acre of land.

On the other hand, the President advised the labour union leaders that if they are to advocate for jobs, they should first ensure that they create an avenue for wealth creation.

“Jobs come from wealth; you cannot have jobs without wealth. Therefore, when you are talking, you people start with wealth creation. For more jobs, listen to the NRM guidelines where all the rural areas must be involved in the money economy through intensive and extensive agriculture. We need an organic approach to these problems. The problem here is not law but reality.”

He also cautioned farmers with limited land to desist from practising extensive agriculture, saying the enterprise can only be profitable if it’s practised on large scale.

On the tea crisis in the Toor sub-region, President Museveni urged that from the start he knew that the crop has issues and that is why he never recommended it among the high value crops.

“In my four-acre model and seven activities, I have never talked about tea. I know the problems of tea that is why I never recommended it in my writings. I recommended coffee, fruits, dairy, food crops for the home, poultry for eggs, piggery and fish farming. This is what I recommended in writing.”

Furthermore, President Museveni noted that government officials and other stakeholders should work at ensuring low cost of electricity, transport, and low cost of money by putting more funds in the Uganda Development Bank (UDB) to lend manufacturers at a low interest rate. He said this will spur economic development in the country.

On the issue of markets which have been heinously taken over by the greedy rich people, President Museveni said they are going to investigate the matter and kick out the culprits from the facilities.

“The markets which we built have been taken over by the parasites and displaced the poor people. We are going to chase those corrupt people who use their powers to frustrate the poor people.”

President Museveni also reiterated that he will meet the traders on 7th May, 2024 to discuss their challenges.

“I’m also looking forward to meeting the labour leaders.”

At the same event, a total of 53 distinguished Ugandans were awarded medals for their immense contribution towards the advocacy of the rights and welfare of the working class.

The Minister of State for Labour, Employment and Industrial Relations, Hon. Esther Davinia Anyakun, on behalf of the Minister for Gender, Labour and Social Development, Hon. Betty Amongi, commended President Museveni for always sparing time to attend the Labour Day celebrations, explaining that the gesture demonstrates his commitment towards the welfare of workers in Uganda.

She also noted that the Ministry acknowledges the challenges of unemployment among Ugandans, and it has numerous initiatives set in place to deal with the issue. She highlighted the GROW project, the apprenticeship scheme to skill the youth to embark on entrepreneurial journey, labour externalisation, among other initiatives.

The Minister also said the Ministry has come up with the Uganda National Employment Strategy which diagnoses the challenges of the labour force in the country, and it will be taken to Cabinet for approval.

“I wish to extend my appreciation to our social partners for your work towards promoting social and labour justice,” she added.


The Ambassador of Belgium to Uganda, H.E Hugues Chantry thanked the Government of Uganda for putting in place a legal framework aimed at protecting the workers in the country.

He however raised concern over the numerous challenges that are still faced by the workers at their workplaces such as unfair wages, unfair dismissals, among others.

“The government of Belgium has been standing by the people of Uganda to improve the standards at the working places,” H.E Chantry.

Mr. Musa Okello, the Chairman General of National Organisation of Trade Unions (NOTU) called for improved access to labour justice to promote labour productivity and economic growth.

He also appreciated President Museveni for the guaranteed peace and security in the country that has facilitated investment, thus promoting employment.

“Workers of Uganda are really grateful to you and your government for the various favourable labour laws,” he noted.

Mr. Okello also lauded President Museveni for the affirmative action that has enabled the special interest groups to compete favourably in the field of work.

The Chairperson of the Federation of Uganda Employers, Eng. Silver Mugisha thanked his fellow employers for creating jobs for Ugandans, a factor that has enabled the latter to sustain and improve their livelihoods.

“Employers play a pivotal role in the socio-economic transformation of our country,” Eng. Mugisha said.

“Your Excellency, we appreciate you for being a good listener. You always listen to our concerns,” he added.

Eng. Mugisha also thanked President Museveni for setting up the State House Investors Protection Unit and the CEO Forum, saying that the move clearly demonstrates the President’s resolve to fight corruption and accelerate investment in the country.

The event was also attended by the Vice President, H.E Jessica Alupo, the Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Rt. Hon. Thomas Tayebwa, the NRM 1st National Vice Chairperson, Al Hajji Moses Kigongo, Ministers, Members of Parliament, Members of the Diplomatic Corps, among others.

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