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Uganda is not afraid of Foreigners – Museveni

President Yoweri Museveni says that foreign interference is not a threat to Uganda and that the country’s economy is moving forward.

The President made the statement while delivering his State of Nation Address (SONA) on Thursday afternoon, during a Parliament Sitting at Kololo Ceremonial Grounds.

“Uganda’s economy and society are moving forward, the mistakes by some actors notwithstanding. The foreigners interfering in our internal affairs are not a threat at all. There is no foreigner who can threaten us…nobody can threaten us,” Museveni said.

His statement follows the United Kingdom and United States sanctioning of the Speaker of Parliament, Anita Among, and Ministers Goreti Kitutu, Agnes Nandutu and Amos Lugolobi for allegedly engaging in the Karamoja iron sheets scandal.

However, the Speaker previously noted that these sanctions were politically motivated over her stance on Anti-Homosexuality. During a May 2023 plenary sitting chaired by Among, Parliament passed the Anti-Homosexuality Act which has since been criticized by several donor countries.

Meanwhile, the President urged all East Africans to work towards removing bottlenecks by implementing fully the Common Market Protocol, Custom Unions Protocols so that the fragmented East Africa markets become one market.

He also noted that he had banned the export of unprocessed minerals to promote value addition.

The President also said that with US Dollars 1182 per capita, Uganda has now entered the lower middle-income status.

“We have just entered the ground floor of the middle income. Just the first floor…we are down there now,” Museveni noted.

Before his address, Speaker of Parliament Annet Anita Among said that the State of Nation Address was an opportunity to reflect on the country’s achievements in the previous year, the inherent challenges and government’s legislative agenda for the subsequent session.

She reaffirmed Parliament’s commitment to the realization of Uganda’s Vision.

“We are aware that the call to leadership sometimes comes with the risk of being misunderstood, criticized, opposed, accused, sanctioned or even rejected. But we owe it to our society to stand firm,” Among said.

She urged MPs not to be discouraged by what she described as noise and actions of detractors and enemies of Uganda’s progress.

Still in her communication, Among said that during the just concluded 3rd Session, Parliament significantly reduced the turn-around time of House business through timely consideration of Bills, Motions, Reports and Presidential Appointees, among others.

“There has been tremendous improvement of the quality of legislative output,” she said.

The Speaker also noted that to achieve a people-centred legislature, Parliament was to hold regional outreach Sittings that will cover the four regions of the country which include North, East, West and Central.

According to Among, the inaugural regional outreach Sitting will be held from 29th to 30thAugust, 2024 at Gulu’s Kaunda Grounds, in Northern Uganda.

The Sitting at Kololo Geremonial Grounds saw the attendance of Speakers from African Countries include the Speaker of Parliament of Malawi, Catherine Gotani Hara, Jemma Nunu Kumba, the Speaker of Transitional National Legislative Assembly of South Sudan and Lukas Sinimbo Muha, the Chairperson of National Council of Namibia’s Parliament.

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