Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni has described his ministers as selfish people who do not put the interest of the country first.
Addressing investors during the country’s sixth Presidential Investors Roundtable in Entebbe, Mr Museveni said although his ministers get free consultancies during such meetings “they only think about themselves instead of implementing projects agreed upon".
“Many of my ministers are sleeping. They are selfish and only think about themselves,” Mr Museveni said.
The meeting on Thursday, which was attended by both local and foreign investors, focused on six thematic areas of tourism, agriculture and value addition, oil and gas, competitiveness, transport and mineral value addition.
Mr Museveni’s remarks followed a statement by the country's Agriculture minister Christopher Kibanzanga that the agricultural sector in Uganda is being developed in a “private-led system" and the government can only help with research and extension services.
“Seventy percent of the districts have extension workers but they are not being used by the investors,” Mr Kibanzanga said in response to accusations that his ministry has failed to guide investors on profitable enterprises.
Mr Muhamood Hudda, the Consular General of Bangladesh in Uganda, in a paper on Agriculture and Value Addition, said that the Agriculture ministry had not done enough to brand and market Uganda’s agricultural products globally.
“Uganda needs to put its house in order to compete in the value addition. The Ministry of Agriculture needs to modernise before farmers do,” said Mr Hudda.
Asked at a press conference why he was not firing ministers he appoints if they were sleeping on the job, Mr Museveni said, “It is not only the ministers that are sleeping, but even other Ugandans.”
The chairman of the Uganda Chamber of Mines and Petroleum Elly Karuhanga said investors targeting Uganda’s oil production have failed to budget for their investments in the sector because of uncertainty.
Other issues raised by investors is the slow development in the tourism sector, poaching and early political campaigns which portrays the country as violent.
During the same meeting, Mr Museveni directed Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda together with Attorney-General to resolve the taxation conflict between Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) and Tullow Oil.
This was after Tullow Oil General Manager Jimmy Mugerwa, reported that URA continuously asked his company to pay $167 million in taxes over the sale of shares to Total E&P even when it had been agreed that they would pay $85 million and the rest be paid by buyer.