There was mixed reactions to the State of the Nation Address, with some commentators saying President Museveni addressed issues of concern while others argued that it was another lost opportunity.
In his address to Parliament on Thursday, Museveni highlighted on a number of issues like the health sector, infrastructure, Education, and Agriculture among others.
East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) Speaker Margaret Zziwa saluted the president for the address saying he was able to touch on practical areas of concern to a common person. These according to Zziwa included agriculture and health especially maternal health. She said other issues such as netting immature fish that the president mentioned give chance to the community to reflect.
Zziwa noted that they are looking forward to seeing some of the measures the president mentioned appearing in the upcoming budget and pledged that EALA is going to keenly follow through some of the areas so that they evolve into policies to be emulated in the EAC.
But the Leader of Opposition in Parliament Nandala Mafabi dismissed President Museveni’s speech saying that it appeared the president edited the speech he delivered last year and presented it as new. Mafabi said Museveni dodged the main issues.
Mafabi said that in his address Museveni could not mention what he is planning to do for the nation, instead choosing to comment on general issues.
According to Mafabi, the president made no address to the nation.
The Netherlands Ambassador to Uganda Alphons Hennekens said the president made clear comments with no surprises because he mentioned on the importance of Education facilities, infrastructure, and water service delivery.
He further notes that as a member of the foreign community, he was happy when the president committed himself to championing the fight against corruption so that public funds donated to help the local community are not diverted.
Lwemiyaga MP Theodore Sekikubo said this time the president was making lamentations instead of giving hope to the nation. The controversial legislator said Museveni had time to talk about his favourite cow, Kiremba, which was found with over 100 ticks.
However he said that the president endeavored to talk about the achievements like the increasing Gross Domestic Product and the inflation going down.
Ssekikubo said that President Museveni’s that the army can construct a railway is not new because it has been mentioned for the last few years but has not happened.
MP Fred Ebil said that for the first time the president’s address contained truth but that he fell short of explaining the most important thing of reviving cooperatives and making markets for the agricultural sector.