If the ministry of Agriculture, Animal industry and Fisheries (MAAIF) is to achieve it’s set goals and objectives it must stay clear of corruption tendencies, Hon. Frank Tumwebaze, who is taking over this docket has pointed out. Hon. Tumwebaze made the remarks on June 22, 2021 while he was taking over office from the outgoing Minister Hon. Vincent Bamulangaki Ssempijja who is taking over the ministry of defense and veterans.
“As a minister, you might not be involved in the corruption scandal,” Hon. Tumwebaze said. “But if there’s a corruption scandal in your ministry you are also culpable.” Hon. Tumwebaze was echoing President Museveni’s call to his new cabinet to avoid corruption during this new term. “Don’t seek favors and don’t accept any,” President Museveni said on June 21, 2021 after the cabinet had sworn in at Kololo independence grounds. “Don’t tolerate corruption under you,” “This must be a government of no corruption. There is no corruption, I don’t know and I appeal to you the ministers not to ask for favors from anybody or accept anything.”
Hon. Tumwebaze made it clear that among other things he going to put emphasis on mechanization of agriculture. “Do farmers know where to get a tractor when they need it?” The minister asked. “Are tractors meant for every farmer. He also called on his team to reduce on the time they spend in conference hall gatherings but rather they should be in the field working. “I hate being in conferences all the time,” said Hon. Tumwebaze. “Work is the field. I want to see people in the field working.”
Before Hon. Tumwebaze could take over the podium, Hon. Ssempijja who has spent the last five years at the helm of the ministry updated the incoming ministers and other senior Ministry staff present about the status of the ministry. “During the last year the sector has had challenges. We had the problem of desert locusts then we had Covid. You are well aware of how our farmers were giving out eggs, Matooke, chicken. Now Covid is back again.” Hon. Ssempijja thanked the president for giving him an opportunity to serve in agriculture which he said is the backbone of Uganda’s economy. MAAIF’s mission is “transforming subsistence farming to commercial agriculture.”