President Museveni has said he will push funding for lawyers under the umbrella of the Uganda Law Society, especially if their services help local production and import substitution.
“I have been told that 80 percent of the legal work in Uganda is outsourced and they earn money from the Ugandan economy. If you push this import substitution case and let the work be done by local lawyers, then I could insist that you qualify for UDB, I will push it, ”he said.
The President met with leaders of the Uganda Law Society led by President Ms Pheona Wall at State House, Entebbe on Friday.
The lawyers seek to engage more in the development of the country through dialogue and partnerships and to exploit employment opportunities within the framework of regional integration.
“We have soft money in the UDB for manufacturing and agriculture. It is true that we do not consider legal workers to be important. They are like traders who go to China and bring human hair and sell it here while our women here are equipped with very good hair. The interest rate is 12% and could go up to 8% for agriculture and manufacturing. Recently, I added tourism which adds blood to us and does not take it away from us, ”he said.
On the issue of funding for legal aid, President Museveni said the government froze the money of foreigners doing things the government ignored.
“This money from our European friends, which they wanted to give directly, when we have a government here. We’re still sorting things out with them, ”he said.
The President cited the example of the Inter-Religious Council which he said obtained money from European organizations until they embarked on an ideological quarrel.
“The Europeans wanted them to support homosexuals and when they said no, they cut them off. We were able to grant them state funding. I see you have the same problem. We will see how to finance you, ”he said.
Late last year, the government suspended the operations of several powerful and wealthy international organizations that funded hundreds of civil society groups.
The government accused international organizations of funding opposition groups determined to destabilize the country.
Some of the affected agencies include local legal organizations that relied on donor funds to manage their operations.
The Uganda Law Society is the bar association of lawyers in Uganda that provides professional services, resources, support and benefits to its members and engages in activities designed to improve access to justice.
President Museveni praised the ULS for what he described as progress on their side, as it seems from the start the legal service in Uganda was colonial and neo-colonial.
“I think that’s why your predecessors spent so much time on external issues like human rights etc. If you are now talking about trade, agriculture, industry, regional integration, then I say okay, you have now landed. Just as Jesus came to save us, he saw that staying in heaven would not help us, ”he said.
The President said they were looking at the lawyers with odd curiosity.
“I think economics helps you understand better. Being 3,000, you can’t get into the whole narrow spectrum of import representation. It seems that a lot of your work is on criminal issues, a bit on civil issues like land, and then infrastructure. I hear little about advisory services for agriculture, industry, tourism. When Isaac Newton noticed gravity when he saw an apple fall and not go up and realized that there was a force. You have also discovered that there is money in agriculture, industry, services like tourism, etc. I welcome you. You wake up, he said.
The president said northern Uganda has a lot of commercial agriculture and many commercial farms and dairy farmers in the southwest need closer legal services instead of coming to Kampala.
He pledged to fill the 5 billion Shs for ULS this year or next after consulting the Ministry of Finance.
He accepted the request to include the legal fraternity in the presidential roundtable of investors and urged them to exploit opportunities in the oil and gas sector.
The president accepts the request for an annual meeting with the ULS.
“I will be happy to come and tell you about the NRM line. I condemn the bail for murder … this bail is very provocative for the tribes. The people who killed in Masaka for example, they have to pay. For you, to pretend that leniency is not in our psychology. The Old Testament of an eye for an eye is the doctrine of the African tribes. This line of confusion between the questions of this procedure is more important than the substance. We didn’t make it a big deal, but this line distracted us. The lawyers did not help stabilize Uganda, ”he said.
Ms Wall said that one of the crucial programs for lawyers is how to address ordinary people and provide services to them as a duly established statutory organization.
“The ULS has 3,700 members but 90 percent of them are in the city. We try to distribute our advocates in regional integration and try to develop agriculture, to exploit the oil and gas sectors. We need lawyers inside the country, ”she said.
Ms Wall said they have decided to use dialogue and partnerships with government and have already signed memoranda of understanding with the Private Sector Foundation Uganda and with the UIA to create regional advisory centers. in commerce.
“We need to empower the younger strata under 35 with trade poles and allow them to spread and educate our people. A lot of our people take loans, sign contracts and have no idea to sell their birthrights, ”she said.
She said more than 1,200 avocados are released to the market each year.