Ugandan president Yoweri Museveni has criticised police over the increasing crimes in the country and efforts to address them.
Even as he accused the police of laxity, he assured Ugandans of their security.
As he slammed the police, he cited the recent murders of more than 20 women in Entebbe and Nasana Municipality, Wakiso District.
Mr Museveni said this during a two-hour broadcast of his New Year’s message on Sunday. It was broadcast live from his home in Rwakitura.
President Museveni said the assailants were taking advantage of a gap in the security infrastructure.
“Even the old police methods could have unearthed those criminals earlier. However, some laxity had crept in with some elements in the police failing to do what they should have done,” said Mr Museveni.
“Vigorous corrective measures were taken and are being taken to ensure that the Police Force is totally free of infiltration by criminals or any other non-patriotic elements.
"On the side of security, I want to, again, assure Ugandans of their security. In order to send a message to the terrorists, the UPDF launched an air and Artillery attack on ADF who continue to freely use Eastern Congo to train, recruit and send assassins in Uganda like the ones who killed a number of Sheikhs last year."
The President also pointed out small-scale irrigation projects and the use of solar-powered water pumps that would be used to ensure villages receive sufficient water for farming.
He added that the country would also establish large-scale irrigation schemes.
Mr Museveni said that the little rainfall Uganda received and food shortages in some areas has prompted the government to renew efforts in ensuring sufficient food supply in the future.
In his speech, the President claimed that 68 per cent of Ugandan homes practised subsistence farming.
He urged them to embrace small-scale commercial farming and use improved farm inputs to get better yield and in the long run address poverty through farming.
Mr Museveni also discouraged Ugandans from importing expensive goods that can be made locally. He asked them to support local industries.
Mr Museveni also praised health workers for their work and role in stemming epidemics, despite gaps in the industry.
He further praised MPs for their work in Parliament. He also thanked those who voted for the removal of the age limit of 75 years for presidential candidates in law that would have locked him out of the next election in 2021. He will be 77 years in 2021.
“I want to salute the 317 MPs who defied intimidation, malignment and blackmail and opted for a flexible Constitution to deal with the destiny issues of Africa instead of maintaining Uganda on the path of unimaginative, non-ideological, neo-colonial status quo,” Mr Museveni said.
“By so doing, they enabled us to avoid the more complicated paths that would have been required. We cannot kukonesa (under-cook or badly cook) the destiny of Africa. The 317 MPs have played a crucial role at this historical junction (masanganzira) just like … the 232 MPs of the 7th Parliament played in opening up the term limits that have enabled Uganda to cover more ground.
“Those liars who talk about ‘life-Presidency’ of Museveni should be exposed for what they say. They are either un-informed individuals talking about things they do not know or evil schemers who do not want Uganda and Africa to succeed.
Additional reporting by Nation reporter.