President Yoweri Museveni has strongly warned Ugandans against entanglement in politics of lies that emphasizes sectarianism noting that Uganda had in the past been plunged in turmoil and suffering due to political mistakes that should be avoided today.
The President made the remarks at two separate public rallies that he addressed at Omugo Sub-County headquarters in Terego County and at Booma Grounds in Arua Municipality in Arua District.
President Museveni, who was on a-one day working tour in Arua district, to commission a number of projects that included a piped water project in Omugo Sub-County in Terego county and another one at Giri-Giri in Arua Municipality that will supply water to 180,000 people.
Mr. Museveni warned that negative politicians who meddled in lies and promoted sectarianism cost the country a lot in the past leading to the collapse of governments, loss of lives and property and total breakdown of society; something, he said, should be avoided now that the country is on the right track to development.
“I have been involved in the politics of Uganda for 51 years and I have experienced the cost of the politics of lies. So please I advise you to avoid them and stop misleading the population. I have heard some people use bad words like National Resistance Movement is bad for West Nile. Such a statement is poisonous and dangerous for national unity and development,” the President advised.
“When we overthrew Idi Amin ourselves, the Uganda People’s Congress with the support from Tanzania, we pleaded with the UPC leaders not to punish the people of West Nile because of the mistakes of Amin as an individual. The UPC leaders did not listen to us and instead imported criminality in West Nile because it was Amin’s home area leading to many deaths and forcing almost all West Nile people into exile in Sudan and DRC,” he added.
The President said that it was the National Resistance Movement, when it came into power in 1986, which invited the people of West Nile back to their homes and spearheaded their settlement. He noted that anyone who says the NRM is anti-development of West Nile is both a liar and unrealistic.
“I drove to Kaya myself near Oraba in Sudan when we had come into leadership and met two families. I asked them if they were Ugandans and they said yes and I asked them what they were doing in Sudan and the message went on. The others followed and today West Nile which was abandoned is one of the most populated areas of Uganda. So politicians please stop meddling in lies, just like the Bible puts it; say the truth it will set you free,” the President added.
The President who also commissioned the construction and upgrading of new roads within Arua Municipality, urged the people of West Nile to differentiate between development infrastructure and household income. He said that government may provide development infrastructure such as roads, power and schools as the case is today in most parts of the West Nile Region districts but this may not translate into wealth if the population does not engage in meaningful wealth creation.
He said that West Nile has largely experienced land fragmentation resulting in the land holdings per homestead being so small. He noted that farmers need to abandon the growing of tobacco because its yield per acre today stands at Shs.300,000 per annum which cannot get someone out of poverty.
He called on them to undertake new ventures such as fruits production, poultry, piggery, zero grazing and the cultivation of coffee which have high financial returns. He said that Uganda, which is largely an agricultural economy, would prosper further if her citizens engage in commercial agriculture that is profit oriented with the ultimate target being production for both food security and the market to generate income. He noted that with the prevailing modern demands, Ugandans have to get out of subsistence agriculture adding that in the new wealth creation drive, no Ugandan citizen should be left out of the struggle to eradicate poverty right at the grass-roots level.
“We don’t want participants and spectators in this wealth creation campaign. Everybody should participate if poverty is to be overcome in the country,” he said.
He warned the population about the danger posed by environmental degradation largely caused by the cutting of trees in West Nile. He said that tree cutting has negative effects especially for agricultural production and appealed to the masses to plant more trees in order to safeguard the environment and promote agriculture.