KAMPALA – President Yoweri Museveni has strongly criticized the opposition political groups who he says are fond of mixing issues of the welfare of wananchi with politics and divert them only to leave them wallowing in a life of poverty.
Mr Museveni stressed that politics and people’s lives should be separated.
The President made the remarks on Thursday, August 1, at Kyakasinga playground in Kasese Municipality while addressing a conference of Kasese District local leaders in Rwenzori Sub-Region.
He strongly criticized the opposition leaders in the country who mix issues of people’s livelihood with politics without taking any slightest trouble to awaken the masses out of poverty.
“By 1960 to 1966, I personally was in opposition in DP political party. As a person with concern for the people, I could not wait for UPC, the ruling party at the time, to leave power and then I embark on sensitising my people in Ankole to shift from nomadism to dairy cattle leading them out of poverty,” he said.
The president added that even if someone is in opposition, why should they keep their people in a state of abject poverty waiting for NRM, that has been in power for the last 30 years to relinquish power and then they start to mobilise the people to get out of poverty?
“This is being an enemy to your own people,” he said.
He informed the people of Kasese District that continued growing of maize on a small scale yields only between 5 to 15 bags of maize that fetches the farmer about Shs.700,000/=. He wondered how such a producer can come out of poverty.
Mr Museveni noted that the problem stems from the fact that people don’t listen carefully adding that to-date, 70% of people in Kasese District still work for the stomach. “If I am well, then I should see my people well as a leader who is responsible,” he said.
“This is why I have come back here again to tell you, people, to wake up, to talk to you the leaders and the NRM priests to go back to the grassroots sensitising your people to stop working for the stomach but also to work for money putting accountability in mind,” he added.
Referring to the 1996 NRM Manifesto recommendation, President Museveni told Kasese District local leaders that growing coffee is the best choice to make tangible profits for a family. He said that other crops that can get handsome financial dividends on a four-acre plan include fruits, food for consumption, pasture for zero-grazing of animals, poultry and fish farming, among others.
He reminded the leaders in Kasese District that a modern lifestyle requires one to have education, good health and shelter on top other human basic needs like money. He warned the leaders about the disadvantages of bad settlement noting that the traditional practices of property inheritance in the areas of Kasese, Kigezi, parts of West Nile, Bugisu, have caused crowded population mainly because of wrong settlement patterns and land fragmentation.
Turning to local administration issues, the President agreed with Kasese District Council proposal to split present-day Kasese District and create another district because of the peculiar physical features that characterize the area.
During the conference, Kasese District NRM local leaders, led by Mr. Businge Fred, presented their resolutions recommending and seconding President Museveni as sole NRM Presidential candidate come 2021 with a strong request to him to continue guiding and steering the country.
The Mayor of Kasese Municipality, Mr. Godfrey Kabyanga, on behalf of the leaders, reported that for the past three years, the district has been peaceful. He thanked the government for steering development programmes in the area noting that Kasese has 5 hydropower stations being the largest number in the country.
He added that the government has also built Kabatooro Irrigation Scheme, among other priority development programmes.