TORORO – The NRM presidential candidate Yoweri Tibuhaburwa Kaguta Museveni has asked NRM leaders in Bukedi sub-region to rally people towards unity so as to foster development.
Museveni was on Saturday addressing Bukedi NRM leaders from the districts of Tororo, Butaleja and Budaka at a meeting held at Elgon view grounds in Tororo District.
The presidential candidate said that sectarianism of tribes and religion saw Uganda stagnate for over 500 years before the NRM came to power in 1986.
“The problems affecting the country are what the NRM studied and we found that the biggest mistake had been sectarianism. In the past, leaders put emphasis on gender, tribe and religion but this was a failure by leaders to define what the problems were,” Museveni said.
“If you divide people, how will you win elections? First of all you are misdefining the problem but secondly making it impossible to govern the country,” he said.
“UPC, DP and Kabaka Yekka failed to get enough seats to form government and nobody had majority of the seats. This was because they had divided the people and could not govern. Their solution was alliance of Kabaka Yekka and UPC but it lasted only 2 years and collapsed and in 1966.By emphasizing sectarianism they had totally disabled themselves.”
Museveni told the NRM leaders that when they realized what the problem was, they started looking around for solutions to the problem and it was then that they formed the students’ movement while at university.
The student movement, according to Museveni metamorphosed into the current NRM.
“We realised these people were misleading us yet society has common needs and for us we decided to emphasize people’s problems rather than sectarianism.”
The President told the leaders that when they started highlighting the real problems affecting people, the then government of Obote treated it as jokes.
“We would go to Uganda Club where they (Obote) were drinking from and they thought we were joking. They were telling us sectarianism was natural and politics meant you had to manipulate people. For us we were not jokers but committed and that is what happened when we came to fighting.”
He explained that it was because of unity that they were able to create a strong National Resistance Army that had people from all tribes and religions irrespective of their gender.
He said that the army became stronger by day and was able to capture power in 1986.
“After taking power, we therefore managed to solve problem of political instability and whenever we go to polls, we get the majority because we don’t emphasize tribe or religion. We get this percentage because of the emphasis of unity.”
The President noted that because of unity, a strong army has been formed for the country but also ushered in peace which ensured investment by foreigners.
He underscored the role played by foreign investors to the economy including solving the problem of scarcity of essential goods, creation of jobs, and above all widening the tax revenue for the country.
Museveni who always peppered his speech with dialects attracting wild cheers from the crowd, said that despite all the achievements in the last 34 years, there is still one problem of working for stomachs that he said needs to be addressed so that people join the money economy.
“Once we do that, we shall have rich foreigners running factories but also our own money doing agriculture, small factories, services and the youths through ICT. We can be able to transform the country.
The country has developed and GDP grown but we must wake up our people so that the entire society joins the money economy.”
Earlier in the day, the President took time off his busy schedule to commission the ultra-modern Tororo Main market in Tororo Municipality.
The market will accommodate over 1700 vendors, especially women and youths.