By Vision Reporter
President Yoweri Museveni has called on Ugandans to be more careful with their health saying most of the diseases in Uganda are preventable and can be managed if people were more sensitized.
“Am now 68 years and one of the things I don’t have a budget for is sickness. This is because am a very determined person and I don’t want a situation where I can’t do anything because am sick,” he said.
The President said unlike flue which is airborne, AIDS is a sickness people hunt for and spread to others.
“AIDS you already know where it is and alcohol. You wonder why people should drink until their cheeks are swollen. If I was drinking alcohol, I would not serve you for all this time. You may wonder why I don’t shake hands but wave,” Museveni said.
He explained that he no longer shook hands as a precaution against the deadly Ebola virus. The recent Ebola outbreak in Kibaale district in Western Uganda killed nineteen.
“When it appeared, I made broadcasts because I take sickness very seriously and told people to stop shaking hands. With Ebola you just shake hands and you get it. Fortunately this was managed and it stopped spreading, many people would have died.
"The last patient was discharged two weeks ago and the health workers are under quarantine until they are cleared. WHO sets these regulations to manage the disease. The Ministry of Health will announce the end of Ebola on October 4. I want people to learn the same. It is not bad manners if I wave,” he said.
The President warned people living in disaster prone areas near Mount Elgon, saying they risked disasters such as landslides and floods.
“This mountain is a gift from God. If we play around with it, it will turn against us. Some of the cheap politicking by some leaders who tell people to go and get malewa (bamboo) because they have always done so is wrong.
"When people die those who misled them go into hiding. Let us stop these games. This is very serious. These mountains are very dangerous. They are a great gift to us, to Uganda and to Africa but can be dangerous,” Museveni explained.
He said while people need to use part of the mountain for agriculture they must know where to stop and if they don’t God will stop them.
“It is like when you are shaving hair, you don’t feel pain but when you cut deep into the skin you must stop. The wells and springs which come from the mountains are like your veins. The Bagisu circumcise but they know where to stop, they can’t cut off everything, people will die,” he said.
The President who was the chief guest at the groundbreaking ceremony and fundraising for Bulambuli district Headquarters administration offices, later launched the environmental restoration drive in Bulambuli and cautioned leaders against poor planning saying they can’t do everything at a go.
The district received the mandatory sh100m from government for the district headquarters. The district also wants government to tarmac various roads in the region, provide electricity and build industries.
“The economy of Uganda had collapsed by 1986 and tax collection was very low. Now the economy has been revived and we are collecting more taxes. We started programmes like the UPE and USE which takes a lot of money – about one trillion. We will do infrastructure selectively. If we say that we do all at once, it’s not possible, that is bad planning. Why don’t you start with something small and work on the headquarters later,” he said.
Museveni said with electricity now in Moroto, government is working on establishing a cement factory at Katikere in Moroto district where there is more limestone than in Tororo and Hima next year and are also planning for a tomato factory in Bulambuli.
He said in November, there will be a budget retreat for NRM Members of parliament so that principles of budgeting are clear to everybody to know why they budget for some things and not others.
This will later be followed by another retreat for District chairpersons and CAOs. He was happy to note that coffee seedlings have been planted widely in the region saying this is the real solution to household incomes.
He urged leaders to sensitive the people about household incomes saying even without tarmac, families can still engage in income generating activities.