NAKASEKE - President Yoweri Museveni has assured Ugandans of sustainable peace and security, saying the war of guns is over and that nobody can destabilize Uganda again.
“Whoever tries to cause problems, we finish them. Besigye tried to disorganize Kampala and we gave him a little tear gas and he calmed down. He didn’t need a bullet, just a little gas,” he said, calling on Ugandans to jealously guard the peace and exploit it to promote development.
“A dog can look at gold and it won’t know its value but when you give it a bone, even if there is no meat on the bone, it can be very happy.
“We are at war to bring what is important to the people now. After the bush war, there were no factories. The only income for government was the tax from a few civil servants and consumer tax on goods,” he went on.
“There was no money at first but because of the good way we handled the economy, most factories came back through a lot of difficulty and hard work. But some leaders don’t care that we need these industries. They fight development.
The president underlined that the factories are a source of livelihood for many people, add value to products and pay corporation tax to government.
“It is amazing to see some leaders fight them,” he said.
He was speaking as chief guest at the 24th Heroes Day anniversary celebrations at Nakaseke district headquarters at Butalangu on Sunday.
There was a heroes and mourners parade at the monument in Wakyato, the burial site (mass grave) of over 760 people killed during the bush war.
A three-gun salute in memory of the fallen Ugandans was also a highlight of the event which was attended by high profile figures like the Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga, the Chief Justice Benjamin Odoki, Minister for the Presidency Frank Tumwebaze and the Chief of Defence Forces (CDF) General Katumba Wamala.
Also notable at the ceremony was the Inspector General of Police Gen. Kale Kayihura and the Commissioner General of Prisons Johnson Byabasaija
Various Ugandans were awarded medals (Kagera, Nalubale, Luwero, Jubilee), some of them posthumously, for their contribution to the struggle for peace and development.
The Jubilee medals were given to members of the UPDF – the Ugandan army.
Museveni delved deep in the history of the struggle for peace and urged radio stations in the country to sensitize Ugandans about the road to recovery.
His viewpoint around this was that people need to know why government priorities sectors like education and infrastructure before anything else.
“The way Uganda was moving, if we did not come out and make sacrifices, there would be no peace. The leaders who were there didn’t know anything except killing people. When we came in [power], we had to rehabilitate and restore our country. The coffers were empty.
“In 1986, we collected sh5 billion only for the whole country. Now the country collects over sh8000billion,” he said.
President Museveni greeted veterans at the Heroes Day celebrations. PHOTO/PPU
With an improved economy, Musevini reported that his government has tarmacked five roads in Luwero Triangle alone.
He cited Nakasekea district as one of the districts the president provided money to – and that now the district gets sh13 billion annually.
“We have moved but there is still malicious miscommunication. The people who know these things deliberately keep the information away from the people and keep them in the dark,” he said.
The President reiterated his call to restructure NAADS and limit on coordinators who take more money in terms of salaries and facilitation. He said emphasis will now be put on veterinary and agriculture coordinators and on procuring improved materials by the farmers.
He urged families to focus more on improving household incomes by engaging in modern agro production and exploiting small acreages of land through enterprise selection and mix of enterprises such as fruits, poultry, piggery, coffee, bananas, tomatoes and onions.
On fighting HIV/AIDS, he called on Ugandans not to relax since the feared disease has not got a cure yet.
“Let’s work hard and raise our children but we should not let them die of AIDS.”
The ceremony was punctuated by light entertainment and was attended by thousands of Ugandans from around the country.