President Yoweri Museveni has advised the people of Kenya to embrace the integration process of East Africa that will give the region strength and leverage to compete favourably with world nations in terms of trade.
"These days I am very excited on the issue of integration. We have been suffering from a political anemia. But with the young leadership of Kenya, President Uhuru Kenyatta and the Vice President William Ruto, we have got a new blood supply. I can now feel anemia improving", the beaming President told the cheering crowd.
President Museveni made the remarks on Thursday y at the Mombasa International Show held at Mombasa show ground in Mombasa County where he was the guest of honour.
The President commended President Kenyatta for moving very fast in the few months of his administration to remove 43 out of 45 road blocks that dotted the road from Mombasa Port to Malaba border post with Uganda. The President, therefore, called on wanainchi in Kenya to embrace the process of unification of the region to form a big market that will not only attract investors but will also boost trade within the East African countries and beyond.
"Why do you want to admire other people’s strength? Why don't you want to build your own strength? If you are not strong, nobody in the world will strengthen you. If you build united East Africa, we can bargain with countries like America, Europe, China and others in terms of trade", he said.
President Museveni illustrated his point by citing one of the Kinyankole proverbs that goes, "when one invites you for a meal, he expects you also to in turn invite him. But if you don't have anything, who will bother to invite you", he told the amused audience.
President Museveni also warned the wanainchi of Kenya against the archaic cultural practice of inheritance that he stressed "must be condemned".
"On this issue of inheritance, you need to talk about it. This backward inheritance practice must be condemned. If a person has 10 acres of land, he has to divide them among the 10 children and there will be no land left for production. Land should be for production and the proceeds portioned out as shares to family members", he counseled.
Mr. Museveni further hailed President Kenyatta for handing out land deeds to wanainchi whom he urged to adopt modern commercial farming.
"First of all, I would like to thank President Kenyatta for the agricultural show. Agriculture is very important. Today we are talking about commercial agriculture for financial and food security. You should know that the future lies in modern agriculture, industry, services and Information and Communications Technology", he said.
The President further called on the people of Kenya to shun sectarian tendencies along tribal and religious leanings adding that we, the people of East Africa, value and need each other for purposes of trade.
"I am a Munyankole and Banyankole are cattle keepers. All produce milk and no one can buy from the other. Now, who buys my milk? It is the people of Kampala and neighbouring countries. If I was only thinking about the Banyankole, I would be very poor. So don't get into conflict with people who can help you", he counseled.
President Museveni later watched a spectacular livestock parade by farmers and handed out certificates to the best performers in the 2013 Mombasa International Show, who included among others, an 8-year old girl, Alyssa Jamal.
Welcoming his guest to Mombasa show grounds, President Kenyatta thanked President Museveni for finding time to visit the show. He highlighted the importance of the removal of barriers that impede the free movement and trade between the people of East Africa.
"The people of East Africa should be able to move freely across borders to trade. People from Kenya should move freely and do business in Uganda and the people of Kampala and Soroti should also be able to bring their matooke and food to sell to Kenyans, is that not good?" he asked the crowd that responded in the affirmative amid ululations. The Kenyan leader further noted that it was the only way forward to create a healthy situation for our children and future generations to come.
The Vice-President of Kenya, Mr. William Ruto, hailed the visionary leadership of President Museveni that promoted building strength in the region and forging ahead with unity.
"Soon, barriers that divided us will be eliminated. We want East Africa that is united by trade and development. With President Museveni’s vision, we are confident that we shall have an East Africa that we will be proud of", he said