By Vision reporter
President Yoweri Museveni who is also the National Chairman of NRM has received 400 former FDC local leaders and supporters from Rukungiri district who crossed over to NRM, telling them that NRM is a party that stands on four pillars that include non-sectarianism, Nationalism, Pan-Africanism as well as social and economic transformation.
"Thank you for returning home," the President welcomed them home, urging them to join the campaign to transform their people by fighting poverty at the household level.
The ceremony took place at the Presidents’ country home in Rwakitura Kiruhura district. The defectors were introduced to the President by the Deputy RDC Rukungiri district Ms Harriet Nakamya.
The President said that he started his campaign of transforming the population from peasantry in his early school days in the 60s' by telling chiefs to teach people to change and the effort has bore fruits. He was instrumental in sensitizing the pastoral groups in Ankole to abandon pastoralism and live a more modern settled life.
"I started the campaign in 1966. I used to tell chiefs to teach others that if anybody is taught, that person can change from darkness to light," he said.
On their concerns about the Banana wilt, President Museveni said that he held seminars in all banana growing zones in the country, attended by leaders at all levels to sensitize wanainchi on how to stem the disease.
In his message, the President emphasized that BBW disease is similar to HIV/AIDS in human beings; it is spread when farm tools used for cutting infected plants are used to cut uninfected plants. He advised farmers not to move cutting tools and infected plant parts to other gardens, cut, heap and bury infected plants in the same plantation and flame farm tools in fire or clean them with Jik.
The National Agricultural Research Organization (NARO) recently developed and released a new banana variety with features that block the BBW disease transmitted by insects. He however noted that it does not prevent BBW to spread through infected tools.
He therefore called on leaders and agricultural experts to help sensitize the population in the fight against the disease.
President Museveni later pledged to assist women and the boda-boda groups among others in their economic activities. The President also assured the people of Rukungiri that the district hospital will be built.