Monday, September 14, 2009




"Nobody should interfere with Uganda, says Museveni"

Bishop Charles Odurukan of Lango Diocese, Museveni, Lwanga and deputy Mufti Sheikh Abdul Mukiibi at the conference
By Milton Olupot and Jude Kafuma

President Yoweri Museveni has said nobody should interfere with the legitimate interests of the people of Uganda.

These interests, he said, are peace, security, health, education, employment, freedom of worship and regional integration for bigger markets.

“Whatever we do is deliberate because we have dedicated our lives to the cause of Uganda and Africa. Anybody trying to divert us from this is doing us a disservice. Nobody should interfere with Uganda.”

He was speaking on Saturday at the closure of a three-day conference on reconciliation and peace, organised by the Uganda Episcopal Conference, in Hotel Africana, Kampala.

The conference brought together religious, cultural and political leaders as well as representatives of the business community.

The warning came just two days after Museveni revealed that Mengo elements had received “foreign funds” to fight the NRM and undermine the Constitution.

“We are following these reports and we shall defeat the elements involved,” he said in a recorded statement on Thursday. “The NRM fought many battles; we shall win this one also.”

Quoting from the Bible, the President on Saturday called on the clergy to join the Government in the protection of oppressed minorities.

He said justice for all would only be achieved by satisfying the legitimate interests of the people. “If anybody is pushing for illegitimate interests, you succumb and become a slave. This will be peace based on total submission of the oppressed to the oppressor.”

Responding to calls by the Inter-religious Council for the establishment of a peace institute in Uganda, the President said: “I am glad with your proposal. I will take it up and have a Bill creating the institute introduced by the Government.”

Museveni thanked the religious institutions for engaging in peace building. “Your role is important in the transformation of society,” he said.

He reiterated his opposition to charging school children any fees, which he said the religious leaders were encouraging. “I don’t want school charges to be a block on the entrance to education, that is why I am totally opposed to it.”

The participants at the conference passed several resolutions that included a call for the Government to establish a truth and reconciliation commission, a law to regulate cultural institutions, a review of the electoral laws and the constitution of the Electoral Commission.

The conference also resolved that the Government takes a firmer stance on corruption and pledged support in the fight against corruption and moral decadence.

Kampala Archbishop Cyprian Kizito Lwanga hailed Buganda’s move to call-off the Kabaka’s visit to Kayunga. “This has saved many lives and property that would be lost in the demonstrations.”