Wednesday, January 27, 2010



President Museveni

WELCOME: President Museveni greets Mr Moi yesterday in Mbale. PHOTO BY GEOFFREY SERUYANGE.

By David Mafabi (email the author)
Posted Wednesday, January 27 2010 at 00:00


Former Kenyan President Daniel arap Moi, forced into retirement by a resilient opposition in 2002, used yesterday’s National Resistance Movement Day celebration to lend a hand to his host’s bid for a fourth elective term.

Mr Moi, who was President of Kenya for 24 years, was invited as a private guest of President Museveni, who yesterday inked his name in history as the longest serving East African head of State as he started his 25th year in power. “When leadership of one person is good why should people complain,” Mr Moi said to thunderous hand claps and shouting from the crowd of NRM supporters some of whom carried placards urging Museveini to stay on for a fourth term and chanted “abeewo” (he should stay).

However, Mr Moi who last visited Uganda in 2002 as he bid farewell to the region before peacefully handing over power to successor Mwai Kibaki then of the opposition National Rainbow Coalition, also cautioned his host.

Probably reminiscing on his own time out of power and the chaos that engulfed his country just five years after his exit over a flawed election, Mr Moi said: “Leadership comes and goes but the country will stay,” He added: “We should put common good above interest of the individual.”

Mr Moi urged East Africans to quicken the pace of integration, saying the longer it takes to operationalise the community, the longer the people continue to suffer. “Let us all stand for peace and tranquility in Uganda ushered in by the NRM under President Museveni because this has enabled you to exploit your natural resources for the benefit of everyone,” said Mr Moi.

He said he knew Mr Museveni would make a good leader for Uganda when he mediated the failed 1985 Nairobi Peace talks between the then National Resistance Army (NRA) rebels headed by Museveni and the military Junta of Okello Lutwa and Bazilio Olara Okello whom Museveni toppled on January 26, 1986.
“I knew that he was the right person for Uganda, when I saw him moving in Nairobi for the peace of Uganda I knew he would make a good President for the nation,” Mr Moi said adding: “We must put our interest in the common good not in the personal selfish goals.” “As we move towards the East Africa Federation, let us preach a message of peace and harmony and togetherness. Why do we allow the boundaries fixed by colonialists to disintegrate us, for easy administration let us break these for the East African Community,” said Mr Moi.

On his part, Mr Museveni, in an apparent rebuff to critics who say he has deviated from the original Ten Point Programme, which defined the political programme of the 1981-86 guerilla war, said he had achieved most of what he set out to do. He said the Ten Point programme had succeeded in establishing and rooting democracy, fighting poverty, improved health, and education among others.
He picked on peace and tranquility warning that sufficient military capacity had been built and that no one can now distabilise the country.

“The most troubled regions; the north, Karamoja are peaceful. The country is totally peaceful because the army is mature. There is no way anybody can distablise Uganda and the NRM, our army has the capacity to reach anywhere,” the President boasted. “We have come a long way to transform this country to what it is today. We don’t want people to disturb us, bring your thoughts to the people, if the people don’t want them, then let us move with what the people want,” Mr Museveni said. He said the army has the skills, determination and goodwill to maintain Uganda’s stability with protection of the people and their property as a major priority.

The NRM 24th anniversary was marked outside Kololo Air strip, the traditional home for such celebration, under the theme; 24 years of NRM: So much done, so much to do. The armed forces including the Police and prisons performed a colourful parade that was joined by party supporters from various parts of the country.

Mr Museveni earlier presided at the official opening of a new Uganda Clays factory at Kamonkoli in Budaka District. He commended Uganda Clays, a former government owned enterprise for the production of building materials as an example of his government’s successes through privatisation and liberalisation of the economy.