By Kampala Post Reporter
President Yoweri Museveni has strongly appealed to the people of Kasese district and those of the Rwenzori Region in general to embrace peace and shun the endless wars and conflicts that have characterised the area, retarding development and costing lives and wealth.
The President said that although the Rwenzori Region is blessed with abundant resources that include great agricultural potential, tourism opportunities, minerals that are crucial for industrialisation and brilliant and hard working population, the endless war and conflict that have characterised the Region have hindered its development.
President Museveni made the appeal on Thursday afternoon in Kasese Municipality where he was chief guest at the fundraising function for the construction of the Rwenzori Seventh Day Adventist Church and Mentoring Centre in the Rwenzori Adventist’s field.
Mr. Museveni said that some conflicts in the past, like the Rwenzururu Movement, were justifiable because they were for self-determination. He said that there is no need for continued conflict between the people of the Rwenzori region. He, therefore, appealed to the people of the Rwenzori Region to forget the negative past and embrace reconciliation in line with the National Resistance Movement’s ideology and work for the development of their region in particular and the country at large.
“In the National Resistance Movement, we believe that resistance should have an end and shouldn’t turn into a vendetta. That is why today in the NRM, we are working with the people we fought against during the Resistance Movement,” he said.
“The late Idi Amin’s son Brigadier Taban is a senior director in security agencies while the late Obote’s daughter-in-law and the late Okello’s son are senior Ministers in the NRM government because we never carry vendetta once conflicts are over. You need to embrace peace and treat each other with respect and dignity we all deserve so as to live in harmony,” he noted.
He added: “Respect others the way they are and things will be easy in this world. I have managed to succeed in a number of wars because I have always respected all people and as a result they also support me,” he noted.
President Museveni appealed to religious leaders to take a leading role in this reconciliation process in line with God’s cardinal commandment of ‘Love your neighbour as you love yourself.’ He attributed the problems of the Rwenzori Region to greed, selfishness and ego centralism on the side of some people in the area and said that those vices must be fought against and rid them from society. He welcomed the proposed dialogue with all stakeholders in order to find lasting peace in the region.
President Museveni, who in the past had contributed Shs100 million towards the construction of the Rwenzori Seventh Day Adventist Church and Mentoring Centre, further pledged Shs200 million towards the completion of the project that is expected to cost Shs5 billion on completion. During the function he auctioned a heifer at Shs10 million.
State Minister for Agriculture Hon. Christopher Kibazanga asked the people of Rwenzori Region to stop the cycle of violence that has characterised the area saying that he has been its victim since he was young. He particularly asked the religious leaders to guide the people in this endeavour. He thanked President Museveni for always embracing and preaching reconciliation.
The SDA Union President (Archbishop) in Uganda, Pastor Martson Daniel Matte, called upon leaders to always avoid bad assessment of situation in society, have the courage to defend what is right, have a high level of self-esteem, avoid pessimism, do away with the status-quo mentality and desist from destructing God’s work. He commended President Museveni for the proper handling of the national priorities and guaranteeing the freedom of worship for all Ugandans.