By Kampala Post Reporter
President Yoweri Museveni has told leaders in Acholi and Madi sub-regions in Northern Uganda that they should desist from preaching sectarianism and dividing their people.
Speaking to leaders of the Madi Sub-Region this afternoon (Wednesday) in Adjumani District, President Museveni said the NRM was a party of peace and its leaders should focus on solving people's problems rather than stoking sectarian tensions.
Madi sub-Region comprises Adjumani and Moyo districts. The President was in Adjumani as part of his wealth creation sensitization campaign that has so far seen him speak to leaders in Tooro, Bunyoro, Lango and West Nile Sub-Regions.
“What disturbs peace is sectarianism yet people have similar problems. When there is no water in the region, is the problem for only Acholi and not Madi?" asked President Museveni.
"When you talk of Acholi, Madi, that is not correct. These people have similar problems. There are no Acholi or Madi diseases. Our people have common problems and that is why NRM preaches solving people's problems," he added.
The President's remarks followed a call by the Adjumani LC5 Chairman, James Leku, and the First Deputy Prime Minister, Gen. Moses Ali, that the Cabinet Report on the Apaa land conflict should not be reviewed.
Apaa has been the centre of conflict over land and boundaries between residents of Amuru and Adjumani Districts. Recently, President Museveni appointed a new committee headed by Deputy Speaker Jacob Oulanyah to review some of the sticking issues.
An earlier committee headed by Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda has already submitted its findings in a report to Cabinet.
The President said the issues would be resolved peacefully and warned those who were fanning animosity including on radios, to stop forthwith.
On the subject of wealth creation, which he clarified was the primary purpose of his visit, President Museveni challenged the leaders to become preachers of the gospel to get their followers out of poverty.
“Leaders must be social and guide the people. Leadership is like medicine. You must do a diagnosis, examine the population on what they are suffering from and find a solution. In this case, the problem is poverty which we must get rid of,” he said.
President Museveni also re-echoed the need for leaders to teach the people with small pieces of land to embrace the four-acre model of planting fruits, food crops, animals and growing pasture for the cattle.
For those with big pieces of land, the President guided that they could engage in growing cash crops after undertaking the four-acre model.
The President, who kept exciting the audience as he sprinkled his presentation with phrases from the Madi language like "ebwe" (peace), vwoozo (development), also cautioned against land fragmentation, saying in places like Arua and Kabale, it had affected food crop production.
"Do not divide land. Form companies as a family and own shares. Jointly own the land and only share proceeds from it on the basis of your shareholding," he said.
The President also reiterated that there were other sectors like factories, services and ICT, which would help amass wealth and create jobs for other people.
Showing the practicality of jobs creation in the services sector, the President cited the example of a local entrepreneur, Emmanuel Amanza, who runs the Zawadi Hotel in Adjumani Town and Zawadi Coaches, creating about 350 jobs.
The President said leaders must encourage people to form SACCOs based on similar skills such that he can support them like he did with the Kassanda youth groups.
On the developments in Adjumani, President Museveni was happy to note that electricity had been brought into the area. He said although the current was still weak, it would get stronger with the help of Karuma power dam.
On the issue of roads, he assured the people that the construction of the Atiak- Adjumani- Moyo road that goes up to Yumbe and Koboko would soon commence as he had earlier promised.
President Museveni was also endorsed as the 2021 sole candidate for election as NRM National Chairperson and NRM Presidential candidate in 2021 by the leaders. The resolution to endorse Mr. Museveni was moved by Akule Illa Francis, Asubi J.B. Sam, Baatio Joyce Wudu, Maiku Didi Paul, Raleo Rose, Amaza Emmanuel, Anyama Williams, and Leku James Pilli. Earlier, the President commissioned the new Resident District Commissioner’s Offices in Adjumani town.