Museveni: Why I Stopped Handshakes

capsule geneva;”>“I am now 68 years and one of the things I don’t have a budget for is sickness. This is because am a very determined person and I don’t want a situation where I can’t do anything because am sick, pills ” he said.

The President said a sickness like AIDS is not like flue which is transmitted by air but it is something people hunt for and spread to others.

“AIDS you already know where it is and for alcohol, you wonder why people should drink until their cheeks are swollen. If I was drinking alcohol, I would not serve you for all this time. You may wonder why I don’t shake hands but wave,” said Museveni.

The President said following the outbreak of Ebola in Kibaale district, which is associated with bad habits like eating wild animals especially monkeys. 19 people died and others only survived because their immune system was strong.

“When it appeared, I made broadcasts because I take sickness very seriously and told people to stop shaking hands. Ebola you just greet or sneeze and you get it. Fortunately this was managed and it stopped spreading, many people would have died,” said Museveni.

The last patient was discharged two weeks ago and the health workers are under quarantine until they are cleared. WHO sets these regulations to manage the disease. The Ministry of Health will announce the end of Ebola on October 4.

“I want people to learn the same. It is not bad manners if I wave. If you hide meat from the fire, where will you cook it from,” the president wondered.

The President warned people living in disaster prone areas near Mount Elgon, saying they risked disasters such as landslides and floods.


“This mountain is a gift from God, If we play around with it, it will turn against us. Some of the cheap politicking by some leaders who tell people to go and get malewa because they have always done that is wrong. People were few and agriculture did not extend up to the mountains. Now when people die those who misled them go into hiding. Let us stop games, this is very serious. These mountains are very dangerous. They are a great gift to us, to Uganda and to Africa but can be dangerous,” he said.

The President said while people need to use part of this for agriculture they must know where to stop and if they don’t God will stop them.

“It is like when you are shaving hair, you don’t feel pain but when you cut deep into the skin you must stop. This is not an animal park, it is a nature park. The wells and springs which come from the mountains are like your veins. The Bagisu circumcise but they know where to stop, they can’t cut off everything people will die,” he said.

The President who was the chief guest at the groundbreaking ceremony and fundraising for Bulambuli district Headquarters administration offices, later launched the environmental restoration drive in Bulambuli and cautioned leaders against poor planning saying they can’t do everything at a go.

The district received the mandatory Shs 100million from government for the district headquarters but is planning for a structure of Shs6billion. They also want government to tarmac various roads in the region, provide electricity and build industries.

“The economy of Uganda had collapsed by 1986 and tax collection was very low. Now the economy has been revived and we are collecting more taxes. We started programmes like the UPE and USE which takes a lot of money – about one trillion. We will do infrastructure selectively now and some later. If we say that we do all that once, it’s not possible, that is bad planning. Why don’t you start with something small and work on this later,” he said.

He said with electricity now in Moroto, government is working on establishing a cement factory at Katikere in Moroto district where there is more limestone than in Tororo and Hima next year and are also planning for a tomato factory in Bulambuli.

He said in November, there will be a budget retreat for NRM Members of parliament so that principles of budgeting are clear to everybody to know why they budget for some things and not others. This will later be followed by another retreat for District chairpersons and CAOs. He was happy to note that coffee seedlings have been planted widely in the region saying this is the real solution to household incomes.

He urged leaders to sensitive the people about household incomes saying even without tarmac, families can still engage in income generating activities.

The President contributed another Shs100 million and said he would support the district’s decision to use direct labour. The ceremony attracted hundreds of people from the region and was attended by various cabinet ministers and members of parliament.

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