President Museveni has strongly cautioned the people of the Rwenzururu area in Western Uganda against promoting tribalism, religion or any other form of sectarianism noting that these negative vices have no place in the modern world.
He warned the population that any leader or person, who promotes sectarianism, was an enemy of his own people.
The President made the remarks on Thursday evening while addressing a public rally at the Booma grounds in Kasese town.
The warning comes against the backdrop of deadly ethnic clashes in Rwenzori area last year in which over 90 people were killed.
Inspired by traditional healers’ myths that human bodies doused in wheat provide solid armour against bullets from machine guns, Rwenzururu fighters attempted to storm a military installation with the view of looting guns.
They fell in a hailstorm of bullets. The fighting between the Bakonjo and Bamba angered Museveni who nearly ordered the Rwenzururu king’s arrest for fuelling the ethnic violence.
Mr. Museveni said that there was no need for self emphasis by any tribe in Uganda because all tribes complement each other and mutually benefit each other if they live in harmony.
He noted that in the modern era, life runs on economics and economic benefits and not tribes, ethnicity or even religion.
“Tribes benefit each other as they provide market for goods and service of the other tribes thus one tribe’s prosperity is dependent on another tribe. Therefore, they should live in harmony,” he said.
“My milk and meat from Rwakitura is consumed in Kampala. Is it consumed by my Banyankole neighbors? Of course not and thus my prosperity is not dependent on them but rather on the people of Kampala and beyond who are not necessarily my tribe’s men,” he noted.
The President noted “I don’t want to hear this tribal talk and tribal conflicts again because they are just diversionary, misguiding, anti-development and totally a result of negative and backward ideological mentality.”
Mr. Museveni urged the people of Kasese to engage in modern agriculture and get rid of poverty in their homesteads which, he said, was the major problem to the citizens.
He asked the population to do intensive farming and engage in a number of activities with emphasis on high yielding enterprises. He noted that in the new drive of wealth creation, he had introduced Army Officers in the distribution of seeds, animals and farm inputs through out the country after realizing that a lot of funds had been wasted in the National Agricultural and Advisory Services (NAADS) programme.
He said that in the case of Kasese, because land has largely been fragmented, enterprises such as coffee, fruits, zero-grazing, poultry, piggery and bee-keeping should be promoted.
The President however said that a special package targeting the urban population will also be supported with enterprises such as carpentry and metal works, weaving, dying, painting, Peri-urban agriculture and welding. He noted that a special fund should be extended to support these sectors.