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President Museveni has called on the people of Nakasongola who include the Baruli and migrants from other parts of the country, to live in harmony and peace and stop fighting and killing each other over land.
“The reason I came here is because of the forest which I allowed to be degazetted, which I normally don’t do especially the natural forests. But because of the history of the Baruli persecution by the colonialists in collusion with some wrong elements from Mengo, we had to resolve that problem,” he said.
The President was the Chief Guest this past Friday at the thanksgiving ceremony organized by the Minister of Public Service Muruuli Mukasa together with the people of Nakasongola to thank the President for the developmental programs the NRM government has provided to the Baruli and especially for the 8 square miles of land degazetted by government from Kyarubanga forest in Lwabiyata sub-country in Nakasongola district.
Over 1,800 families are to benefit from the degazetted land for mainly agriculture.
Nakasongola has more than 80 per cent of the population occupying land as squatters.
The ceremony was characterized by an Inter-religious service.
The colorful function that was held at Nakayonza Church of Uganda Primary School in Lwabiyata sub-county in Nakasongola district was also attended by the 2nd Deputy Prime Minister the Rt. Hon. Kirunda Kivejinja, Ministers, MPs, and cultural leaders among others.
President Museveni reminded the people of Nakasongola the two Biblical cardinal rules of loving God with your heart and might and loving your neighbor as you love yourself.
“Love God with all your heart and might and you will know that every human being is created in God’s image. You have no right to hate any human being and you cannot say you love your culture and hate the other,’ he told the congregation.
The President noted that the issue of the Baruli was a huge challenge, however NRM being blessed and always standing for the truth managed to sort out the problem that was almost tantamount to genocide on the part of the Baruli community.
He attributed the issue to the action of the colonialists who were trying to punish Kabalega who had vehemently opposed them by transferring some of the counties dubbed lost counties to Buganda.
President Museveni added that it was the same stand NRM took that is why the cultural institutions including that of Buganda were revived as long as they acted according to the Constitution.
“Let everybody enjoy his/her culture, the stand of the NRM is to cause you the Baruli to recover. When you were given a district, you were only 50,000 but today you are over 300,000 people in Nakasongola district. I am glad that NRM took a firm stand and the results are evident,” he noted
President Museveni appealed to all cultural leaders in the country to work together to stop artificial tensions among the people who already have enough challenges to sort out.
On the concern raised by the fishing community, President Museveni noted that just like the cattle keepers who protected the continuity of their cattle, there is a need for the fisheries industry to have a similar system where the fish is allowed to multiply in the water bodies. He added that having the fishing community managed and supported by the government could best do this.
President Museveni was later presented with ‘The Father of the Nation’ Award in recognition of his struggle to liberate the country as well as his able leadership.
The President later donated Shs 10 million to Nakayonza Church of Uganda.