Uganda’s president Yoweri Museveni urged Ugandans to shun politics of exclusion and egocentrism which he said is injurious to organizational and national development.
Museveni made the remarks during his first address to the 11th Parliament on Monday shortly after the conclusion of a hotly-contested speakership race which saw former Deputy speaker Hon Jacob Oulanyah defeat Hon Rebecca Kadaga. The event brought to an end a long-standing battle which threatened cohesion within the ruling National Resistance (NRM) Party.
Museveni admonished politics of exclusion saying that there is need for Ugandans to forgive each other and work together to see that Uganda develop because holding on to issues like elections leaves people divided which sets a bad precedence.
Museveni cited the case of Gen. Moses Ali -a former rebel and soldier in Idi Amin’s regime, Hon. Jimmy AKena and his wife Betty Amongin, who he said were courted to work with NRM for the good of unity. Gen Moses Ali is the First Deputy Prime Minister in Museveni’ government.
“So, have the spirit of welcoming people; reject politics of exclusion and politics of egocentrism” He said NRM had got divided along factions due to mistakes made by some of the senior party leaders.
“I congratulate the NRM people for being mature and you have handled the issue very well” he said it is pleasing for him and some elders in NRM party to be peacefully changing the leadership of parliament in a more unified manner. Museveni pledged to engage all opposition party leaders for national unity.
The president explained that he personally doesn’t support seniors in organizations taking sides on matters involving their juniors and said it is the reason he left NRM CEC to handle the matter between Kadaga and Oulanyah which led to the party’s victory.
“I want to applaud the NRM MPs for the victory and I want you to learn carefully. People had got divided because of the race. People were abusing each other on social media; as a veteran, I don’t engage in politics which lack principles, “ he said.
He said there’s need to work together as opposed to holding grudges because it leads to disunity and failure on the side of the party. He expressed pleasure over his successful effort to reconcile factions allied to both Kadaga and Oulanyah including him personally reaching out to them on phone a day before election day.
In his speech, Oulanyah appreciated the role Kadaga played during her tenure as speaker in advancing the national agenda and pledged to pick from where she left. He pledged not to hold any grudge with anyone and to work respectfully with Kadaga who represents Kamuli District as Woman MP.
Museveni urged legislators to teach their voters the need to embrace social economic transformation in a bid to improve the welfare of Ugandans as the only viable solution to end poverty in the country.
“If you budget well then the lives of our people will improve,” He said.
He added that Ugandans are fed up of corruption and if parliament can work towards zero tolerance to corruption then the vice will be no more.
He cited an example of Uganda Airlines where he had to overhaul the board together with the management which he said were abetting nepotism and inflating procurement processes to suit their needs.
Museveni said the fight against corruption will spread to other government entities saying that Ugandans are fed up of corruption and challenged MPs to work towards zero tolerance to corruption if Uganda is to see a corruption-free country.