President Yoweri Museveni has lauded present day religious leaders in Uganda, for shunning the ideology of radicalism and “carrying the message of the National Resistance Movement” -focusing on transforming society and not engaging in unnecessary wars.
Museveni made the remarks while speaking at the 23rd National Prayer Breakfast held at State House Entebbe on Friday.
In his speech, Museveni appreciated the message from the preachers which he said was contrary to that of their predecessors who got disoriented “Okuhuga” in Runyankole, and emphasized religious differences rather than unity in diversity.
The president noted that religion in Uganda and elsewhere had set focus on non-Godly issues leading to religious wars, enmity and terrorism.
Running under the Theme: Responsibility before God and Man, the scientific event hosted several politicians and religious leaders who mainly appreciated God for saving the country from the COVID-19 pandemic considering the drop in infection rates and few fatalities so far registered.
Earlier, the chief preacher, West Ankole Diocese -Bishop Johnson Twinomujuni stated that as religious leaders, it is their mandate to lead God’s people out of bondage of all nature including poverty, ignorance and disease and take them to freedom. He said Ugandans are in a state of pain and need good leadership to freedom which is a responsibility of all leaders be political, religious or civic.
Museveni said this has and has always been the message of the NRM.
Museveni said this phenomenon started in Europe with a religious war between Protestants and Catholics which lasted for 30 years and other similar wars that happened later. He noted that these were to set a precedent for “disoriented groups” to kill and maim fellow humans in the name of religion.
“Not talking about God, or the responsibility to God and Man, and not talking abut doing good things to those in need, but talking about power of the priests and the Sheikhs. We rejected this! We said we cannot accept this” Museveni said: “So I thank everybody, the organizers and I thank the message because it seems it is coming out better. Many of the points I disagreed upon with those people (preachers) are now very well addressed”. He said.
President Museveni said ever since 1965, he has opposed the line of exclusivity along religious lines but also joked that the formation of the Inter-Religious Council (IRC) could have been copied from the NRM ideology of inclusivity. He said it is the reason why in 1965, he and his group left traditional political parties like DP and UPC to start a new line line in politics.
Referring to the parable of a good Samaritan which Jesus stated to his disciples, Museveni said that is the NRM’s ideology and the line of Jesus.
“Up to now, countries are suffering! If you see what is happening in the Middle East; Yemen, Lebanon, Iraq, -that confusion in people’s heads when they say they are working for God when actually they are off the point doing things that are anti-people” President Museveni said.
“The parable of the Good Samaritan whereby the neighbor was not somebody from your tribe or somebody from your religion but somebody who did something that was correct. So that’s what NRM did.” he said adding; So when I sit here and see all these preachers now talking that lie of Jesus, then I dnt have much to say but only thank God”
“Now I am happy and I can only thank God; it seems our people are getting out of that and following the line of Jesus which is the line of NRM” he said.