President Yoweri Museveni has urged the National Resistance Movement cadres to gracefully welcome members of the opposition political parties that are crossing to the Movement.
He said this is the only way to strengthen the Party through increasing their support and making it popular. Shunning or treating with contempt those who want to join the Party, he said, would be a disservice by Movement cadres to NRM as a mass Party.
The President made the remarks on Saturday at Boma grounds in Kitgum Municipality where, at the invitation of the area Member of Parliament, Hon. Beatrice Anywar, he laid a foundation stone and commissioned the construction of Christ the King Parish Centenary Church in Kitgum.
The President also laid a foundation stone for St. Janani Luwum Church and donated 560 iron sheets and pledged Shs.120 million for roofing the church.
“NRM has done a lot. We have disarmed the Karimojong cattle rustlers; defeated Kony, developed the country without the opposition’s contribution. So why can’t the cadres explain this to our people, who have been fed on lies for long, to abandon opposition political groups and join the Movement,” he said.
Mr. Museveni welcomed Hon. Beatrice Anywar who vowed to work with the Movement for the development of Kitgum district and the country at large.
He described Hon. Anywar as a reasonable politician whom he had engaged for years but noted that in most of their engagements, Hon. Anywar was always bothered about the development of her constituency unlike most opposition politicians who spend most of their time on politicking and peddling lies.
On national development, the President said that the Movement has developed Uganda through prioritisation and reminded wananchi that the country’s development programmes are handled gradually in their order of importance and not simultaneously as some political liars tend to suggest.
He said the NRM Government had for years prioritised national peace and security, education, health, roads and electricity that has seen the country register a lot of success in those sectors. He, however, said that starting next financial year, the government will consider diverting some resources from areas like the road sector, in order to attend to some sectors like compensation of war claimants and paying veterans pension conclusively.
Regarding the Nodding disease, the President said the ailment, according to scientists, is caused by the black fly found along River Aswa. He, therefore, instructed the Minister of Health (General Duties), Hon. Sarah Opendi, to ensure mass treatment of nodding disease and river blindness in the entire Northern Region to eliminate the disease totally. He also said that government is considering spraying as a permanent solution to kill the black fly which causes the nodding disease.
Mr. Museveni told the people of the area that the development of infrastructure alone cannot not develop Uganda adding that citizens need to play their part and work to get rid of household poverty. He reminded them that whereas infrastructures are for everyone, wealth is for individual citizens.
State Minister for Health, Hon. Sarah Opendi, revealed that her Ministry has concluded plans to carry out mass treatment of the Nodding disease in the whole of Northern Uganda with first phase starting next month. The second phase, she said, will be in October this year. She reported that the Ministry has put a lot of interventions in the handling of the disease but lack of psychosocial support among the nodding syndrome patients, poses a great challenge.
Hon. Anywar appealed to the President to personally spearhead the struggle to eliminate the nodding syndrome in the Acholi Sub-Region saying that the ailment has been politicised. She also urged the Health Ministry to commit more funds to treating and supporting patients especially children. She reiterated her resolve that to support and work with President Museveni and NRM for the development of Kitgum district and Uganda.