Kiryandongo, Bunyoro — President Yoweri Museveni has commended religious institutions for supplementing the Government's efforts in the social and economic transformation of the country.
Speaking at the Golden Jubilee celebrations of Kigumba Catholic parish, Kiryandongo district in Bunyoro sub-region, the President, who praised the church for initiating development programmes, said these initiatives benefit the common man.
The parish was founded by two Comboni Missionary priests - Fr. Mario Mpoza and Fr. Paolo Ponzi - in 1962.The two clergymen unfortunately died while trying to rescue their house help who had fallen into a bio-gas pit on June 3, 1972.
The celebrations were preceded by mass led by the Archbishop of Gulu, John Baptist Odama. The ceremony held under the theme, "Jesus is the way and life; let's go to Him."
A fundraising drive was also held to support the development activities carried out by the parish.
Fundraising for health President Museveni thanked Kigumba Catholic parish for establishing St. Mary's Health Centre III where he unveiled a plaque for the expansion of its maternity ward.
The first phase of the construction of the ward is projected to cost sh230m. The President donated sh60m towards the hospital project with sh20m in cash. He earlier auctioned a bull at sh6m.
Thanks for hard work, Swahili
The President lauded the people of Kigumba for their hard work and realising a bumper harvest of maize. He pledged to build a factory in the area that will not only add value to the maize crop but also produce animal and chicken feed.
He expressed his gratitude to learn that the people of Kiryandongo use Kiswahili in their daily transactions and encouraged them to continue using the language because it is a unifying factor throughout East Africa.
Regarding infrastructure development, the President told the people of Kiryandongo that the Government plans to provide all districts with full units of road equipment.
Museveni said the Kafu-Karuma road that is deteriorating would in the meantime be repaired but full-blast construction would be carried out after three years.
Improved financial capacity
He added that when the NRM came to power in 1986, total revenue collection then was only sh5b, while today, it is sh7trillion.
He said a small district like Kiryandongo is able to receive an allocation of sh4b from the Central Government because of the improved revenue collection.
On the issue of the HIV/AIDS pandemic, President Museveni stressed the need for the youth to be disciplined and avoid situations where they could easily contract the deadly disease such as prostitution and alcoholism.
He advised the youth to abstain from pre-marital sex and the married couples to be faithful to one another.
Present were Bunyoro affairs minister Ernest Kiiza, State minister for lands Idah Nantaba and the area Woman MP, Helen Kahunde.