New Vision (Kampala)

Uganda: Museveni Urges Leaders to Promote Culture

President Yoweri Museveni has urged cultural leaders and institutions in the country to promote the preservation of our culture by capturing and retaining all the qualities and values for the future generations. That is the main reason, he said, NRM deliberately reinstated cultural institutions.

Museveni was closing a 3- day Lango Conference organized by the cultural leadership of Lango Sub-Region to chart out ways of developing the region.

The conference was attended by the leaders of 152 clans from the 8 districts of the Lango Sub-Region that include Apac, Amolatar, Alebtong, Dokolo, Oyam, Otuke, Lira and Kole.

Museveni, who commended the Lango Cultural leader, Won Nyachi Odur Yosam for convening the conference, noted that African culture is very strong because African tribes are very rich in language, arts, science and food.

"I never eat European food like bread and rice. I eat our foods every day like millet that contains carbohydrates, proteins and iron. Why do you abandon our food and start eating rice that has mainly carbohydrates?" he asked.

The President also cautioned against using tribes in politics saying it weakens the cohesion of the African people. He emphasized the need to work for the continent in general as a tribe in the modern world cannot survive on its own.

"In politics, if you put forward tribes too much, there will be a lot of danger. That is why our tribal chiefs were defeated by the Europeans. They were fighting their wars alone. But if they were united at the beginning, Africa wouldn't have been conquered", he observed.

Museveni told participants of the conference of his resolve to preserve the Ankole culture by writing a dictionary. He disclosed a plan to promote the use of some words that bear similarities and incorporate them into the Kiswahili language. He particularly singled out the word "Lubala" which is the Anthem of the Acholi and "Mubala" is used in Buganda to mean the same. Let's get African words and use them, he said.

Commenting on the memo from the conference, Museveni welcomed the document saying it was in line with his plan. He, however, cautioned leaders to avoid the propaganda by some elements that everything can be done at once. The President reiterated the NRM's philosophy of prioritizing programmes that are done in phases.

"The memo is a good one. It makes my work easy. What is contained in it is in my plan. Avoid that propaganda that all things can be done at the same time. Once I see power lines in Anyara, Otuboi, Amolatar, and Kaberamaido, I am very happy. The NRM philosophy is, one by one, makes a bundle", he said.

The President assured the people of Lango Sub-Region that the government will include the road from Masindi Port to Lira, on to Kitgum and to Kidepo National Park one the 20 priority roads to be urgently worked on.

On poverty, he observed that it was very easy to get the people of Lango from that predicament adding that "what is only needed is sensitization of the people on what enterprises to embark on." He at this juncture directed the Minister for Northern Uganda, Hon. Otengo, to supply all radio stations in the region with the documents prepared during the Zonal Conference on Agriculture held early this year at State House Entebbe, for dissemination to the public.

Museveni further advised the people of Lango to take up fish farming as the region has a lot of swamps. He urged leaders in the Sub-Region to visit Mr. Joseph Engoru, the Chairman of Ojama Fish Farming Project in order to learn more about carrying out commercial fish farming.

He strongly advised religious leaders and cultural leaders to advise the young generation to guard against the HIV/AIDS scourge.The conference was attended by Cabinet Ministers, MPs, religious and district leaders from the Lango Sub-Region and beyond.

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