From the beginning, we were telling you that we are here for your good. I’m not here to look for anything because I have got everything in my home. Even when we were fighting Idi Amin, we were not looking for anything personal. When Amin took power in 1971, I was working in the President’s Office. I had actually been recruited by somebody from here, Mzee Abdallah Anyuru. When Amin came, we could have stayed there; opportunistically working for the new government but we said no we are looking for value, not positions or money. I can get money from my cows, I don’t need money from the government since it’s small and cows’ money is more,” President Museveni said.
The President made the revelation today while campaigning for the NRM flag bearer for Oyam North Parliamentary By-election, Samuel Engola Okello Junior during a rally held at Tegony Primary School in Iceme Town Council in Oyam North. Samuel Engola Junior is the son of former area Member of Parliament also former State Minister for Labour, Employment and Industrial Relations, Col. (Rtd) Charles Engola Okello who was gunned down by his bodyguard in May this year at his home In Kyanja, a Kampala suburb.
The President noted that NRM’s involvement in leadership is because of the medicine they have for people’s issues.
“When leaders come and say they want to lead, you should look at them and gauge them because many leaders, once elected, normally find it easy to talk about “Dongo Lobo” (development). When I come here, I can see how many elements of “Dongo Lobo” are on the ground. I can see roads, schools among other infrastructure,” he added.
Addressing a second campaign rally held at Otwal Primary School in Otwal Sub-County, President Museveni reiterated that the NRM government has got a package of solutions for Uganda’s problems.
“You should always listen carefully to our message. I cannot come here and say support NRM or support Engola Junior just because he should get a position of Member of Parliament. I come here because I’m sure that the NRM has got a package of solutions for our problems. The NRM is the only party that can build and sustain peace,” he asserted.
“The late Okello Engola believed in peace that is why he fought here and you gave him the name “Macodwogo”. He was fighting for peace. Now if you want peace, the next question should be which leaders can help you achieve that? Because if you get the wrong leaders, you will not get peace and you hear what is happening in most parts of Africa. Don’t think those people are stupid or, they simply made mistakes for not solving the issue of leadership,” H.E Museveni added.
The President further explained that after achieving peace and good leadership, the NRM government decided to focus on development and engaging their people on how to fight poverty through the creation of wealth.
“Many leaders make a mistake by simply working for only development. When you go to a public meeting, they are talking about the road, the hospital, schools and so on. That is good but that is not enough,” the President advised.
“That is why the NRM said development is important but there are also other things that they must also do. And that is where the issue of “Lonyo” (wealth) comes in. “Dongo Lobo” is different from “Lonyo” because “Lonyo” is mine but “Dongo Lobo” is ours. You may have a good road in the area, and you travel on it but the poverty you left at your home in the morning, welcomes you in the evening.”
President Museveni also underscored the importance of Education, saying that this is one of the elements which help to uplift development and wealth in any society.
“That is why we introduced Education for all- UPE. And we have been telling you that let the children in the government schools’ study for free without paying money because that interferes with the children of the poor, but some people don’t listen. They keep on charging school fees, but we are going to start a new campaign to stop those school fees,” he said.
“Once you have dealt with these ones, then you add health which includes vaccination where you get rid of so many diseases. I think we are now vaccinating 13 diseases including the one we introduced some years ago to stop our granddaughters from getting uterus cancer once they grow. So all young girls should go and get vaccinated, they will get lifelong immunity against that cancer. Therefore, you should emphasize prevention rather than waiting to be sick and then go to the hospital and be treated.”
On the other hand, President Likened Okello Junior to the disciples Mathew, Mark, Luke and others who were the followers of Christ, but when Jesus left, they continued with his works.
“Since Junior was near his father Okello Engola, I think he might be a disciple of his father,” he asserted.
In his brief remarks, Okello Engola Junior, flanked by his wife Sharon, pledged to the electorate to continue with what his father was doing.
He pledged to the people of Oyam North solid representation in Parliament.
Earlier, the NRM Secretary General Hon. Richard Todwong informed the President that they have had a peaceful campaign throughout the campaigning period.
“Your Excellency, when the Electoral Commission declared this seat vacant, our party Electoral Commission headed by Dr Tanga Odoi put out an announcement and in total, we got 10 aspirants- people who expressed interest to contest in Oyam North, but we need to thank them that out of the 10, with consultations and advice, we ended up with one candidate. All these candidates accepted that we should rally behind Okello,” he said.
Mr Todwong also disclosed that over 900 people from the opposition’s Uganda People’s Congress (UPC) had crossed to the ruling party NRM.
“As we were campaigning in Oyam North, our friends from other political parties especially from the Uganda People’s Congress especially the leaders decided to join the National Resistance Movement. In total we have 900 converts from the UPC,” he said.
The NRM Director in charge of Mobilization, Hon. Rosemary Nansubuga Seninde said, “Your Excellency, allow me to thank you for the support that you have extended. The resources that you have given have enabled us to reach where we are. I also thank the Secretary-General and my colleagues from the NRM Secretariat with whom we have worked closely to ensure that we reach where we are.”
Meanwhile, the people of Oyam North will be going to the polls this Thursday 6th July 2023 to vote for their next MP following the death of Col. (Rtd) Charles Engola in May this year.