President Yoweri Museveni has told defence students from the Zambian staff college, who are currently on a one-week visit to Uganda that patriotism is a vital principle in development.
“Uganda has succeeded in many aspects because NRM has practiced and maintained the principle of patriotism that has enabled Uganda to achieve a lot. It has enabled us to ensure a market for our products. Patriotism has worked as a good weapon against sectarianism. The second principle of Pan Africanism has enabled us to access the regional market. If we are to prosper, we must stop thinking about Uganda alone,” he said.
The President made the remark when he received and addressed 25 Zambia Defence Service Command and Staff College students that called on him yesterday at State House, Nakasero. The students, who are led by the Zambian Chief Instructor of the college, Col. Peter Kavuma, arrived in the country on 23rd September 2017.
The students are undergoing a one-year course and are expected to spend one week visiting Uganda. They are drawn from member countries of the Southern Africa Development Cooperation (SADC) Region, the East African Community (EAC) Region and Egypt.
Mr. Museveni emphasized that it is suicidal if one does not pay attention to the matters that concern markets. He noted that if a country has to widen national tax base and create jobs, it must have the ability to sell to the regional and to the international markets. He added that this principle led to the revival of the East African Community.
He expressed delight that Uganda today has got a market of 170 million people in the East African Community as opposed to the country’s small population of 40 million. He revealed that together, member states of the East African Community – Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda and Tanzania – today have got better negotiating positions with other players on the international market scene. He also stressed that Pan-Africanism is a vital tool in efforts to support our prosperity.
The President informed the students that the NRM Government’s policy is that a peasant should not produce another peasant because if it happens it only emboldens social stagnation. He added that Uganda is committed to the transformation process to ensure that feudalism and peasantry disappear in order to create middle and working classes.
Regarding the successes that Uganda has attained under the NRM aegis, President Museveni enumerated promotion of democracy without discrimination along tribal and religious lines, as one of the milestones in the country. He added that commercialization of agriculture is a prerequisite to metamorphosis and transformation of society.
The President further informed the students that the stimulus for transformation calls for the building of infrastructure coupled with good policies. He stressed that the way forward is industrialization and promotion of education.
Responding to a question on the Somali and South Sudanese challenges, President Museveni attributed them to pseudo-ideology and sectarianism.
He then paid glowing tribute to Tanzania’s first President, Mwalimu Julius Nyerere, who practiced and promoted patriotism that has led to the enjoyment of stability by the people of Tanzania.
Mr. Museveni also paid tribute to former Zambia President, Mzee Kenneth Kaunda and former Mozambique leader, the late Samora Marchel, for supporting the people of Uganda in the liberation struggles.