President Yoweri Museveni mentioned that the issue of national borderlines, whether they are internal or external, should be handled carefully. “If we touch these borders created by colonialists, we might have endless wars”, he said.
The President, who is currently in Northern Uganda to explain to the people of the area regarding the issue of the proposed Land Amendment Bill, was last evening addressing the residents of North Western area in Northern Uganda during a phone-in live talk show on Amani FM radio station that is based in Adjumani district.
He cited the example of the Lugbara, the Madi and Kakwa people in the West Nile Region who live on either side of the borders of Uganda and her neighbouring countries. He also said that the same situation obtains on the border of Kenya and Uganda and that of Tanzania and Uganda.
Mr. Museveni stressed that quarrelling over borders is a waste of time adding that any Ugandan has a right to stay anywhere in the country.
“The Acholi people who shifted to Bweyale in Kiryandongo district are there and stable,” he said.
Addressing himself to the purpose of his current visit to Northern Uganda, President Museveni, who was accompanied by 2nd Deputy Prime Minister and Deputy Leader of Government Business in Parliament, Gen. Moses Ali, State Minister for Northern Uganda, Hon. Grace Kwiyuucwiny and of State for Housing, Hon. Chris Baryomunsi, informed the people of Adjumani district that the Constitution of 1995 provides that land belongs to the people and also stipulates that government is mandated to procure land for national development plans.
When government takes land, he explained, it is obliged to pay compensation promptly after the evaluation process and in most cases people are happy with this arrangement.
“However, there are three obstacles; the greedy who inflate the value of land, the arrogant group and saboteur agents especially the opposition that paralyse the progress of government projects,” he said.
President Museveni, therefore, informed the people that the proposed Land Amendment Bill aims at removing those obstacles that impede national development programmes of Government.
“I have come here to expose the people who paralyse development programs by causing unnecessary delays and also making government waste a lot of money compensating land owners. As radio stations are everywhere, I decided that come and talk to the people openly,” he said.
Regarding the issue of encroachment on gazetted areas like national parks and other government owned places the President said that it is wrong for anyone to breach those arrangements as they violate the law and in economic terms, deny the country revenues.
“Any developed land is an asset for economic benefit. The gazetted areas, like National Parks, are magnets for money to the national economy and should not be disturbed at all,” he stressed.
He, therefore, urged the people of Madi and Acholi areas people protect and preserve such areas.
Mr. Museveni urged the people of West Nile Region to start planting fruit trees so that they feed factories that process fruit juice as government also establishes infrastructure like stable power supply and roads. He assured them that fruit and fish processing factories would be built either by government or private investors.
He expressed happiness with the current social economic developments by people of Madi area adding that by 1969 the area had nothing on ground but it has now developed as poverty level has been reduced from 87% in previous records to 27.2% in 2017 record of statistics.