Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi has urged Tooro Kingdom to emulate the example of Buganda Kingdom by exercising patience while demanding for the return of their property from the central Government.
Mbabazi said he will deliver their message of reminder for return of their property to the President, adding that President Museveni whom he has worked with for a long time will deliver on his promise.
“Patience is a virtue. The matter is a settled matter. Anyone who has a claim to anything such of property will get it without hesitation in accordance with the law and where Government has an interest in that property you will be compensated,” said Mbabazi.
The Premier made the remarks during the swearing in ceremony of the new leadership of Amacumu ne Bitara, the King’s army in Tooro Kingdom, on Friday at Muchwa in Fort Portal.
“I have not heard that you are a rebel group. As long as you act in accordance with the law, you are safe and have no reason to fear.You will serve your kingdom best if you are strong,” Mbabazi told the youth who requested him to follow up on their petition they took to Parliament regarding the return of Tooro Kingdom property.
The youth under the new leadership of Edward Kasaija had earlier told Mbabazi that some Government agents refer to them as a militia group even when their major objective is to promote and protect the Tooro Kingdom.
Mbabazi urged the people of Tooro to remain united and also thanked Tooro for consistently supporting NRM, adding that Tooro was a springboard of victory for the NRM Government.
The Omukama of Tooro, Oyo Nyimba congratulated the new youth leadership and applauded them for supporting him and the Kingdom. He asked the youth to avoid violence towards the central government while demanding for their property.
Flanked by the Queen Mother, Best Kemigisha and the Kingdom Premier, Stephen Kaliba, the Omukama said his Kingdom is a cultural institution and not a political forum, adding that he will not allow anyone to use his kingdom for political purposes.
Earlier on, Mbabazi joined the Tooro King on the commemoration of the Empango health and nutrition week at Kyenjojo secondary school play grounds where he accepted to be a good will Ambassador of the Kingdom in efforts to build King Oyo International Children’s hospital.
He said the health and nutrition of people is absolutely essential for any development process, adding that cultural institutions should play a supportive role in the national development process.
He donated 10 million shillings on behalf his office to start the project, promising more support when the Kingdom holds a fundraising for the hospital construction.
As a national champion for global scaling up nutrition movement and also member of global lead group, Mbabazi said Government is implementing the Uganda Nutrition Action Plan.
He said focus has been put on reducing iron deficiency anemia in children under 5 years to 50% by 2016 from a base line of 73% in 2006.There are also efforts to reduce stunting in children under 5 years from the current 32% to 27% as well as increasing exclusive breast feeding up to six months to 75% by all by 2016.
The socio –economic costs associated with nutrition every year are estimated at 1.8 trillion shillings equivalent to 5.6% of the gross domestic product (GDP).
Also present were the Member of Parliament for Mwenge south, and Minister of State for Finance in charge of Privatisation, Aston Kajara and the LCV Chairman for Kyenjojo, Byamukama James among others.
Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi has said the role of Ugandans in the Diaspora is immense in terms of attracting investment back home and therefore, subjecting them to procedures such as paying for visas when coming home to Uganda alienates them and suffocates the patriotism we want them to exhibit.
The Premier said even if some of them hold passports of other countries, our laws allow dual citizenship and they should be treated as any other Ugandan.
“I heard that when you come to Uganda with your children, each child is charged United States dollars 50. This is not good for the patriotism we preach, no Ugandan should be taxed for coming home, “said Mbabazi.
Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi has urged Ugandans in the diaspora to be united and focused on building the country’s image, promoting our culture and taking advantage of the vast investment opportunities back home.
Mbabazi said Ugandans at home are grateful to their relatives and friends in the diaspora for extending Uganda’s territory to the distant lands and more particularly for the remittances they send, which are a source of foreign exchange, consumption and investment in Uganda.
He said the remittances were in 1988 estimated to be US$ 165 million accounting for 2.6% of the gross domestic product(GDP),adding that the remittances increased to US$910 million in 2012 representing 4.3% of the GDP.
The Premier however said as leaders, they get disturbed when they hear that Ugandans in the diaspora are not living in harmony.
“We have received reports about the disparities in UNAA and it does not give a good image of our people. I hope that a mechanism will be employed to bring you all back together in one fold,” Mbabazi said adding that such a gathering should be able to shed off any differences whether political, ethnic or tribal.
Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi has urged married couples, especially the young ones to be ambitious in their marriages by exploring all possible ways to make it work.
The Premier said ambition is a strong driver for success and without it you can’t achieve anything, adding that marriage was ordained by God but he gave us the responsibility to make it functional here on earth.
“In Uganda, it’s not fashionable to be ambitious, but dream with open eyes and work on your ambitions for your dreams to come true,” Mbabazi counseled the newlyweds.
This was at the wedding ceremony of Martin Kato Bamwanga and Melody Kamikazi Byanyima on Saturday at All Saints Cathedral, Kampala.
Martin is son to the former Member of Parliament for Ndorwa West in Kabale, Hon. Steven Bamwanga while Melody is daughter to former Member of Parliament for Bukanga County in Isingiro, Hon. Nathan Byanyima.
The wedding ceremony was presided over by Bishop George Katwesige who counseled the couple to love each other and entrust God with their marriage.
“Don’t be too busy and say you are overqualified for love. Love is the secret of success and it’s for life,” said the Bishop.
Mr. and Mrs. Kato Bamwanga later hosted their guests to a wedding reception at their home in Muyenga where Mbabazi, on behalf of the elders from Kigezi applauded the parents of the bride and groom for nurturing their children and for contributing to the transformation process of Uganda.
“Although you are not in Parliament, your commitment is still firm and we acknowledge you,” Mbabazi told the former legislators.
Mbabazi, who concentrated on counseling the newlyweds, said he was conscious of his remarks because everything he says is examined with political lenses.
The Premier who was accompanied by this wife, Jacqueline Mbabazi said the state and community has a vested interest in their marriage because stable families make stable nations; adding that the country is in safe hands with such youth as the elderly prepare to retire.
He wished the couple a warm circle of friends and together with his own friends who included, Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda, the Minister of Health, the Governor Bank of Uganda, Prof. Emmanuel Tumusime Mutebile and Amos Nzeyi gave a fresian heifer each to the newlyweds.
The Parents of the bride and groom asked their children to promote the love between the two families and also set values for success in life which include the spirit of excellence, integrity and love for God.
Unlike most newlyweds who start from scratch, this lucky couple received over ten heifers and 20 acres of land from family and friends to start their marriage journey.
Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi has applauded the work of the Ugandan Parliament Public Accounts Committee (PAC) in promoting accountability and fighting corruption in Government in a non-partisan manner.
He said Government fully supports PAC in performing its oversight function to the extent that many Government officials including the President himself have many times appeared before the oversight committee even when there is no law that compels the head of State to appear before the committee.
Mbabazi made the remarks on Thursday while meeting members of the Public Accounts Committee of the Kenyan Parliament who were led by the PAC committee Chairman, Ababu Namwamba, an opposition member of Parliament from Coalition for Reforms and Democracy(CORD)under the leadership of Raila Odinga.
Like Uganda, the Public Accounts Committee in Kenya is chaired by the opposition in Parliament.
The Kenyan Members of Parliament are in the country on an experience sharing study tour regarding the role of the oversight function and how PAC interfaces with the Executive.
“Are you really PAC members?” Mbabazi asked before jokingly saying that they did not appear as tough as members of the Ugandan Parliament PAC who are always ready to grill public officials they summon to answer audit queries.
During the meeting at his office, Mbabazi gave an insight into Uganda’s institutional and legal framework which he said has been built since NRM came to power in 1986, adding that fighting corruption was part of their Ten Point Programme.
He highlighted some of the institutions leading the crusade against corruption such as the Inspectorate of Government and the Anti- corruption court, adding that Government is looking at the possibility of amending the Constitution to give more powers to the IGG to fully investigate and prosecute cases without referring to other power centers.
Flanked by the 2nd Deputy Prime Minister and Deputy Leader of Government business in Parliament, Gen. Moses Ali, Mbabazi said Government is building the capacity to investigate corruption and is also considering passing the Qui tam law which will enable members of the public to prosecute corrupt officials and benefit from the stolen resources when recovered.
“The media has continued to play a great role in exposing corruption, although some media houses are often guilty of publishing falsehoods,” Mbabazi said.
He hailed the relationship between the two countries and expressed Uganda’s commitment to integration process of the East African community.
The Kenyan Parliament PAC Chairman said they have learnt many lessons and applauded Government for supporting institutions responsible for fighting corruption.
“I don’t remember any incident when we were divided along party lines in the course of executing our duties,” said the Kenyan legislator when explaining how they have managed to do their work.
The visiting Kenyan legislators who included, Julius Melly, Jackson Rop, James Bett, Abbas Ibrahim and Charles Mong’are observed that their Committee gives more time to public officials to answer queries compared to their Ugandan counterparts.