Museveni cautions youths against taking leadership as a profession

President Museveni in a group with the National Youth Council leaders led by their chairperson, Jacob Eyeru at State House-Entebbe. Photo/PPU)

UGANDA: President Yoweri Museveni has cautioned the youth leaders against being taken up by leadership, sectarianism, and politics of identity.

Mr Museveni while meeting the National Youth Council leaders led by Jacob Eyeru at State House-Entebbe said leadership is not a permanent job and that they should not fall into the trap of being professional leaders, who, think without leadership they will die.

“As freedom fighters, we are volunteers who stabilized the country which was unstable. You can see what is happening in some parts of Africa; in countries like Niger, Mali, Burkina Faso, Central African Republic, Congo, Sudan, and Somalia. Don’t think those people are stupid, but they had a problem getting the diagnosis correct,” the 78-year-old Ugandan leader stressed.

“Politics is like medicine, if you don’t get the correct diagnosis, the patient will die. That is what is happening in those countries. The NRM here had a correct diagnosis. Some of your elders were telling our people about tribes, and religion. For us, we said, that is a misdiagnosis. Our solution was to solve people’s problems irrespective of their tribes or religions. That’s how we differed from those groups which emphasized politics of identity, for us we emphasized interests,” added Museveni.

The President also advised the youth leaders to get involved in wealth-creation activities in order to improve their livelihoods.

“My emphasis is that all the youth, even the young people who are still growing up with their parents should get involved in wealth creation because many of the problems I have seen in the last more than 70 years are normally among children who didn’t have wealth creation as part of their culture, it’s very dangerous,” Museveni said.

He explained that even the National Resistance Army (NRA) was able to fight and win the protracted war because they had a very strong base of wealth creation.

“All of you, whether you are educated or not, when you get an opportunity put yourself somewhere in wealth creation,” he said.

“The areas of wealth creation are known. I have always talked about this. One is commercial agriculture and I’m glad that many of you are talking about that. You want to be a model farmer; you want me to help you. The next sector is manufacturing or processing. I was glad to hear somebody from Busoga talking about maize milling because when you talk about it, it means you have already gone to manufacturing. And here you can join as groups. The third area is services like transport, and hospitality and the fourth sector is ICT,” he said.

On the issue of the World Bank’s decision to halt loans to Uganda, Museveni reaffirmed that the country does not need financial assistance from the organization, saying that they can sustain their economy.

“We don’t need that money because if you see much of the work in Uganda is done by the private sector, they are the ones supporting us. Our country is being supported by agriculture, by our manufacturers, so we are able to support ourselves. The one for World Bank helps on some few roads but most of the roads are done using our own money,” he expounded.

The president also urged the youth leaders to take advantage of government programs like Emyooga to develop themselves.

“If you need us to inject more money, we shall do so,” he said.

On their part, the youth leaders thanked Museveni for his visionary leadership that has enabled them to have a fair share of the national cake. They also requested he continue supporting youth projects around the country. T

he President met the youth leaders ahead of the commemoration of the International Youth Day. The meeting was also attended by the minister of state for Youth and Children Affairs, Sarah Nyirabashitsi Mateke.

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