Museveni: UPDF first to stabilise Africa in 500 years

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UPDF soldiers on Independence Day parade

President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni and chief guest Emmerson Mnangagwa, President of Zimbabwe today travelled to Sironko where they graced the 57th Independence Day Celebrations.

Speaking at the event, Museveni said the Uganda national army has been able to bring peace in this part of Africa for the first time in 500 years.

He said Uganda cannot develop alone, Uganda needs Africa to develop.

“You cannot sustainably produce if somebody does not buy what you are producing. Africa on account of our strong genes and civilisation, we were able to survive the 500 years of assault from Europe in form of slave trade, colonialism and Neo-colonialism.”

On balance of power, he said: “It is a disaster to be in a situation where you’re hit and you can’t hit back. That has been the situation of Zimbabwe…”

Museveni said he was honoured that President Mnangagwa accepted the invitation to be the guest of honour.

He said His Excellency Mnangagwa was here [in Uganda] last in 1963 when he was being smuggled for military training in China.

“I saw he had not been here for a long time and I decided to invite him and he agreed. Thank you President Mnangagwa for accepting our invitation. If you invite a brother to a party and he comes, the relationship is strengthened.”

According to President Museveni, all Africans are related. “If I was looking for education I would have gone to Makerere University. I chose to go to Dar es Salaam University because I was looking for brotherhood.”

He said Uganda was here even before colonialism. Even before colonialism, this area was in turmoil.

“This army that we were able to build has brought peace in this part of Africa for the first time in five hundred years.”

In 33 years, Museveni said his government has been able to recover minimum economic recovery, build a strong army and start the process of development and address the issue of social services while the population increases to 44 Million from 14 Million since 1986.

“I recently put my foot down to address the issue of electricity and road construction. We now have tarmac roads from corner to corner of Uganda.”

To the people of Sironko, Museveni said the only problem is “sometimes you send legislators who don’t reach out to me, that’s why some things are not done. The good thing this time you sent me my daughter Namboozo”.

He quoted a proverb saying ‘a foolish man eats the seeds and when the time for planting comes, he smiles at the garden’.

“I went to the bush with 27 people and we reaped big. Now that we have money, we shall concentrate on transport, electricity and the cost of money.”

“I’m happy to have MPs from Kenya and President Mnangagwa because we need our neighbours to survive. You cannot sustainably produce if somebody does not buy what you are producing.”

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