By Watchdog reporter
President Yoweri Museveni has strongly advised leaders in Uganda to explain to the population issues that could cause confusion although such issues could easily be explained clearly to avoid doubt and mistrust.
The President was particularly concerned over reports that some unscrupulous elements are today selling Hepatitis B vaccines to the public yet the Government sends those drugs free to health facilities in the country for purposes of vaccinating the masses against the disease.
Mr. Museveni was further disturbed to learn from wanainchi that the vaccines had not reached the population prompting him to task the District Medical Officer of Bukedea district, Mr. Ikodet Steven, to explain why the people had not been vaccinated against Hepatitis B despite the fact that the vaccines had been dispatched by government.
Mr. Ikodet and Bukedea Chief Administrative Officer (CAO), Mr. Olila Patrick, labored in vain to give a satisfactory reason why the people of Bukedea had not been vaccinated against the disease amid boos from the crowd. This prompted the President to pledge the probing of the matter adding that those found culpable will have to account for their mistakes.
The President, was the guest of honor at the ‘Bukedea Day celebrations’ held at the district headquarters yesterday. The occasion is an annual event that falls on the 13th July to thank President Museveni and the NRM Government for granting the people of Bukedea a district status and also for his support to the construction of Bukedea District Administration block.
During the celebrations, the President commissioned the Sh168 million building that will house offices of the new district, which was curved out of Kumi in 2006. The colorful ceremony was attended by the leadership of Bukedea district, the Teso cultural leader Emorimor Augustine Osuban, religious and civic leaders of other districts of the Teso Sub-Region and well-wishers from different parts of the country.
President Museveni who advised school pupils to concentrate on their studies and avoid situations that can lead them to contract HIV/AIDS, also tasked leaders during a rally at Bukedea district headquarters to use some of the air time on several local FM radio stations in their areas to explain clearly to the population why they have not received some necessary services to avoid any confusion.
“You as leaders have a serious challenge. You must communicate to the people. To allow people stay in darkness is not good. I am going to investigate and whoever is at fault will account,” he vowed.
President Museveni told the people of Bukedea that the NRM government’s decision that had been opposed by some political actors, to grant districts and constituencies to some parts of the country, has great benefits because the move takes services nearer to the people.
President Museveni further advised the people of Bukedea district in particular and Teso Sub-Region in general to support strongly government’s programme of ‘Operation Wealth Creation’ in-order to eradicate poverty at house hold level. He, however, advised the people not to mix development and wealth creation, adding that development is the responsibility of the government in the provision of infrastructure, health services and education, among others. He, therefore, called on wananchi to play their role of creating wealth as it is on an individual level by ensuring both financial and food security in their homes through calculated, modern and intensive farming.
“If you talk about Apol (development) and don’t talk about Abar (wealth) then you are not helping yourselves,” he observed.
President Museveni advised Ugandans to use drip irrigation during dry season on such crops like citrus fruits and coffee. Mr. Museveni also advised the people of Teso and other parts of Uganda to plant trees, especially along fences, to act both as windbreakers and avenues in the pollination process.
Regarding the concern raised by Bukedea Woman MP, Hon. Anita Among, on crime, roads and hospitals, President Museveni remarked that the NRM government is putting more emphasis on improving the efficiency of the Police to stop crime the way rebel and cattle rustling activities,were stemmed in Teso sub-region.
On roads, he said each district is to receive a complete unit of road equipment to enable working and maintenance works on those roads at district level. He added that at zonal level like Teso Sub-Region, one bulldozer and a low loader will be provided to open up new roads.
President Museveni further informed the gathering that it is government’s policy to provide each district in the country with a hospital, a health centre 4 in each constituency, a secondary school per Sub-County, a primary school per Parish and a technical institute per constituency.
Museveni thanked the people of Bukedea for the development realized in their area especially in Bukedea Town and pledged to visit the area again particularly homes of those who have embraced the gospel of development and wealth creation.
President Museveni, who later paid condolences to the family of the late Captain Phillip Aide, also launched an ambulance donated by the Woman MP Bukedea, Anita Among, to the people of the district.