President Yoweri Museveni has advised the people of Bugisu Sub-Region in Eastern Uganda to stop cultivating on mountainous and swampy areas, adding that if this practice does not stop, it will contribute the more to environmental damage such as pro-longed drought in the area.
“Nobody should cultivate on mountain cliffs because the stones hold the mountains for us. Plant perennial crops below the mountain,” he said during his ongoing live radio phone-in show programme in Eastern Uganda on the proposed Land Amendment Bill.
The President, who featured on Step FM and Open Gate FM radio stations in Mbale Municipality, stressed that mountains and swamps can be used in a proper manner such as fish farming done on the periphery of the swamps. He said that God created everything for a purpose; a swamp for water and a mountain for mothering rivers.
He informed the people of Bugisu Sub-Region in particular and Ugandans in general that the proposed Land Amendment Bill would help cure the unnecessary delays in the building of vital infrastructure like roads, railways and electricity lines.
“Those who don’t want to be compensated are very selfish. How can you say you won’t surrender a piece of land where a road will pass yet you will use the same road?” he asked.
The President assured the people of Uganda that the Land Amendment Bill is not intended to chase people out of their villages or sell land to investors but develop the country. He, therefore, castigated liars, especially those in the opposition groups, who allege the Bill is all out to dispossess wananchi of their land.
“The opposition has been saying a lot of lies. In the elections of 2001 and 2006, they said that Museveni had sold Lakes Victoria and Kyoga. Here in Mbale some people were smuggling goods into Kenya and URA was trying to stop this smuggling. When we would try to make the economy work properly, these people would make them turn against us,” he noted.
Regarding land fragmentation issues, the President advised the people that those who make wills should not physically divide the land amongst their children but instead encourage the children to create shares and divide financial profits accruing from the production activities on the consolidated land.
He castigated leaders in Parliament who block the starting up of factories saying this also resulted in the delay of creating jobs for the young people. He said such people (Parliamentarians) are enemies of job creation for the children of Uganda.
Mr. Museveni appealed to NRM leaders to push for the NRM’s pro-people programmes that the Movement has set up such as UPE, Youth and Women Funds and Operation Wealth Creation so that those programmes help the intended beneficiaries.