Museveni launches National Patriotism Environmental Protection campaign

President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni has today launched the National Patriotism Environmental Protection campaign at Kitebi Secondary School- Rubaga Division, Kampala.

During the launch, President Museveni said he was happy with the campaign since it aims at conserving the environment.

“People who go into wetlands, on lakeshores, on river banks, are really enemies of the country,” he explained.

“I’m glad that you are coming out and you are coming out strongly to chase people who are in the wetlands. We told them to leave the wetlands. The ones in Bukedi, Kigezi and Busoga were misled by the British, but the others have no reason why they encroached on the wetlands. But even the ones in Bukedi, Busoga and Kigezi we shall compensate them to get out of the natural resources,” the President urged.

The President also underscored the role of patriotism in promoting prosperity.

“The politics of interest is more crucial, that is why we said you people don’t get lost. Yes, you are a Munyankore, Muganda Mucholi but you should love Uganda. Why love Uganda? Because you need it for your prosperity. Uganda is going to help you prosper more than your tribe. That is why we came up with principle number one of the NRM which is patriotism,” said President Museveni who is the national patron for Patriotism in the country.

“When Uganda stabilised and we started producing more, we found out that the internal market of Uganda is not enough, so we need the regional market. That is why we came up with principle number two, Pan- Africanism; love Africa to become prosperous. But in order to benefit from all this, you must undergo socio-economic transformation by working for both the stomach and the pocket with “ekibaro” and achieving education,” he added.

President Museveni on the other hand, reiterated his call to government schools to stop charging fees from learners.

“This is what we are studying. Where we are heading, we are going to become more tough, and I would like to insist on free education in government schools. I’m glad Kitebi has maintained the arrangement of day-school because that was our plan, boarding schools are not required because they increase the costs,” he said.

“For Kitebi, I want to thank you although you are charging something small. Thank you because Mr. Kamulegeya and his staff at least they are okay. They charge Shs450,000 a year but other schools are charging Shs9 million a year. Kitebi you have tried, you collect small fees and teach well. If Kitebi can do this when they are a town school, how about you in the rural areas where you don’t have so many demands? We are going to use the experience of Kitebi for further action.”

President Museveni, on the other hand, advised learners to take good care of their lives and avoid immoral acts that could cut short their future.

“A student should not become a housewife or a husband. Why are you rushing? We lost a lot of people due to such mistakes,” he advised.

The First Lady and Minister of Education and Sports, Maama Janet Museveni thanked Kitebi Secondary School for holding high the flag of patriotism by implementing government programs in a correct way.

The First Lady also explained that the National Patriotism Environmental Protection Campaign lends an additional goal and energy to the NRM government’s efforts to raise awareness about the urgency of combating global warming worldwide.

“I commend the NRM government for establishing this national program that is ably led by the National Secretariat for Patriotism headed by Commander Seku. I’m told that the secretariat has diligently promoted patriotism in our schools thus enabling our young people to embrace the spirit of love for their country,”  Maama Janet said.

“Creating awareness and teaching our young generation about patriotism is critical to fostering unity, our national identity and our heritage thus inspiring young people to choose to love their homeland, develop our country and build a legacy for generations to come.”

The Minister for Presidency, Hon. Babirye Milly Babalanda informed the President that the Office of the President is determined to support the Commissioner of Patriotism, Ms. Hellen Seku to roll out patriotism activities in the country.

“You have been at the forefront in the war against environmental degradation, especially the destruction of our swamps and major wetlands throughout the country. Wetlands are our natural defences against desertification and climatic change.  Sir, I wish to commend the efforts of the Commissioner for Patriotism my young sister Helen Seku who, with the support and guidance provided by the Secretary Office of the President, has proved to be very practical, engaging and results orientated. I thank you for appointing her in this position and we look forward to more and better results from her,” she said.

Hon. Babalanda also thanked President Museveni for appointing more staff in the RDC Office in the position of Assistant RDC/RCC. She said this is going to relieve the overload hitherto experienced by the office and boost the energy of the RDCs/RCCs to concentrate in the key areas.

“One of the Assistant RDCs/RCCs has been assigned a role of popularising and coordinating patriotism activities and will work directly with the Patriotism Secretariat.”

The Minister further commended President Museveni for striving to make every Ugandan develop a spirit of loving their country.

“I thank Maama Janet Museveni for engaging the Education Sector to actively participate in patriotism courses throughout the country. I thank Commissioner Helen Seku for the coordination of this program. But I should quickly add that after this Program of Environmental Patriotism, our patriots should start including the message of wealth creation in their community engagements.”

The Commissioner for Patriotism in the Office of the President, Ms. Hellen Seku informed the President that they have embarked on the launch of the environmental protection campaign with a determination to defend the nation’s future.

“Our mandate for this campaign is supported by objective 27 of the National Objectives and Directive Principles of State Policies under the Constitution of the Republic of Uganda 1995 as amended and backed by article 245 of the same constitution as amended. The article states that all the natural resources of Uganda shall be managed in such a way as to meet development and environmental needs of present and future generations of Uganda and in particular the state shall take all possible measures to prevent or minimise the damage and destruction to land, air and water resources resulting from pollution and other causes,” Ms. Seku said.

The Commissioner also noted that they have already put in place a roadmap to rollout the campaign throughout the 18 zones of the country.

“We pledge to see this campaign to its completion. We cannot deny knowledge of the devastating effects of an environment that has been abused. We shall also not close our eyes to what is existing around us like the heatwaves and the seasonal floods. As patriots we have started the campaign,” she said.

“We encourage you all to plant trees for the posterity of tomorrow, not forgetting to be mindful of the way we choose to handle materials like plastics and other waste management. For every careless direction, a dire consequence awaits us as a nation.”

Ms. Seku also decried the rising cases of HIV/AIDS among the youth in the country.

“Statistics painfully show that in Uganda, 600 youths contract HIV/AIDS per week.  This is a scourge that we cannot close our eyes on, but this is a call for all the youth here to be mindful of their health and the looming disaster,” she said.

“Your Excellency and Maama, you directed the youth to fight poverty and all stakeholders to join this campaign. This is an encouragement to plant these fruit trees in order to create a livelihood that earns them an income for survival thus rendering them too busy to indulge in harmful habits like betting, drug abuse, homosexuality, among others.”

On the issue of corruption, Ms. Seku said that when Ugandans are taught about patriotism values, the vice will not only be reduced but will be cured since the citizenry will be in position to understand the true meaning of loving oneself, family and the nation at large.

“We shall cease to have outcry of misuse of offices through all manner of bribery.”

The Head Teacher of Kitebi Secondary School, Hajj Mohammed Kamulegeya informed the President that his right decision of choosing Kitebi Secondary School to be the host of this national event confirmed its status as a model Universal Secondary Education (USE) school in the country.

“We shall forever be grateful for your endless support towards this school and the nation at large. Your Excellency and Maama, I would like to thank you for your visionary leadership in this country reflected in the original 10-point program which include but not limited; patriotism, Pan- Africanism, Socio-economic transformation, environmental protection, education, health, peace and security, and poverty alleviation. I would like to thank you for the numerous accomplishments achieved through the various government programs.,” Hajj Kamulegeya said.

The event was also attended by the Minister for Kampala and Metropolitan Affairs, Hajjat Minsa Kabanda, the Executive Director of Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA), Ms. Dorothy Kisaka, the Secretary-Office of President, Hajj. Yunus Kakande,the Senior Presidential on Defence Issues, Lt. Gen.  Proscovia Nalweyiso, among others.


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