Candidate Amama Mbabazi used his rally in Lira town on Wednesday to hail Uganda’s first Prime Minister and president, Dr Apollo Milton Obote.
“I know that this is the birth place of our first president Milton Obote and I would like to use this opportunity to thank him for the role he played in our country’s development,” Mbabazi said.
He also promised to develop John Akibua stadium where the rally was held.
“You may not know but in 1967, we were doing preparations for the 1968 Olympics. I ran ahead of Akibua in the 400 meter hurdle until the last hurdle before he overtook me at the last hurdle. I promised to beat him in Mexico.”
Amama narrated that while they were preparing for a rugby 7s game with England, he got injured unfortunately and couldn’t go to Mexico with Akibua.
“I told him that by the time he comes back from Mexico I would be ready to go with him to Munich in 1972.”
He said it was the same time that unfortunately, Amin came to power.
“I resolved to fight him [Amin] instead.”
“But at least history was made in Munich when Akibua won. And I was proud of him for putting us on the map. There for we can’t honour his legacy by making him an empty promise to build a stadium in his memory.”
Mbabazi then pledged to build a stadium fitting of Akibua’s memory.
Amama asked the people of Lira to vote him so he can cause change in society.
“I have not been president for the last 30 years but I am asking you to give me your vote such that I may be president.”
“I am still committed to bringing change in society,” he added, saying in the last 53 years, governments have been changing but unfortunately for each change there has been shedding of blood.
“Not the leader’s blood but that of the ordinary people. There’s destruction as well that accompanies this. So we are committed to bringing peaceful transition of power and this will be the first time in Uganda. Vote for peaceful change of power and that is me.”
For change of governance in the country, Amama said it could be achieved because Ugandans are “intelligent and industrious people”.
“What you lack is the leadership to put all this to good use. So we would like to bring about change in governance to bring an efficient government one that creates a conducive environment for you to use your intelligence and industry to change your lives.”
He promised to build roads connecting Lira to Amolatar, Otuke and even Karamoja.
The most important one is the one from Masindi port to Lira all the way to Kitgum, he noted.
“I know that your health centres are in dire constraints. I know very well the state of your hospitals and health centres. In many cases instead of providing you curative help, they have turned into death traps.”
He said in Uganda, 16-19 women die in child birth and in order to do that his government would pay health workers such that they may pay better attention to their work.
“The state of your education is obviously very low. We are proposing to handle this problem. Kids have schools but with no teachers hence we will build teachers houses and improve their pay to reduce teacher absenteeism.”
He promised to revamp agriculture and bring back cooperatives different from the saaco’s present today.
“A Sacco is a union of people who may be want to save together then may be borrow from this fund. This is not bad but ours is a cooperative based on production. We shall build a centre in all sub counties. We shall have a cooperatives office for teachers, farmers, transporters (boda bodas and buses) at this sub county office.”
Amama also promised the region 10 computers with free Wi-Fi that would help them find even international market for their produce.
“In my government, we shall not allow this business of playing around with pensioners money. We will find it and pay them their arrears in the first 100 days of my presidency.”
“Let no one tell you that he wields power other than you. If you want change, use your power which lies in your vote.”
He told them to vote him if they want change, saying even the sick should try to get to the polling station.
“Go and vote. After voting, don’t leave. Remain until your votes have been counted and results declared. There will be no cheating at the polling station if you do that.”
“The only cheating may be at the headquarters during tallying. Leave that work to me. So, don’t be intimidated, your vote will be protected and your victory protected as well.”