Museveni: I’ve paid my Karamoja debts



I am glad to be here. I started coming here in 1970, when I was a research officer in the President’s Office. I also came in 1979 and later when I participated in the election. However, you would find small numbers at public meetings. The whole population was 196,000. Today, Kotido alone has that number of people.

The health programme of the NRM especially immunization has enabled people survive sickness and the population has grown. Now with removal of the gun, the population will grow more.

When we were removing the gun, some people were opposing us. They were saying you can’t remove the guns in Karamoja without removing those from Pokot, Turkana, Topotha in Sudan and others. One of the people was a young man called Pulkol.

I told them they were talking rubbish. It was not my job to remove guns from Turkana or Topoth. My job was to remove guns from my people then defend them from external enemies.

We have now removed the guns, what have you missed?

I stay at Morulinga, in all hours of night I hear vehicles passing. It means there is no fear of traveling at night.

Earlier in Kotido and Tepeth, the people spoke about tse tse flies and ticks.

We are going to build dip tanks, one per parish. There’s a chemical we shall use that kills both ticks and tsetse flies. We have used it in Ankole, Gomba and Nakaseke. When you use it in the dry season, it stays on cow’s skin for two weeks. Anything that tries to bite the cow in that time will die. It’s how I cleared tsetse flies in Baralege.

The problem of Karamoja has been water. But there is now piped water in Lokorete and Moroto town. We have more money but district should decide which town will next get piped water.

As for cows, Kope dam was finished with 2.3 million cubic meters of water. It’s enough water for 440,000 cows for four months. Other big dams include Lokutoo valley dam, Nawanatau, Lorokapel, Lokizilei, Akakua, and we are building more dams.

Besides water, there’s something else. We have bought a lot of equipment from Japan for murrum roads. As we speak now, each district has got a grader that we bought from China. Now with equipment from Japan, each district will get a grader.

It will have a wheelloader, a road compacter, a water bouser. At zonal level, like here in Moroto for Karamoja, there will be a caterpillar, a bulldozer,

The purpose of the caterpillar is to make good roads. It can pass in the bush and make a road. But it can also be used for water excavation. Therefore, I want you people of Karamoja to move now.

The ministries of Karamoja and Water are busy making communal dams for you, with big ones like Kobede. They are also working on parish dams, which are communal.

I am a cattle-keeper myself. There are communal dams in Ankole but I don’t use them. I have my own dams. My cows don’t sweat looking for water. I made them myself.

However other wanainchi also have personal dams, made with the help of government. The government gave them equipment and wanainchi put fuel for the work. This is something we shall look at once we have this equipment from Japan. I had a number of debts with Karamoja.

The biggest one was peace. Now that is there. Another debt was electricity, now there is electricity in Moroto, Matany, Abim, Irili, Nakapiripirit, Amudat. I am remaining with Kotido and Kaabong. For those, they are already looking for contractor to build the line.

Having brought electricity for lighting, we are planning to build a stronger line from Soroti so that it can support factories. Karamoja will become one of the industrial centres of Uganda. Karimojong have been going to Mbale, Kampala. You should prepare for other Ugandans who will come here.

In the second week of December despite my busy campaign schedule, I will come to Karamoja to break the ground for a big cement factory. The reserves we have here are much bigger than Hima’s in Kasese. It can supply cement to Uganda for next 300 years.

We shall also find someone to build a factory for marble. It’s very expensive yet there’s a lot here. As you get water and you’re able to keep modern cows, then we shall also have factories for milk.

With these dams in Karamoja, we are also looking in future about irrigation, so that we produce all year round.

The Karamoja ministry has also been running programmes like school feeding, they have also distributed hoes. In Terego the other day, I said we would buy 18 million hoes for Uganda.

I saw some opposition politicians in air-conditioning in Kampala, who sit in rotating chairs, saying why is Museveni buying hoes? I said it’s because my people need them.

It doesn’t stop me from buying tractors. But the Ike in Kaabong needed hoes and we gave them. If politicians in Kampala don’t know, I am telling them. The Tepeth needed them and other people do. I thank the Karamoja ministry for distributing them. They also distributed oxen and ox ploughs.

About education, in this manifesto we shall give children free exercise books, pens and pencils. We are also giving them free geometry sets. And the girls will get free sanitary pads.

For children who have finished university but have failed to find jobs, we shall introduce a programme where we retrain them at government cost in course of his choice but one which can get a job in the market.

We have also reconstructed many old schools and built new ones. These are more than 600. There are schools here like Moroto High, Kangole SS, which when I checked with Ministry of Education, I found had been left out but they’ll be in new cycle of refurbishement.

On side of health, the most successful programme has been immunisation. We started with vaccination for six diseases, we are now vaccinating 13 diseases. All vaccines are good but I want the audience here to know of two. The first is for cervical cancer.

If you have a girl aged 8-12 take her for immunisation, she will be immune of cervical cancer. There’s also Hepatitis B. Fortunately for babies, they’re being immunised at birth. For adults, I have told the Ministry of Health to immunise where there is a problem. If you’re already infected, don’t panic. There’s a solution. Medical people will advise.

Therefore people of Moroto, I ask you to vote NRM. I ask you to vote for the Old Man with a Hat and the NRM flag-bearers.

President Yoweri Museveni’s speech in Moroto delivered on Wednesday November 25, 2015

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