President Yoweri Museveni has called on the Barundi people to” forget their past sectarian political differences and build their country on unity.
He encouraged them to emulate their first post-independence leader Prince Rwagasore who led Burundi to independence in 1961 under the UPRONA party which was a nationalist and patriotic pro- people party” but who was murdered by colonial agents led by a priest, there after ushering half a century of instability and suffering to the Barundi to this day
The President was opening a two-day Burundi High Level Political Dialogue between Government, opposition political party leaders both in Parliament and outside Parliament, eminent persons who included two past Presidents of Burundi, religious leaders, civil society organizations, chamber of commerce and industry and a cross section of other stakeholders, who converged at Hotel Belair residence last evening.
This was a follow up of the mandate given him by the 3rd Extra-Ordinary Summit of the East African Community sitting in Dar Es Salaam on the 6th of July 2015.
President Museveni condemned sectarianism which he said was bankrupt and dangerous to the people and killed interdependence among communities.
He advised the Barundi people that for them to be prosperous they must settle down, talk less about power and term limits but become producers for the market.
He asked them to support the integration of East Africa which offers them bigger opportunities and markets for their products, and through which they will become prosperous.
He further asked them to create conducive environment for private sector growth and attract investments.
Mr. Museveni told them that he was happy to hear from the Vice President that Government had disarmed the youth groups “who had been disturbing people with illegally acquired guns cautioning that guns must be a monopoly of the state which is accountable to the people and must only be used purposefully like a surgeon’s knife”.
Vice President Prosper Mbazombaza welcomed the dialogue and hoped it will generate consensus on major outstanding issues leading to desired peace and stability in the country.
He thanked President Museveni for his commitment to stability in the region and in Burundu in particular.
The Secretary General of the East African Community Ambassador Richard Sezibera thanked President Museveni for acting as requested by the EAC Summit.
He told the Barundi leaders that it will be unfortunate if democracy in their country should continue to be associated with mourning shattered hopes and suffering of the people.
President Museveni is accompanied to the Burundi Dialogue by the Minister of State for Regional Cooperation Hon. Philemon Matekye and Uganda’s Ambassador of Burundi Maj. Gen. Matiya Kyaligonza.