His Excellency President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni has applauded traditional institutions and their leaders for playing a crucial role in enhancing unity among their people.
PM Rugunda dances the Iteso traditional dance during the 5th Annual Iteso Cultural Heritage Festival in Soroti on Saturday. Next to PM is MoS for Teso Affairs Hon Agnes Akiror Egunyu (Photo by PMPU)
The President asked traditional institutions to sensitize people on the need to drop outdated cultural practices such as marginalisation of women among others, adding that they should also take advantage of the programmes put in place to enhance development and fight poverty.
The President made these remarks in his speech that was delivered by the Prime Minister Dr Ruhakana Rugunda during the 5th annual Iteso cultural heritage festival in Soroti district on Saturday.
Museveni urged the Iteso to guard the peace and security achieved over the years while promoting culture and strengthening national unity.
“By holding an Annual Heritage Day, the people of Teso have demonstrated how much value they attach to their heritage and culture,” the President said.
“While defining the identity of the people and their cultural roots, it’s paramount that the different ethnic groups recognise each other’s importance and also appreciate the importance of national unity,” said Museveni.
He also noted that the existence of similarities in the Ugandan cultures exhibited through activities and items used can further strengthen and promote oneness.
“Fighting poverty is what I take as a priority. When households are earning a stable income then that becomes a starting point to poverty eradication. Therefore there is need to use culture to develop our society through activities such as crafts and tourism among others which are important in the world market to create youth employment,” Mr Museveni said.
The President applauded His Highness Emorimor Papa Augustine Osuban for the initiative and asked him to strengthen the cooperation so that many more cultural activities are held to promote to peace, unity, social and economic development not only in the region but the country as a whole.
The Emorimor Papa Augustine Osuban, thanked the government through the office of the Prime Minister for the work it is doing in providing solutions to hunger which has affected the country.
The Emorimor also asked his subjects to guard against adopting poor practices that hinder development such as asking for money to undertake a community activity saying this only promotes laziness and also increases famine in the country.
The Minister of State for Teso Affairs Agnes Akiror Egunyu, said that the cultural day was important to the people of Teso because it helps them to define and promote their identity.
“This cultural day helps us to celebrate and define our identity through our cultural values, norms and traditions as the people of Teso. However as we celebrate, we should endeavour to remain united not only as the Iteso but Africa as a whole,” Akiror said.
The Minister also advised the people to adopt cultures that promote development, in addition to adding value to their lives.
The jovial function was also attended by delegates from Turkana, Busia-Kenya and Karamoja among others.
By Doreen Nasasira
Tuesday, 13 December 2016