By: Ismael Kasooha
President Yoweri Museveni has challenged leaders of People With Disabilities (PWDs) to mobilize the people they lead to actively get involved in government programmes of wealth creation.
The president’s message was delivered by the Prime Minister Robinah Nabbanja at the closure of a 10-day training for over 330 leaders of People with disabilities from Northern and Western regions of Uganda.
“Therefore I would like to use this opportunity to encourage you leaders to be at the forefront of mobilizing the communities to participate in production in the four sectors of commercial agriculture, industries, services and ICT. I would like to emphasize the importance of enterprise selection. You select an enterprise that will make high returns on investment. The NRM has proved that everyone can make a contribution to socio economic transformation. All that is needed is equipping the people with the resources and the right set of ideas on how to transform their livelihoods,” said the President.
The training took place at the National Leadership Training Institute-NALI in Kyankwanzi District and was organized by State House.
The president said that the government has initiated several development programmes aimed at enabling the people to create wealth and move from the subsistence sector.
President Museveni said that the NRM government, since it assumed power in 1986, has been at the forefront in ensuring that all people are treated equally irrespective of their identity or race.
“We believe and work for the unity and development of Uganda. Under the leadership of NRM there have been deliberate efforts to ensure that previously marginalized groups like the women, youths and people with disabilities are accorded equal treatment before the law. There is more equality in access to opportunities for example education, employment, justice and representation at the local and national level,” said the president.
Museveni said that national development cannot be achieved without the contribution of the different groups in society.
The president thanked the leaders of PWDs for mobilizing the people to take an active role in the development agenda in the country.
“The Uganda economy is modernizing and accelerating towards industrialization. Modernity means eliminating the subsistence modes of production which satisfy only the need for food and replacing them with commercial agriculture, industries, services and ICT,” the president noted.
He said that the NRM was credited for upholding and protecting the democratic rights and freedoms of the people of Uganda.
“It was a great mistake for the past regimes to marginalize and exclude significant portions of the population for example women, youths, the people with disabilities among others.
Hellen Asamo, the Minister of State for PWDs said the capacity trainings were in line with governments commitment.
Nabbanja assured the leaders of People with Disabilities that the government would address their concerns such as giving them affirmative action on other government interventions.
The Deputy Director NALI Col. Henry Sserugo said that the PWDs leaders had been equipped with knowledge and skills to help them perform better.
“The objectives of the training were to impart ideological clarity, patriotism and to educate them on how to sustain the gains of the people’s revolution and also enhance their leadership abilities and also introduce them to some military skills,” said Sserugo.
In a joint memorandum presented by James Mwesigye on behalf of all the Participants commended the NRM for creating an enabling environment but asked the government for affirmative action in different sectors.
“The government has put in place enabling laws that address our concerns as people with disabilities because the past regimes did not think about us in any way,” said Mwesigye.