President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni has urged Ugandan students to love their fellow citizens because they need them for their prosperity.
President Museveni made the remarks on Thursday, November 16, 2023, at Kololo Independence Grounds while passing out over 45,000 students from different secondary schools in Kampala who underwent a patriotism course.
“Apart from loving Uganda because it is moral to do so, you also need to love Ugandans because you need them for your prosperity,” he said.
The President was in the company of the First Lady and Minister of Education and Sports, Janet Museveni Kataha.
The participants were drawn from the 254 secondary schools in the five divisions of Kampala City. The training course ran under the theme “Patriotism for Socio-Economic Transformation.”
The President stated that when he launched the patriotism clubs in Uganda in February 2009, he talked about the different types of love, which included, among others, the love for Uganda, which is very vital for all citizens since it immensely contributes to their wealth creation and prosperity.
“When I say love Uganda, I mean love all Ugandans; don’t discriminate, but secondly, you need Uganda, especially if you are a wealth creator like me, who is a milk, beef, and banana producer in Ntungamo and Rwakitura, and with Maama and our children, we produce all three,” Museveni said.
The President further appealed to the students to also love East Africa and Africa at large to be able to benefit from the external market for Ugandan products.
However, the president cautioned the students against indiscipline acts like alcoholism, smoking, and prostitution that could ruin their lives.
“If you love yourself, you take care of yourself so that you don’t get into trouble. And what are those troubles? Troubles like alcohol: if you start taking it, you will ruin your life. I’m now going to be 80 years old, but you are here asking me to continue leading the war because I’m fit and I’m not sick. If I were sick in a wheelchair, you would not be disturbing me. You would not be saying “Jjaja Tova Ku Main”, but you say so because you see that the man is still strong,” he explained.
“When you love yourself, avoid alcohol, smoking, and prostitution, but also study and exercise, and above all, fear God, because in the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom,” he added.
First Lady Janet lauded President Museveni for making young people’s development a central part of his core programme in Uganda.
“Thank you for always caring to nurture and guide these young people, who are our future leaders tomorrow,” she said.
The First Lady also disclosed that the President launched patriotism clubs in schools in 2009 in order to inculcate norms and values among the youth and students in secondary schools.
“From that time, we have promoted patriotism in schools, and over 4,000 institutions now have clubs and are working to instill patriotism in our students,” she said.
Vice President Jessica Alupo, Prime Minister Robinah Nabbanja, Minister for Kampala and Metropolitan Affairs, Hajjat Minsa Kabanda, Minister of ICT and National Guidance, Hon. Dr. Chris Baryomunsi, and NRM Secretary General, Hon. Richard Todwong, were also present at the event.