President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni cautioned religious leaders about organizing fundraising events, as he believes they contribute to corruption within Uganda. Speaking on December 8, at the End of Year National Thanksgiving prayers at State House, Entebbe, President Museveni expressed concern that these events put undue pressure on young politicians, who often rely on borrowed money and engage in corruption.
He urged religious leaders to discontinue such fundraising activities, emphasizing the importance of mobilizing communities for wealth creation before seeking financial contributions.
The President strongly denounced the fundraising culture, stating that it hinders the oversight role of young politicians and distracts them from fulfilling their parliamentary duties. He questioned why religious institutions were assuming responsibilities that should be undertaken by the government and cautioned against the questionable distribution of bursaries, reminding them they are not the state.
“I would like you, the Church and Mosque people to help us, it is not the main source, but it is also a contributory problem. The fundraising culture is very dangerous, especially for you Church people. The young politicians are intimidated by you, the religious leaders, they think they will go to heaven if they please you,” he said.
President Museveni reiterated his commitment to fighting corruption, which he highlighted as a significant threat to the country’s progress. He pointed out the detrimental impact of corruption on farmers and manufacturers, as misappropriated funds impair vital infrastructure projects. The President assured that efforts to combat corruption were underway, as it not only undermines development but also unfairly benefits individuals he referred to as “parasites” seeking an easy life.
While addressing religious leaders, the President commended them for embracing the principles of unity and wealth creation advocated by the government. He urged them to emphasize these teachings, especially to the youth, who spend excessive time on leisure activities.
In addition, President Museveni highlighted the role of education in preventing radicalization and attributed the creation of the ADF terrorist group to individuals who lacked practical skills upon completing their religious education. He urged parents and religious leaders to promote the long-term message of the government regarding wealth creation and discourage the reliance on miracles for prosperity.
Furthermore, President Museveni challenged modern churches and mosques to incorporate Ugandan heritage and its emphasis on wealth creation. He encouraged religious leaders, particularly Muslim clerics, to promote the Parish Development Model (PDM) and Emyooga, government poverty alleviation programs that dispel misconceptions about interest (riba)-oriented funding.
The President’s message during the national prayers was well received, and religious leaders expressed their appreciation for the government’s acknowledgment of God’s role in leadership. The event was attended by prominent figures such as the Vice President, the Chief Justice, members of parliament, and representatives from the diplomatic corps.