Support Gov’t Programs to Alleviate Poverty—Col Katabazi to Rubanda Christians

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Col Emmy Katabazi, the Deputy Director General of the Internal Security Organization (ISO), has tipped the Christians of St. James Muko Church of Uganda (C.O.U.) Parish (Archdeaconry) under the Diocese of Kigezi on embracing government programs like the Parish Development Model (PDM).

Col Katabazi made the remarks during a church service as they celebrated St. Peter’s Day on June 30, 2024.

He highlighted that President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni introduced the PDM initiative and the four-acre model, among others with the aim of alleviating poverty in Uganda.

“The president decided that in each parish, 100 people should get Ugx 100 million annually, with each beneficiary receiving Ugx 1 million,” Col Katabazi noted.

Referring to some of the beneficiaries’ testimonies of receiving the Ugx 1 million, where one of the beneficiaries received around Ugx 980,000, the Colonel said that there is an application (Zaidi App) already created that will reduce such cases, adding that the next bunch of beneficiaries will get their money directly on their phones.

He addressed the issue of water that is affecting the area, saying that the government is planning to make a standardized water supply system in the area.

“The project will take three to four years. But in the meantime, there will be a temporary system that will be pumping water,” the Col said.

Col Katabazi made a contribution towards the construction of the new church, whose project is estimated at over Ugx 1 billion.

The senior UPDF officer said that the Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) army doesn’t attack innocent people but instead protects them against being attacked by enemies and fights those disturbing the peace of innocent civilians, citing the example of the DRC border with Uganda, where the ADF rebels attacked Christians during a church service and around 60 people lost their lives.

While referring to the gospel according to St. John 21:15–19 during his sermon, Canon Earnest Nkwasibwe, the Archdeacon of Muko C.O.U., urged congregants to love one another just like Jesus loved the church, adding that Jesus came and died for everyone, irrespective of who they are.

“Jesus is for everyone. There are no Jews or Gentiles. So, Jesus is for both men and women, children, the educated and the uneducated. He still calls us regardless of our professions,” he noted.

Reverend Nkwasibwe urged the Christians to use their God-given gifts and skills well, as Jesus is the foundation of the church for which it is built and St. Peter is the rock.

He commended President Museveni for the peace in the country and the discipline instilled in the forces.

“The church works with the government. The church preaches the gospel during persecution and when there is peace, but we prefer peace,” the Archdeacon said.

Rev. Nkwasibwe added that justified wars are permitted by God, encouraging the force to fight justified wars.

“There are religious wars, like currently, when we are fighting the war against homosexuality. Please join us, and we will become successful,” he said.

Col Katabazi later made a courtesy visit to Muko High School, a church-founded school under St. James Muko Archdeaconry.

He urged students to ensure discipline and teamwork among themselves through performing discussion groups so as to succeed in their academic pursuit, asking them to follow orders, citing an example of the army where soldiers follow orders.

“If you are not disciplined, you will waste a lot of time running around. Utilize the ample time to revise. When you’re in this school, you can decide on who you want to be,” the Colonel noted.

Col Katabazi commended Rev. Phillip Ntwirenabo, the headteacher of the school, for taking good care of the students amidst economic challenges.

He, however, cautioned students against holding and getting involved in strikes, irrespective of their background. The Deputy Director General cited a personal example, saying that he came from a humble background and remained disciplined, and that’s why he is where and what he is.

“When you’re disciplined, you can reach greater heights and surpass those in so-called better schools,” Col Katabazi said.

On conserving the environment, the Colonel pointed out the issue of soil erosion, which affects the area, including the school. He called for the planting of trees to deal with climate change.

“Soil erosion is even in the school compound; have you controlled it? This is because the education we have is not for liberation but for enslavement since it involves cram work,” he noted.

He asked students to embrace patriotism and Pan-Africanism and have a mindset change to ensure socio-economic transformation.

The Colonel said that the government has boosted education and asked the students to acquire skills through hands-on (presidential hubs which are offering several skills e.g. capentry work, hairdressing, metal works e.t.c).

“The government is in an endeavor to change what the colonialists left,” he said.

The Colonel contributed to the roofing and finishing of the boys’ dormitory.

Col Katabazi was the first Secretary General of the Uganda National Students Association (UNSA) in 1988.

Founded in 1991, Muko is a purely private mixed day and boarding secondary school with an enrollment of over 650 students, both in O and A-level, according to Herbert Twinomugisha, a geography teacher. However, Barnet Tumworobere, the deputy headteacher, said that out of the estimated 650 students, 300 are girls and only 48 are day scholars.

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