President Museveni challenges leaders on community sensitization, pledges 200m for Ankole Western University

Sunday 22nd July 2012
Department of Press and Public Relations. News. Information. Communication

President Museveni lays the foundation stone for the science faculty duirng the launch for the fundraising drive for Ankole Western University Project in Kabwohe, Sheema district President Yoweri Museveni has directed agricultural and extension officials to engage in mass sensitization of communities in modern agricultural practices or risk losing their jobs.

“Why are you selfish, why don’t you provide a service for these people. There are banana plantations everywhere but they are not well managed. They have no trenches to trap water and they are not mulched,” the President said. He was particularly irked that a lot of research in various agricultural practices and crop varieties is sitting idle in research institutions and never gets down to the people who need to use it.

The President who was chief guest at the launch of a fundraising drive for Ankole Western University Project expressed disappointment with government officials and local leaders for their failure to advise the population on current modern agricultural practices leading to the poor performance of the agricultural sector and the resultant poverty and food insecurity in the country side. He instructed all agricultural officials to sensitize the grass root people about new and modern ways of agriculture or risk being relieved of their duties.

Over 305million shillings was raised in cash and pledges towards the construction of a science faculty that will comprise of a laboratory, library and lecture theaters for the proposed university located in Kabwohe in Sheema County. The university that has already acquired an interim certificate has twinned up with various other universities including Kyambogo University which is already training grade 5 teachers. It hopes to also link up with  Florence Isabirye Muranga Banana factory under the Presidential initiative on Banana Industrial Development (PIBID) Project to fight Banana Bacterial wilt which has devastated farmers plantations in the region and is threatening food security.

The Church of Uganda founded university located at St. Emmanuel Archdiocese in Kabwohe emphasizes the teaching of natural sciences and will offer courses that will particularly target enhancement of agricultural production since the area relies on agriculture for survival.

President Yoweri Museveni who pledged 200 million shillings with a partial cash payment of Shs 30 million towards the cause lauded the founders of the institution for focusing on the teaching of sciences especially agro-science which he said was very relevant to Uganda a largely agricultural nation. He accepted to be the patron of the Ankole Western University Founders Forum and cautioned that emphasizes should be put on how to raise household income noting that with income at home all other needs can be realized.

Mr. Museveni also auctioned 2 heifers at 18 million shillings and assured the founders and management of the institution of his continuous support and that of the government towards the institution.

The Vice Chairman of the governing council who is also MP for Sheema North Dr. Elioda Tumwesigye hailed the presidents contribution to development in the region including in health and to church founded institutions and reiterated his call for President Museveni to run for president for a firth term in 2016.

“I have received many calls and seen many views on social networks in favour anag against me with some wondering whether I was mad or drunk. I wish to reaffirm that I was 100% sober as I don’t take alchohol. I meant what I said and said what I meant and I have no apologies for it.  I said it out of conviction and believing that will ensure peaceful, stable and a secure Uganda. I said it at a time when there is a lot of infighting and intrigue related to succession with some people declaring they were setting up an alternative government,” he said.

Dr. Elioda Tumwesigye said under the multiparty dispensation parties field their best and strongest person, adding that unfolding events in the region including in Congo, Sudan, Somalia, Kony etc call for a strong insurance cover like Museveni. He also said the commencement of the commercial oil production and the deteriorating global economic situation needs a strong and tested leader who has ensured a stable macro and micro economic environment.

Prof Ephraim Kamuntu Minister of Tourism Wildlife and Heritage commended the President for his visionary leadership towards the development of Uganda and for his particular interest in the education sector. He also commended the strong vision of Bishop Bamunoba whose vision to start a university in the area greatly inspired those who came after him resulting into the establishment of the university.

The State Minister for Education Mr. Kamanda Bataringaya congratulated the church of Uganda upon the establishment of the university and said that his ministry will support the university since its curriculum is in line with governments program of skilling Uganda.

Bishop Yona Katonene the Bishop of West Ankole diocese said the church founded the Uiversity with a view of making it the hub for agricultural research and education in the area. The function was attended by information minister Mary Karooro Okrut as well as representatives from different religious denomination in the country

The President later fulfilled his pledge to Bishop Katonene of a vehicle Mistibitsu Pajero which he had promised during the elections but could not provide it because of the electoral laws in place.

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