President Yoweri Museveni delivered a cautionary message during Uganda’s 61st Independence Day celebrations held in Kitgum on October 9th 2023. He specifically addressed leaders in the Karamoja sub-region, warning them against aiding cattle rustling activities.
The event, hosted for the first time in Kitgum, attracted thousands of Ugandans, including dignitaries like the Vice President, Deputy Speaker, and representatives of Heads of State and ambassadors.
President Museveni arrived at the district Farm Institute grounds, accompanied by a rare sight – a walking stick. After inspecting the guard of honor, he presided over the flag-raising ceremony and the singing of the national anthem.
In his address, President Museveni stressed the importance of unity and issued a stern warning to leaders in several regions, including Karamoja, Acholi, Teso, Lango, and Sebei, regarding their involvement in cattle rustling activities. He revealed that investigations into these activities are underway.
While the president’s warning was met with approval from some local leaders, who believe cattle rustling has caused significant harm, others called for conclusive legal action against the perpetrators.
President Museveni also emphasized the country’s eight points of direction, including regional, economic, and political integration, which are essential for strategic security. He urged individuals to be cautious about their international contacts and their underlying interests.
Addressing unfulfilled promises, including the restoration of complete peace in the region and cattle compensation, the president pledged to prioritize infrastructure development, particularly roads, in the region.
During the celebrations, 40 medals were awarded to individuals who have made significant contributions to the country’s development and growth. Recipients included former Trade Minister Amelia Kyambadde and sports icon Joshua Cheptegei, among others.