President Yoweri Museveni has taken a swipe at people saying they know more about issues affecting the youths in the country than he does.
The President, who also doubles as the NRM presidential candidate was on Tuesday speaking to NRM youths from Bugisu sub-region at Mbale Secondary School ground in Mbale town as part of his scientific campaign meetings.
“When we talk about youths these days, I hear people just concentrating on biology. These days, people only talk about youth for age and the years they have spent. It is very dangerous. The good thing is that I was a youth myself and very active. I need no lecture from anybody in the world to tell me about youths. I have brought up youths in my house. They are now middle-aged people in their 40s. I now have new youths who are grandchildren in the house,”Museveni said.
The President told the group that for one to qualify as a youth, he or she must have proper ideological disorientation to enable them fit well in society but also know what to do.
Museveni, who seemed to be in a jolly mood and occasionally, used words in the local dialect to drive home his points as well as sharing jokes with the youths said that at independence, the government leaders were all youths but because they didn’t know, they failed to lead the country to greater heights.
The NRM presidential candidate said that at independence, all the leaders were youths but failed to steer the country and finally plunged it into chaos.
“At independence all leaders were youths. Obote was 35, Kakonge was 26, Ibingira and Nekyon were 28. Even Iddi Amin was 39. Muteesa was also a young man but they all failed and the country plunged into chaos.”
The President told the NRM youths that being a youth is one thing, but being properly oriented ideologically is quite another.
“You are taking drugs and you say you are a youth? We need a youth who is disciplined ideologically and spiritually. That is what I would like you to be and that is what I have been telling my children and grandchildren,” Museveni said.
The NRM presidential candidate used the occasion to take a swipe at the opposition that he said cannot defeat the ruling party.
Speaking during a small drizzle during that characterized the biggest part of the Tuesday afternoon meeting, Museveni said there is no opposition in Uganda that he cannot defeat.
“When we were in Luweero fighting, we had some Uganda People’s Congress (UPC) there but even though we were fighting, I would go to the UPC people and ask them what are you fighting for? I would also give them mine (views) and change them over peacefully. There is no ground for opposition in any part of Uganda. They are discredited. I think you need to engage these people. What are they opposing,” Museveni said.
The President asked the youths to follow the four core principles of the NRM including Pan Africanism, democracy, socio-economic transformation and prosperity.
The NRM youth leaders asked Museveni for money to help them start income-generating projects but in response, the President said he would only send money for mobilization for the forthcoming election.
He said giving money to people now is not acceptable since it might be interpreted as voter bribery.
The youths also asked for the reinstatement of State House scholarships to benefit the unprivileged in Bugisu region.
Museveni told the group that after elections, he would review the reinstatement of the scholarships whose scrapping he said was partly because of being condemned by the opposition.