President Museveni has warned youth leaders in Bugisu Sub-region against embracing dangerous ideologies he said can lead to genocide.
“Sectarianism of any form is a poisionus ideology because it sets up communities against each other and it kills cooperation because of superficial divisions,” Mr Museveni said in a speech read for him by the second Deputy Prime Minister, Mr Kirunda Kivejinja, during the patriotism passout ceremony at Nyondo Core Primary Teachers College in Mbale District on Saturday.
The seven-day training, which attracted more than 2,000 youth leaders from the sub-region, was organised by the Office of the President under the National Secretariat for Patriotism Corps.
The President said leaders who promote sectarianism tendencies based on identity, tribe, and religion are enemies of progress.
“Such leaders are enemies of development because when you carry your milk or banana to the market, it is not only people from your tribe, gender or religion that will buy from you. You will be happy to sell to anyone, who is able to purchase your goods at the higher prices,” he said.
Commenting on the patriotism training, Mr Museveni said it is important that leaders are equipped with right ideas in order to help in fostering social and economic development.
“The issue of leadership is very important in the transformation of societies. It is not any issue to play with. It a serious mission and leaders must be equipped with a right set of ideas to secure the interests and stability of the country,” he said.
Mr Museveni also urged youth to take advantage of peace and stability ushered in by the NRM government to develop themselves economically.
Brig Gen Patrick Mwesige, the commissioner of patriotism, said the training was aimed at developing a resourceful, responsible, loyal and resilient citizenry ready to defend and transform the country.
A section of youth leaders claimed they were blocked from attending the training on grounds that they support Ms Connie Galiwango Nakayenze, the district Woman MP.
However, Ms Lilian Nakawesi, the deputy RDC, dismissed the allegations, saying some leaders were left out because of the overwhelming number.
Ms Lydia Wanyoto, the coordinator of the programme, who is also the chairperson of NRM women league, applauded government for the training, saying the participants had been equipped with necessary leadership and mobilisation skills for economic development.
The programme is a presidential initiative Mr Museveni launched in 2009. Its ultimate goal is to produce a new breed of enlightened population committed and devoted to national causes and love for the country.