The Minister of State for Regional Cooperation, Mr Philemon Mateke, has vowed to punish politicians in Kigezi sub-region who attempt to divide NRM supporters on religious and ethnic grounds when they are seeking elective positions on the party ticket.
Mr Mateke was speaking at a welcome party organised by the locals on Good Friday at the Mayor’s Gardens in Kisoro Town to congratulate him upon his appointment as minister. Mr Mateke said he will ensure President Museveni wins with more than 90 per cent in Kigezi in 2016 elections.
“I am the NRM watchdog for Kigezi. I am ready to deal with any politicians who attempt to divide the NRM support basing on ethnicity and religion. Do not allow individuals that are planning to create cracks in our party. Let’s get united by strengthening the NRM party support,” Mr Mateke said.
He said his appointment as minister was a big surprise because he did not expect it.
Mr Mateke promised to link Ugandan traders and farmers to different markets abroad for profit maximisation.
Business in Kisoro Town came to a standstill as hundreds of people and fleets of vehicles moved in columns escorting Mr Mateke from the Kabale-Kisoro boundary, about 20km from the town.
Former ministers Sam Bitangaro and Nsaba Buturo; local MPs Sarah Mateke and John Kamara joined the district leaders in welcoming Mr Mateke. They described him as the founder of Kisoro which was separated from Kabale District in the early 1990s.
“We are so grateful to President Museveni for appointing Dr Mateke as a minister. Dr Mateke is the father of politics in Kisoro District in particular and Kigezi sub-region in general.
That is why we refer to him as our dad. Dr Mateke is a uniting icon in this area as he never segregates against people because of their religion or ethnic background. We are proud of him because he is a man that fulfils his promises,” said former Kisoro District council Speaker William Harerimana.
Kisoro District chairman Milton Bazanye asked the people to work with Mr Mateke for development of the district.