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President Museveni Commends Believers for Embracing the NRM Ideology

President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni has commended the believers and religious leaders in Uganda for embracing the National Resistance Movement (NRM) ideology

“I want to thank the believers of Uganda and their religious leaders for adopting the NRM ideology,” he said.

The President who was in the company of the First Lady and Minister of Education and Sports, Maama Janet Museveni, made the remarks today as the Chief Guest during the Uganda Martyrs Day Celebrations at Namugongo.

The celebrations ran under the theme: “As for me and my household, we shall serve the Lord” derived from Joshua 24:15.

President Museveni explained that he was happy because believers and religious leaders managed to denounce sectarianism based on religion and tribes which caused chaos in Uganda before the coming of the NRM government in 1986.

“This is because from the 1960s even earlier, Ugandans were divided according to tribes and religion and this was part of the chaos which engulfed Uganda; It was due to that sectarianism of religion and tribe but when we came, you opposed this very firmly,” the President noted.

“The leaders also formed the Inter-Religious Council. This was formed after the NRM had come into government. So you can call the Inter Religious Council some form of “NRM-nism”. Jesus made it clear “Love your neighbour as you love yourself”. This is the NRM line. I’m glad that you embraced it.”

Furthermore, President Museveni urged believers to work towards improving their welfare through wealth creation.

“As Christians and other believers, you must multiply your talents. I don’t think it’s correct to have Christians and other believers living in poverty.  How can Christians influence people by example not just by talking but by doing so that you become an example to others? I think we should harmonise with religious leaders and we promote this message of pushing poverty from our homes. I don’t want Uganda to be religious but poor.  I started opposing that in the 1960s while I was living in Ntungamo, Isingiro and Kiruhura. We had very religious people there but they believed that God would provide for them even when they don’t work. I disagreed with those Balokole (born again Christians) there and I’m glad that they have now woken up,” he expounded.

He also tasked the youth to focus on ideas that would transform Uganda and Africa at large instead of spending much of their time on unconstructive things like watching European football.

“You young people, you spend so much time watching European football, you don’t bother with what is happening in Africa. You can imagine the African youth are totally diverted, you don’t hear them talk about the integration of Africa which Mwalimu Nyerere was fighting for and what we are fighting for,” President Museveni stressed.

“Today Uganda is a country of martyrs and those people who are just talking outside there like on the issue of homosexuality; they don’t know that Uganda is a land of martyrs. If you want to play around, you do so but you will not like what you will see.”

The President also reiterated his call against the fight of corruption.

On the other hand, he promised that the government will work with the Church to ensure that the construction of Namugongo Martyrs Shrine is complete.

On the side of the Anglican Church in Namugongo, President Museveni who was represented by the Speaker of Parliament, Rt. Hon. Anita Among said the story of the Uganda Martyrs is proof that it is impossible to suppress correct ideas, especially if they are anchored on godliness and humanity.

“Some people have tried to fight new and dynamic ideas. However, history has taught us that if an idea is correct and progressive, it will eventually triumph. The teachings of Christianity are beneficial for every individual and society. The Gospel helps to cultivate a fear of God and love for other people, regardless of tribe, region or religion,” President Museveni said.

“The fear of God teaches the believers to guard themselves from engaging in evil practices that are likely to break their communion with the Creator. It makes you accountable to a Heavenly Father, who watches everything that you do, even in darkness. Christians are aware that they will face judgement for their words and actions, here on earth. Therefore, many of the evils, like corruption, embezzlement, defilement, murder, etc., are on account of the lack of Godly guidance, in people’s hearts. The fear of God imparts honesty, integrity and self-control,” he added.

The Prime Minister, Rt. Hon. Robinah Nabbanja commended President Museveni for the peace and security in the country that has enabled events like the Uganda Martyrs Day Celebrations to go on smoothly without any interruptions.

“People came from various places and we didn’t have any major incidents of insecurity,” she said.

“With your able leadership, Your Excellency, Uganda is now connected by tarmac roads from North to South, from East to West and this facilitated the travel of our pilgrims here to Namugongo.”

In his sermon, Archbishop-elect of the Gulu Archdiocese and Apostolic Bishop of Nebbi Diocese Rt. Rev Fr. Raphael P’Mony Wokorach who led the eucharistic celebration of mass highlighted that the story of Uganda Martyrs is equivalent to the one of those who chose to trust in the Lord.

Nebbi Diocese last led Martyrs Day celebrations in 2007, a public holiday in Uganda that is fast becoming an African religious event celebrating these Saints of the Church.

The Apostolic Nuncio to Uganda, Archbishop Luigi Bianco who delivered the message of His Holiness Pope Francis, said the Solemnity of the Uganda Martyrs represents a special moment of faith and grace for the Church and the Christians in Uganda who are strengthened by the example and intercession of the martyrs.

The Archbishop of Kampala Archdiocese, His Grace Paul Ssemogerere thanked the Archdiocese of Nebbi for leading this year’s Martyrs Day celebrations and also thanked God for the 60 years of the canonization of the Uganda Martyrs.

“The Martyrdom of the martyrs is a statement of their unwavering faith and courage in the face of persecution. I’m delighted to declare that this year we are celebrating 60 years since their canonization. This day is celebrated annually as a reminder to humanity of the importance of faith, resilience, unity and witnessing to Christ,” he said.

The Archbishop also called on believers to emulate the Uganda Martyrs by choosing the path of virtue and righteousness.

“We live in a society that is increasingly consumed by immorality such as malicious prosecutions, social and political marginalisation, fornication, murder, theft, corruption and embezzlement of public funds, among others,” Archbishop Ssemogerere noted.

The ceremony was attended by the Deputy speaker of Parliament, Rt Hon. Thomas Tayebwa, senior government officials including Ministers, Former government leaders, cultural leaders led by the Alur King Philip Olarker Rauni III and Mama Nyerere from Tanzania.

Others were pilgrims from countries like Tanzania, Burundi, Kenya, South Sudan, Namibia, Democratic Republic of Congo, among others.

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