Museveni to Religious Leaders “Refrain from Cheap Popularity During food Distribution”

Thursday, April 30, 2020

STATE HOUSE, ENTEBBE: President Museveni has agreed with religious leaders to start distributing food provided they are working with the COVID task forces at the district levels and complying with the Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) given to them by the Ministry of health.

This was during a meeting with the Inter-Religious Council (IRCU) of Uganda members at State House Entebbe yesterday where they presented ideas of how they can contribute and collaborate with the government in fighting the COVID-19 war.

The President appealed to the religious leaders to distribute food to only target groups, which are those people that are only paid when they work and don't get salary. He reiterated that it was of the essence that they used truth during this campaign and refrain from seeking cheap popularity by trying to please all people. 

In doing so, President Museveni continued, it would save the government from wasting resources on feeding people who can feed themselves.

"We don't want to make people so lame by becoming dependent on food handouts. I need to agree with you on the strict definition of who should give you food. Even when you are bringing up children, they should never be an idea of free things. Some people are mixing this with poverty eradication, which is wrong. Medicine for poverty has other bigger programs like wealth creation," he said.

On how to distribute the food, Mr. Museveni advised that they should do this using the inter-denominational approach which focused on everybody and that would help prevent them from distributing food in groups.

On supporting faith based media houses, President Museveni informed the leaders that he would discuss with Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) and Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) for religious based radios to be exempted from tax and fees respectively until the COVID problem ceases.

Explaining matters of the economy, President Museveni assured the leaders that there was no need to worry as Uganda’s economy was surviving. 

He emphasized that the current economy in Uganda is the real livelihood economy comprising of food, shelter, clothing and security and was surviving despite a few hiccups.

Bishop Lwere, Overseer of the National Fellowship of Born Again Pentecostal Churches and voted by the IRCU to represent them on the COVID fund said that they desired to work hand in hand with the government on the food distribution because the religious leaders had a rapid reach to the people at the grass roots, in the shortest time possible and that they had gained trust and confidence from most of them.

Mufti Sheikh Mubajje Ramadhan, appreciated President Museveni for being transparent to the public about the pandemic situation, adding that this has made the people build more trust in his leadership and the government.

Apostle Serwadda appreciated President Museveni for having previously allowed the pardoning of over 800 prisoners during the pandemic. He blessed the President for this and thanked for leading the country well in these trying moments.