Before flying to the United States for next week’s slated United Nations General Assembly, President Yoweri Museveni yesterday joined the Uganda Police Force in the reburial ceremony of their first IGP Col Wislon Oryema Erinayo who was murdered 37 years ago.
At the event which took place at the late IGPs home in Nwoya district, Museveni spoke at length about the mistakes that were committed by his predecessors after independence.
Most of the turbulent times that the country witness Museveni said was as a result of sheer tribalism and sectarianism introduced by the post independence regimes.
These bad practices Museveni said, were still alive and often encountered in government businesses and departments.
Museveni observed that such politics based on sectarianism, religion and marginalization was the genesis of Uganda’s political problems that eventually steered the country into political crisis leading to death of many Ugandans and the total collapse of State.
“It is a pity that the negative political seeds sowed by political players at independence that emphasized sectarianism on the basis of tribes, religion as well as the marginalization of some Ugandans such as women and children, eventually plunged the country into a bigger political crisis leading to the death of thousands of Ugandans and the collapse of the State,” said Museveni.
But on top of pacifying the country, President Museveni said, the National Resistance Movement government had gone a long way in fighting the divisive politics of tribes and religion as well as marginalization of the minority groups.
He was speaking in reference to the deceased Col Oryema who was murdered by the highhanded Idi Amin regime together with Archbishop Janani Luwum and Defence Minister, Charles Oboth Ofumbi
Museveni appealed to all citizens to stand against the sectarian politics, noting that the Movement has encountered challenges in fighting these negative vices as some of the agents of the past regimes are either still active or influential in our society.
Mr. Museveni said that the murder of Erinayo Oryema with who he interacted only once in 1968 was regrettable.
He described the late Oryema as a polished and decent gentleman adding that such acts of cruelty should never take place in Uganda again.
He further pledged government help to the family of the late Erinayo Oryema to reconstruct their home that was destroyed by government forces and also supported the Police proposal to construct a training school in his honor.
Meanwhile Museveni used the occasion to caution Ugandans not to be excited by the discovery of the oil resource in the country noting that the real and life time resource of Uganda was agriculture.
“Oil will help us put in place a few infrastructures such as roads, health centers and power dams but will eventually get finished but agriculture is a lifetime activity,” he said.
He, therefore, encouraged the indigenous people of Nwoya district to learn from the few commercial farmers in the area and engage in profitable agricultural production.
The Inspector General of Police, General Kale Kayihura, said that the Police had decided to give Lt. Col. Erinayo Oryem a decent burial in recognition of his service to the country and his contribution to the building of the Uganda Police that is marking its 100 years of existence.
He added that the late Erinayo Oryema is also recognized for his strong values in public service and for paying the ultimate price for his country which he said should be a lesson especially to the young people to always love and sacrifice their energies for their country.
The burial ceremony was graced by the Bishop of Northern Uganda, the Rt. Rev. Johnson Gakumba and attended by several Cabinet Ministers, MPs, diplomats and senior Army and Police Officers.