President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni yesterday 4th January 2024 met and held discussions with a group of Parliamentary Speakers from several countries at Munyonyo Commonwealth Resort, Kampala.
The Speakers are part of the ongoing 27th Conference of Speakers and Presiding Officers of the Commonwealth (CSPOC) being held in Kampala from 3rd- 6th January, 2024.
The President engaged Speakers from Sri Lanka, Ghana, Burundi and South Sudan in successive meetings which were held on the sidelines of the CSPOC.
In a meeting with the Speaker of Parliament of Sri Lanka, Rt Hon. Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena, President Museveni said Uganda is ready for investment and cooperation with Sri Lanka.
He said the East African country has everything that is required for investment including a ready market for finished goods.
“We have a lot of potential, we are ready, let the leaders come and we talk. We have everything here; there’s nothing we don’t have. We are organizing the African Common Market,” President Museveni said.
The President also reiterated that it was an ideological mistake by the Europeans to colonise countries in other continents, saying that the whole idea of imperialism “is not serious because in the end you lose because the people you want to control are people like you. You may have an initial advantage of technology, but they will learn and kick you out.”
Rt. Hon. Mahinda commended President Museveni for being a good and exemplary leader.
He also informed the President that Sri Lanka is doing well economically despite being hit by the Covid-19 effects.
In another meeting with the Speaker of Ghana’s Parliament, Rt. Hon. Alban S.K Bagbin and his delegation, President Museveni urged the leaders to shun politics of identity and embrace politics of interest to enable the people they lead to acquire prosperity.
“Here we had groups which emphasized identity; we are of this tribe and religion. It was a very big problem and for us we said no! This identity, yes it can be important sometimes but most of the time what is crucial is interests,” he said.
“We started in 1965 as students rejecting this idea of identity. It now became identity Vs interests. Instead of talking about the politics of identity, why don’t you talk about the politics of Patriotism? Love Uganda. Why do you love Uganda? Because you need it for your prosperity.”
On his part, Rt Hon. Bagbin thanked President Museveni for his good leadership skills that have enabled him to become an outstanding and admirable leader in the region.
“I want to congratulate you for the good work you are doing particularly your leadership skills and you have just exhibited them here again, we are very grateful,” he asserted.
In another meeting, President Museveni and the South Sudan National Assembly Speaker, Rt Hon. Jemma Nunu Kumba discussed the socio-political dynamics of South Sudan including the issue of elections.
The President also had a brief engagement with the Speaker of Burundi National Assembly, Rt. Hon. Gelase Daniel Ndabirabe.