President Yoweri Museveni has strongly urged the political class in Uganda to prioritize the program of irrigation in the next budget and the building of the fertilizer factory in Tororo to ensure increased agricultural production in the country.
“Before we implement all these other things that we would like to do let the political class and the population understand that you cannot do all the things at the same time. Like now we have been able to put a lot of money on the Parish Development Model. It seems this money needs to be supported by irrigation. So, in the next budget let’s all agree to postpone some of the plans in favor of irrigation first and building of a fertilizer factory in Tororo so that we have both water and fertilizers,” he stressed.
The President was today the Chief Guest at the Silver Jubilee celebrations for Rev. Father Paul Benedict Francis Imalingat and Rev. Father Lawrence Immas Akepa held at Aketa Town Board in Ongongoja Sub-County, Usuk County-Katakwi District.
The colorful ceremony that was attended by a cross section of people from all corners of the country preceded with a thanksgiving mass presided over by the Bishop of Soroti Diocese the Rt. Rev. Dr. Joseph Eciru Oliach. The mass was also attended by the Most Rev. Archbishop Emmanuel Obbo of Tororo Arch Diocese.
The two priests who celebrated their Silver Jubilee led the mass. They are brothers to the Vice President Rt. Major Jessica Alupo who hosted the function.
President Museveni reiterated governments move to prioritize irrigation on learning that most of the farmers lost their citrus trees due to prolonged drought that hit the area.
Mr. Museveni informed the congregation that government is going to roll out a plan for irrigation using Solar powered pumps to enable farmers to pump water to water tanks in their land for irrigation.
The President stressed the importance of wealth urging all the population to embrace modern commercial farming with calculation noting that it was pointless to have development without wealth creation with calculation. He explained that the funds used for development are derived from wealth.
“If you have 2 acres of citrus you sell and go to the shop. When, you buy clothes for your family members there is a tax on the cloth or sugar fuel and other consumables. Money paid in taxes is the one used to build roads, schools, and health Centre’s. If wealth does not grow even development will be affected,” he pointed out.
The President therefore called on Ugandans not to mix development and wealth, clarifying that wealth is for an individual whereas development is for all. He said each home should contribute to its wealth and that of the nation.
On the Silver Jubilee celebrations of the two priests, President Museveni saluted the clan of the Vice President Jessica Alupo for churning out people who cherish to selflessly provide service to the community.
‘‘We are here celebrating the 2 priests. Priestly life is a life of service and sacrifice. But you remember even the father of Jessica died on duty when he was trying to collect papers for the school where he was teaching during the insurgency. That is why we built a technical school in his memory,” he said.
President Museveni had earlier on arrival commissioned the Technical School built in memory of the late Epel the father of the Vice President Jessica Alupo.
The President observed that the clan of the Vice President Jessica Alupo is a community of Ugandans who understand service and sacrifice and called on Ugandans to commend them for that.
President Museveni thanked the people of Teso in general and Katakwi in particular as well as the clan for donating the Vice President Jessica Alupo to serve the Nation, first in UPDF and NRM adding that in both the forces and NRM donations of the kind are taken seriously.
“If you donate somebody, we take that person completely. She is a good cadre that is why we promoted her,” he said.
President Museveni also applauded the Clan leader Mr. Faustine Imalingat for his insightful remarks that highlighted the importance of education commending the NRM government for taking education to the doorsteps of Ugandans.
“He is telling you that the education people were looking for in St. Peter’s Tororo, Kisubi, Nyakasura and Nyapea among others is now near,” the President said.
The colorful ceremony was characterized by traditional dances led by the delegation from Karamoja that gifted the President with the symbols of power that included a stool, a spear and a shield.
President Museveni drew a thunderous applause from the congregation when he tried a mock fight flinging the spear and wielding the protective shield.
The Vice President, H.E Jessica Alupo told the congregation that her two brothers have lived a very humble life since childhood.
“Lawrence and Paul have never disturbed us. Somehow Paul disturbed us a little bit” she said to the cheerful audience.
H.E Alupo also endorsed President Museveni for the 2026/31 presidential term.
She said their focus right now is 2026 and assured the President that as people of Teso sub-region, they’re behind him come 2026.
“These People gathered here are from Lango, Busoga, Karamoja, Ssebei regions among others but they have been whispering to me that come 2026 We’re together with Mzee,” H.E Alupo said.
In effect, the Vice President handed over instruments of power to the President as per Teso culture, which included a spear, shield and stool.
The function was attended by Cabinet Ministers, Members of Parliament, Papa Emorimor the Cultural Leader of Iteso, delegations from various regions of Uganda and all people of walks of life.