By Godfrey Tinka
Patriotism is the core value of National Resistance Movement (NRM) government. It was President Museveni’s original mission which lead to establishing the Uganda Patriotic Movement (UPM) in 1980. Which gave birth to NRM, that is now in government.
But after fourty two years of President Museveni efforts on patriotism, you can hardly find any fruits of his efforts across the country.
I was so heartbroken when I travelled the villages of Napak and Moroto districts and found people dying of starvation. I carried in my hands four grandmothers to the hospital for treatment and all the doctor said was these people have no sickness but it is only that they have not been eating and they have worms.
Meaning, they had nothing to eat yet the worms were feeding on them? These women had been abandoned living by themselves and no one could share food with them.
Yesterday, I on August 4, saw a letter authored by the Town Clerk of Nabilikut town council to the Chief Administrative officer indicating that 225 people had died due to starvation in just that town council.
I can understand when floods come and kill people in Mbale district but hunger doesn’t kill in a day, it takes over a week before someone dies.
How can this happen in a country where the president upholds and preacher’s patriotism? Did patriotism change it’s meaning to selfishness?
We have set up three feeding centres in Moroto district and are now feeding 150 people in those centres. We provide these people breakfast lunch and super.
Our monthly budget to feed these people is just sh20m which I hear is less than what a Member of Parliament takes home monthly.
How can a Patriotic government choose to pay one person what could keep 150 people from dying?
I also read in the newspaper that statehouse spends Sh600M on donations every day. Would it not be appropriate to consider us for this donation?
With Sh600M a month we can set up 86 such feeding centres and save 4,300 Karimojongs from starvation.
Please note the Karamongs we are trying to save from starvation are the elderly who were abandoned by their families and relatives. They are too old to be productive.
The evidence of patriotism I desire to see is caring for one another. If hunger is to kill, let it kill all of us not just the elderly and abandoned while others are looking health.
In bid to build patriotism let’s share stories of the same to inspire others to do the same. God bless you!
The writer is a Pastor of Hillside Church, Katalemwa in Kampala.