President Museveni Hosts African Parliamentarians, Calls for Unity and Self Reflection to Defeat Imperialists

President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni on Friday 3rd May, 2024 hosted and welcomed a delegation of African parliamentarians at State House Entebbe.

Addressing the delegates, President Museveni highlighted the impact of African weaknesses at the expense of imperialism, stressing the need for self-reflection and unity among Africans. 

President Museveni pointed out that Africa’s vulnerabilities have allowed imperialists to exploit the continent, making it imperative for Africans to address internal issues such as greed and disunity.

“Therefore, the main problem is ourselves, the Africans. We give the greedy opportunities to thrive. For example, if you get drunk on the roadside and you sleep on the road and a thief comes and takes money from your pocket, yes, you may say that the thief is to blame because he was not Christian enough and did not take advantage of you. But how about you, who made yourself drunk and helpless? Aren’t you the primary guilty party? The imperialists are weak, they are not strong, and they overestimate themselves, so we must act now,” the President said.

The meeting coincided with the conclusion of the three-day second African Inter-Parliamentary Conference hosted by the Uganda Parliamentary Forum. It was focused on family, values, and sovereignty and held at Imperial Resort Beach Hotel in Entebbe. 

The conference chair, Hon. Sarah Opendi, informed the President that the conference aimed to address challenges such as cultural colonisation and the influence of external forces on African culture and sovereignty. She noted that this year’s conference was themed: “Reaffirming our family and cultural values”.

President Museveni reiterated the importance of rejecting politics based on tribe, race, religion, or gender identities, advocating instead for a focus on common interests and patriotism. He emphasised the role of economic prosperity in transcending tribal boundaries, citing Uganda’s experience in prioritising market access over identity politics.

“And the problem has been the pseudo-ideology of politics of identity based on tribes, race, religion, and gender (man or woman). All that is part of misdiagnosis because if you say you are a leader, you need to be like a medical doctor who looks at a patient, correctly diagnoses the disease, and prescribes the correct medicine for you to heal. Part of the problem you have been hearing in Africa has been the pseudo diagnosis by first of all our chiefs before Europeans came and after,” President Museveni said.

He added that Uganda was among the victims of pseudo-ideologies until 1965 when their student movement decided to fight those who fronted politics of identity, which had kept the continent backward. 

He gave an example of his tribe, the Banyankore, who are cattle keepers and farmers in the modern economy, producing beef, milk and bananas, stating they wouldn’t have been prosperous if they fronted their identity.

The President said prosperity comes from producing a good or a service and selling it.

“Because of that, my neighbor does not buy from me  because he has beef, milk, and bananas, which I also have. So, if you say identity, how do we solve our problem? And what use are they to me? People in Kampala are the ones who buy my milk, beef, and bananas. They are the ones who support my tribe in prosperity. So how can I accept the fake politics of identity and forget that my prosperity is actually coming from the people of Uganda who are not of my tribe? That’s why, therefore, as a student movement, we rejected the politics of identity, despised it, and knew it is used by opportunists who have no value with nothing to add to society. And therefore, we pushed the politics of interest. If somebody is supporting your interest, is he not a friend? That is why the first principle of our movement is patriotism – love Uganda because you need it for your prosperity,” H.E Museveni emphasised.

Furthermore, President Museveni highlighted the historical resilience of Africans in the face of external pressures, citing examples of resistance against colonialism and external support from allies such as Russia and China. He urged African leaders to prioritize solidarity and cooperation in defending African sovereignty and values.

“The next historical mission is strategic security. How can Africa be secure, including addressing the cultural and military assaults? You saw what happened to Libya, an African country attacked by external forces,” the President noted.

“The African Union said no, leave us alone, we shall handle Gaddafi. They ignored us and attacked Libya. Therefore, our movement has long been advocating for Ugandans to understand that prosperity comes from loving Uganda, East Africa, and Africa. Additionally, strategic security will stem from Africa working together,” he stressed.

The President added: “The third historical mission is to recognize the fraternity of the African people. They tell you that you are different races and people, but careful study reveals that Africa has only four language groups. One group is the Niger Congo language family, which includes the Bantu. The second group comprises the Nilo-Saharan, Afroasiatic, and Khoisan languages. In the case of East Africa, we are even luckier to have a direct, non-tribal language like Swahili, developed at the East African coast. Therefore, the arrogance of Europeans is truly a manifestation of African weaknesses.”

In response, delegates expressed their solidarity with President Museveni’s efforts to defend African values and sovereignty, calling for greater unity among African leaders in the face of external pressures. 

They emphasised the need for transparency and collaboration in addressing challenges such as legislative treaties that undermine African interests. 

Rt. Hon. Fabakary Tombong Jatta, the Speaker of the National Assembly of Gambia, expressed gratitude to President Museveni for providing a platform for dialogue despite his busy schedule. 

The Gambian speaker commended the second African Inter-Parliamentary Conference, emphasizing its focus on reaffirming African family and cultural values, noting that Uganda’s hosting of this conference underscores its pivotal role as a beacon of African values.

“Your Excellency, we are here once again at the second African Inter-parliamentary conference, this time reaffirming our African family and cultural values. The first was done in Uganda and the second still here. This indicates that Uganda now serves as a face of Africa on the issue of family and African values. Let me thank you for your Pan-Africanist attributes. You have inspired many young African leaders with your consistency, commitment, and determination to defend our African sovereignty, our cultures, and values,” he added.

He also took a moment to commend President Museveni for his unwavering commitment to Pan-Africanism, which has inspired countless young leaders across the continent, stressing the importance of African leaders embracing, upholding these values and urging solidarity as the pathway to Africa’s progress and enlightenment. 

Echoing Jatta’s sentiments, Hon. Bishop Jackson Kosgei of Kenya hailed President Museveni’s dedication to championing African interests, particularly in preserving the continent’s identity and values. 

Bishop Kosgei expressed solidarity with Uganda, citing the passage of the Anti-Homosexuality law as a testament to Uganda’s commitment to its principles. He condemned external sanctions against Uganda, likening them to an attack on the collective identity of all African nations.

He also called upon African leaders to ensure that the voices of their people are heard and respected, especially within the African Union, as he emphasised the need for transparency in legislative processes. 

Bishop Kosgei also urged leaders to inform their citizens about treaties and agreements that may impact their collective efforts.