President Museveni Implores Families to Create Wealth as Uganda Holds First-Ever Inter-Religious Family Festival

President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni has implored families to take part in wealth creation to ensure the wellbeing of their members. 

“A family must have wealth. If you have got a head of the family who is not a wealth creator, we don’t refer to him as a head of the family, we instead refer to him as a vagabond,” he said. 

President Museveni made the remarks today during the first-ever Inter Religious Family festival at Kololo Ceremonial Grounds. 

The event ran under the theme: “Celebrating family, faith, freedom: One family under God for African Renaissance”. 

The President highlighted the values of a traditional African family which include;  Fearing God, respect the spirits of the ancestors, care for the family members who are alive, make wealth, produce and care for children, respect and obey parents as well as education. 

“Even traditionally, you had to learn how to fight but also some of the people learnt other things like Emyooga such as skills, farming and defence,” he said. 

President Museveni further noted that the religions brought by foreigners are a value addition to the African tradition. 

“That is what I advise; that these religions did not come to replace our base but to enrich it and when you take it like that you will not go wrong. The modern religions such as Christianity, Islam and others added value to whatever we are doing,” he said. 

“But the traditional way had some weaknesses which we must get rid of like the mistreatment of women, rivalism among families, among others.”

President Museveni also expressed gratitude to the organisers of the event, saying that as the government,  they are firmly behind the family as the base of society. 

“Those who are preaching the other line of course they are not right, we know about homosexuals and lesbians and we have told our friends from the west that homosexuality after we had analysed it,  we found out that it was a deviation from normal. Now the Western countries are trying to say that it’s not deviation but an alternative way of life and for us we say no, it’s not, we cannot have two ways of life,” he said. 

“I want to thank the Global Peace Foundation of Dr. Moon for bringing this occasion here.”

The President further advised the young people to take life very seriously to ensure a bright future.  He also cautioned them against involving in immoral acts like having sex before the right time. 

“Don’t play with your life, you need to be very strict with it. When you are young, respect your parents, study and help your parents at home. The parents should also expose their children to life and work,” he said. 

“Don’t try to be a wife or a husband when you are not married. Concentrate on your studies. When you finish your studies, I then encourage young people to get married.”

The First Lady and Minister of Education and Sports, Maama Janet Museveni said the festival reminds Ugandans of the essentiality of a family in God’s plans and purposes. 

“The idea of a family festival comes at a better time given the significant challenges the countries are facing across the globe in regard to sustaining the values and morals essential for an integral and productive society,” Maama Janet said. 

“God’s intention at the time of creation was for the family to be the foundation for the nurture of children as responsible members of society from the spiritual, social, cultural and moral perspective. Regrettably, today a cherished African traditional system is increasingly being weakened with new family patterns as a result of globalisation and other factors.”

Maama Janet pointed out government efforts, including policy frameworks and legislation like the Traditional and Cultural Leaders Act of 2011, as key for cultural institutions to advocate for positive norms and customs. She appealed to religious and cultural leaders to promote co-existence of cultural and religious values. 

“We all have a duty to purge offensive cultures from our society.”

She stressed the need to combat harmful practices like defilement and child sacrifice. 

“I appeal to all Ugandans to teach and model positive values for the next generation’s benefit.”

“Through these efforts and by the grace of God, we will witness families and a nation free from vices such as juvenile delinquency, moral decadence, corruption, and substance abuse,” she said.

Furthermore, Maama Janet thanked the Inter-Religious Council of Uganda, the Global Peace Foundation, and the Government of Uganda for organising the festival. 

“Thank you all for turning up in large numbers to celebrate the Family Festival 2024.”

The Minister of State for Public Service, Hon. Grace Mary Mugasa who represented Hon. Muruli Mukasa, the Minister of Public Service said the festival was organised by the Inter Religious Council of Uganda in conjunction with the Global Peace Foundation and the government of Uganda. 

“Today we are aiming to revitalise family values,” she said. 

The Global Peace Foundation also honoured President Museveni and Maama Janet for championing family values, culture and religious freedom in Africa. 

The Chairman and Founder of the Global Peace Foundation, Dr. Hyun Jin Preston Moon said their vision is to ensure that before God, the human race is one family. 

“The purpose of creation is family; a family of a man and a woman who are co-creating with God in building His kingdom and that is one family under God,” Dr. Moon said. 

He thanked Ugandans for denouncing the ungodly act of homosexuality. 

“I was told that here in Africa, you recognise that marriage and family is between a man and a woman. That is the universal truth,” he said. 

The Peace Service Ambassador and Global Peace Foundation-Uganda Director, Mr. Milton Kambula thanked the Inter Religious Council of Uganda for taking ownership of the vision, mobilising and coordinating Ugandans as well as facilitating the whole process of making sure that the event is a success. 

“Your Excellency, I want to tell everyone that we are here inspired by the idea of one family under God as championed by the testimony we are signing today,” he said. 

Dr. Joseph Sserwadda, head of the Born-Again Pentecostal faith in Uganda, lauded the President for liberalising the religious sector. He highlighted that Family Day celebrates family values, love, and compassion, emphasising that families under God contribute to building a stable nation.

“When families are stable, they create a solid foundation for society. Everyone has the right to life and liberty. Mothers deserve special care and attention,” he said. 

Dr. Sserwadda added that marriage should be entered into freely by both eligible parties, with husband and wife as equal partners.

“Families hold the primary responsibility for nurturing children, ensuring their harmonious development in an environment filled with love and understanding,” he noted.

He advised that societal institutions should assist parents in nurturing their children.

“Parents should actively define the education their children receive, ensuring it aligns with their religious and moral beliefs,” Dr. Sserwadda added.

He discussed the dual impact of globalisation and digitalization, emphasising the need for guidance in using technology responsibly.

The event was also attended by the Vice President, H.E Jessica Alupo, Ministers, Religious and cultural leaders among others