Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni on Tuesday, November 12, publicly took issue with President Uhuru Kenyatta’s sentiments on the change that he envisioned for the country.
Museveni was speaking during the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD25) at the Kenyatta International Conference Centre KICC.
After narrating to the delegates the progress that his country had achieved under his leadership, Museveni stated that he had taken issue with a few things that President Uhuru had highlighted.
“I was listening carefully to the speeches until President Kenyatta made a point that was worrying me. As I am coming to match with you for gender equality, I want to point out that you cannot achieve the agendas you have highlighted if the society does not change itself,” he stated.
Museveni cautioned Uhuru against leaving marginalised communities unrepresented in the national conversation, something he opined would derail the country’s development agenda.
“You are not going to keep your Turkanas and Maasais, and your Pokot on the other side, I know them, because I live with them. Give them an equal opportunity if you want to achieve the goals you are planning to achieve,” Museveni stated.
He further added that while he had no problem with African culture and traditions, the decision to maintain what he described as ‘traditional societies’, needed to be followed with a corresponding plan that honours their aspirations.
“If you have to keep a traditional society, then make sure that you give them an opportunity. You cannot keep a traditional society and expect them to achieve middle-class goals,” Museveni remarked.
President Kenyatta had committed an eleven-point agenda which he stated was with a view to achieving the goals of the ICPD program of action.
Among some of the ideas were the implementation of the Competence-Based Curriculum (CBC), monitoring, and evaluation of policies relating to sustainable development at county and sub-county development.
Kenyatta had also made ambitious pledges towards combating infant mortality, HIV, eliminating Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) by 2022 and eliminate Gender-Based Violence (GBV) by 2030.
The 25th ICPD conference was organized by the Kenyan and Danish governments in partnership with the United Nations Population Fund (UNPFA).
Uhuru’s speech at the ICPD
Yoweri Museveni’s speech