President Yoweri Museveni decorates HH the Aga Khan during the 55th Independence Day celebrations in Bushenyi

President Yoweri Museveni has issued a sharp warning to Ugandans opposed to lifting presidential age limit, saying he will not allow the country to be thrown into chaos.

Museveni noted that the freedom in Uganda was bought with blood adding that it is with the same blood that the country’s peace will be protected if anyone tampered with the ‘peace and security’ Ugandans are enjoying.

He made the remarks this afternoon during the celebrations to mark 55years of Uganda’s independence held in Bushenyi district.

The President took a swipe at those he accused of attempting to distort the peace of Uganda, wondering how they claim to be democratic yet they are the same people who aren’t allowing people with divergent views to express them.

Without directly mentioning any names of individuals or groups, Museveni said; “Uganda’s independence and democracy was bought with blood of our patriots, therefore, nobody will be allowed to undermine it. I want to assure all Ugandans that the NRM government will continue to maintain peace and stability in Uganda.”

Museveni’s statement followed chaotic scenes that marred Parliament on September 27, 2017, after Speaker Rebecca Kadaga suspended 25 legislators for three sittings and plain clothed security operatives swung into action to evict the MPs.

As is norm, the President cited ‘the peace and security’ that was ushered in by his rule, but hastened to acknowledge what he termed a ‘few security spells’ following the women murders in the Entebbe. He however, assured the nation that his government is ‘on top of the game’ to put the crimes to rest.

“There has been a spate of crime but we are getting to bottom of this crime. We have made a lot of arrest and we are getting to that problem of crime,” Museveni said.

The President also called on Ugandans to be grateful for the peace they are currently enjoying, thanks to his leadership.

“But you know crime is different from terrorism and war. I want to assure you, nobody can bring back terrorism and war in Uganda,” said the President.

On how the regime intends to solve the problem, Museveni revealed that government is in plans to introduce ‘new methods’ which he said would be much quicker in terms of getting criminals.

As opposed to other national celebrations that have seen hundreds of medals dished out, this time round only 2 medals were given out.

Among the recipients were spiritual leader His Highness Aga Khan, who expressed gratitude to Museveni for awarding him with the highest civilian honour in Uganda, the Most Excellent Order of the Pearl of Africa, Grand Master medal.

In his speech, the Aga Khan, who has hundreds of investments spread across East Africa, noted that he was looking forward to the future of Uganda in hope, aspiration for better quality of work.

“My institutions have been here and it is my hope they will participate in improving lives for better generation,” he said.

But the medal awarded to businessman Hassan Bassajabalaba is what raised eyebrows, with government justifying the award saying the reportedly scandal-plagued man has contributed to the growth of both the education and health sectors of Uganda.

Meanwhile, Museveni also took a swipe at political leaders in the country, blaming them for seeking cheap popularity, instead of advising the locals into venturing into wealth creation projects.

He explained; “In pursuit of cheap popularity, the political leaders have abandoned their responsibility of guiding the population. I call upon all political leaders to shun pursuit of cheap popularity but promote the ethic of work otherwise many will stay poor.”

The President noted that although the country has made a number of strides in terms of economic transformation, this transformation would have been faster if people were serious about their jobs and businesses.

He particularly pointed out youths who wake up to gamble, playing cards and other games without taking part in any productive work.

After the function, the State Minister for Youth Nakiwala Kiyingi took advantage of the  endear herself to Museveni by parading what she called a group of ‘leaders from Democratic Party’, who had longed to have a photo opportunity with the President.