President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni has directed the Minister of state
for disability to write a cabinet paper including a strategy on
prevention and management of disabilities in Uganda.
“We should prevent to the maximum fresh disability because much
of it is prevented. We should Manage and prevent it where
possible,” H.E Museveni said.
The President made the call while delivering a lecture of
opportunity to over 300 leaders of People With Disabilities (PWDs)
from Eastern and Central region, who have been undergoing a one
week Ideological and Transformation Leadership retreat at the
National Leadership Institute (NALI) in Kyankwanzi, today
Gen. Museveni stated that the National Resistance Movement
(NRM) has demonstrated that disability can be prevented by
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getting rid of diseases like Polio, Measles and this strategy should
He noted that some of the diseases like Spina Bifida,
Hydrocephalus, Cerebral palsy are detectable and preventable at
early stages while others conditions like Autism, Down Syndrome
and Blind deaf that are not easily detected and prevented can be
H.E Museveni therefore urged the National Council for Persons
With Disabilities to work closely with the Ministry of Health to
minimize the causes of disabilities as much as possible.
“The National Council for Disability should not just confine itself
with managing our people who are already disabled. It should also
work with the Ministry of Health to prevent and educate our
mothers and all of us to know what to do in order to avoid new
disability cases”, President Museveni said, adding that those who
are already disabled will be looked after well and give them all the
opportunities they need because many of them can perform.
Statistics for the Uganda Bureau of Statistics Census Report
(UBOS 2016) indicate that 12.4% of the Ugandan population, lives
with some form of disability implying that approximately 4.5
million Ugandans are persons with disability hence a development
This disability tribe should not increase in number, according to
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“Don’t say because disability doesn’t mean inability therefore the
tribe should increase no! they should not increase (Njagala
basigale awo). Now you can imagine if we had not intervened
against Polio and Measles, what would be the numbers now? Many
of the polio people are the UPC people (the ones who got polio
under UPC government) but my own grandchildren I doubt very
much that there are many Polio victims,” H.E Museveni remarked.
The President promised to support them and use them as
demonstration centers in the 4 acre Model of farming and also
recruit some of them into the army especially those with special
skills in Computer and ICT.
The Minister of State for Disability Affairs, Hon. Grace Asamo
thanked the President for accepting to close the retreat, which she
described as an unmatched transformative intervention to have
people with disabilities come together for skilling.
“Majority are still in shock, for they cannot believe that someone
at a level of a Head of State can prioritize a person with disability
whom society had otherwise condemned as a curse. Your
Excellency, this is the first time of its kind that we come here and
we pray that it is not the last of its kind,” Minister Asamo said,
adding that another group from Western and Northern Uganda will
also receive the training later this year.
She proposed to the NRM party to have the retreat carried out
annually for people with disabilities.
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“So that by 2026, we would’ve had a critical mass of leaders, people
who are ideologically upright and transformed as leaders,” the
The Director of NALI, Brig Gen. Charles Kisembo said that the
trainees applied themselves very well and proved that disability is
not inability. He further noted that the trainees now know the
foundations of Uganda’s ideology and what informs it, Patriotism,
Pan Africanism, Social Economic Transformation and Democracy.
“They have grasped an understanding of the leadership philosophy
that informs and widens their perception of the world. We are sure
that they have gone away with knowledge and commitment to
transform their country, ” Brig Gen Kisembo said.
Other topics covered included; Mindset transformation,
Transparency and Accountability at local government level, Civil
military relations, Harnessing resources for empowerment and
prosperity, financial literacy and how people with disabilities can
benefit from industrial hubs.
Brig Gen Charles Kisembo however, observed that the first ever
retreat of People with Disabilities organized by the Ministry of
Gender and Social Development has been a lesson to management
at the leadership institute.
He noted that most of the participants left their care givers behind
and this has exposed their inability in relevant supportive
infrastructure and the knowledge gaps in addressing the needs of
people with disability. This means that the National Institute must
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take care of the needs of the people with disabilities as provided
for in the Disability Act.
“Your Excellency we have determined that every infrastructure
NALI develops must have a provision for the PWDS, starting with
the houses that are undergoing rehabilitation. Three of those
houses will be re-designed and equipped for people with
disabilities,” Brig Gen Kisembo said.
He added that the Institute will boost its human resource
component to care of their needs through among other
interventions regularly inviting people with expert knowledge to
equip our trainers with relevant knowledge and skills in handling
people with disability.
Ms Mbabazi Violet, a female councilor PWDs Kassanda district who
spoke on behalf of other participants thanked the President for the
opportunity to be skilled at NALI and promised to continue
supporting his development agenda.
“You know we don’t have any other parent other than you. We’re
your children and we’re speaking NRM. We confirm that we’re
behind you,” Ms. Mbabazi said.
The retreat was also attended by among others Members of
Parliament representing people with disabilities and the district
leaders of Kyankwanzi.