ALUPO VISIT CEMENTS BROTHERHOOD BETWEEN BOTH COMMUNITIES SEPARATED BY COLONIAL ADMINISTRATIVE BORDERS!
The mood at Uganda-Kenya border of Malaba over the weekend was of a joyful tempo as Vice President Maj. Jessica Alupo made a triumphantic entry into neighbouring Kenya.
Alupo was in accompany of a powerful team including Emorimor Papa Paul Sande Emolot, Sate Minister for the Disability Hellen Grace Asamo and over 16 Members of Parliament hailing from the Ateker people in Teso Sub-Region.
The all rounder Second-in-Command, had made a one-day private visit to Kenya on the invitation of Rt. Rev. John Okude Omuse, the Bishop of A.C.K Diocese of Katakwa Kenya yesterday.
Alupo who for the first time entered Kenya through Malaba one-stop border was received by H.E Dr. Otuoma Nyongesa, the Governor of Busia County (Kenya), security chiefs and other high ranking leaders from the Kenyan Government.
During the colorful visit fully sanctioned by Gen. Yoweri Museveni and his Kenyan counterpart William Ruto, the Vice President attended a short prayer in Katakwa Cathedral, addressed and motivated the girl child at St Thomas Girls Secondary School.
She further held an exclusive leaders meeting at the Bishop’s office and later addressed the Ateker people at St. Thomas Cathedral Grounds.
Alupo noted that the people of Uganda and Kenya are blessed with a natural bond which is God given. “We are sitting here as Iteso of Kenya and Uganda. We also have the Samia of Kenya and Uganda. We also have the Bagisu of Kenya and Uganda in Lwakaka, etcetera, etcetera. This clearly shows we’re one. We should for that matter, embrace teamwork and unity for socioeconomic development” she said.
She stressed that between Uganda and Kenya, we find very strong cultural groups which are God given emphasizing that we can therefore not squander this bond of blood.
“The best we can do is to strengthen our unity as people of Kenya and Uganda because as Africans we are one,” Alupo said.
The Vice President was all smiles that the people of East Africa have demonstrated that unity is strength adding that from the earlier three East African states, the community right now boasts of eight members including Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi, South Sudan, Somalia and DR Congo.
“This clearly demonstrates that humanity is first priority. As Africans, we belong together as a people and we do not support any form of sectarianism,” Alupo said.
ABOUT THE VISIT
She told the bishop that her delegation had visited Kenya to demonstrate to the Ateker people that they have brothers in Uganda who care for them. Alupo said the existing colonial boundaries are basically for administration but we the two groups have the same cultural values.
She thanked the government of Kenya and Uganda for the prevailing peace and stability which enabled them to show solidarity between ourselves.
Alupo however, appealed to the Iteso people in Kenya to demonstrate nationalism by loving their country (Kenya) to which they belong, adding that as government of Uganda, it is committed to ensuring that harmonious co-existence with the government and people of Kenya continues.
She said when the people of Uganda, Kenya and East Africa are united, it becomes very easier to implement development programs.
Alupo called upon the Ateker people to support government programs with dedication.
“It is very important to pay attention to programs especially on education because it is a weapon one can use to the change the world,” Alupo said and urged parents and leaders to support both boy and girl child to ensure they complete the education cycle.
She thanked the Papa Emorimor, the bishop, the people of Katakwa and Busia county for the invitation and warm reception accorded to her during this maiden visit.
THANK YOU SISTER FOR VISITING KENYA
Meanwhile, Dr. Nyongesa said that as the people of Busia Kenya, they were extremely delighted by the Vice President’s visit.
“You have not only come here as a very senior government dignitary but also as a person who is coming at home and a sister,” he said and described it as a clear testimony of East African federation which he lauded Gen. Museveni for his untiring efforts towards achieving and realizing it.
“Whether you’re in Kenya or Uganda we are one people. Your visit is a clear demonstration that the Iteso people are one,” Nyongesa declared.
He noted that when people are together, they build strong families and when families are strong, even communities become stronger hence reserving their cultural values.
The king himself, Papa Sande with joy also urged attendees to uphold cultural norms and traditional practices of the Ateker.
In another development, the host Bishop John Okude, commended the Vice President for coming to share with the Ateker people of Kenya. He said the Iteso community living in both Kenya and Uganda have over three years yearned for stewardship towards their re-union and partnership.
“I thank the Vice President for offering the much needed stewardship and leadership” he declared.
Moving forward, the Ateker people handed over a Memorandum of Understanding to Alupo who promised to address all the raised with her boss, President Museveni.
The MoU contained majorly four issues. These included documenting Iteso culture and language, supporting cross-border trade, professional exchange programs and lobbying for support for ACK Diocese projects.