NEW VISION, Kampala, Wednesday, 7 November 2007

Uganda: Museveni Cautions Youth On Circumcision

Fortunate Ahimbisibwe

PRESIDENT Yoweri Museveni has said circumcision should not be promoted in the fight against HIV/AIDS, as it will encourage recklessness among the youth.

Addressing over 500 youth delegates who attended the Youth Activist Forum on Tuesday at Hotel Africana in Kampala, Museveni said he would continue advocating for the ABC strategy (Abstinence, Faithfulness and Condoms.)

"Some NGO's have been saying rubbish about circumcision but I will continue encouraging the youth to abstain, and use condoms only if they must. How many Bagisu have died of AIDS and yet all of them are circumcised?" he asked.

"You would rather use a condom as a fall-back position but not rely on circumcision."

Museveni warned the youth against contracting HIV/AIDS and encouraged them to get married immediately after school.

"By the time you get your first degree when you are 24, you should find a responsible partner and enjoy the rest of your lives together. Getting a partner should be a process but not meeting in the bus park and getting married."

He added that Uganda's population growth rate was not a problem.

"At 30 million, we should not be worried. Japan, which is about the same age as Uganda, has over 120m but it's a fast-developing country. Population is not the problem here, the problem is underdevelopment and this is what we are trying to address."

On the controversial land give-aways to investors, Museveni said this was part of an effort to create employment for the youth.

"Your enemies are the people who are delaying these industries and fighting for small pieces of land, therefore delaying employment for you."

He warned that the Government would attach the property of people who get money through SACCOs and fail to pay it back.

"This is not going to be like the Entandikwa. If you fail to pay back, your property will be attached."

The forum, a precursor to the Commonwealth Youth Forum to take place in Kampala later this month, was organised by the Global Forum for International Cooperation.

(File created 13 November 2007)