Independent presidential aspirant, Mr Joseph Kabuleta, said he has kicked off his campaign in Gulu City in northern Uganda because the region has been marginalized for the last 35 years by the current regime led by President Museveni.
Mr Kabuleta, disclosed that while other regions of Uganda were peaceful, northern Uganda continues to carry the burden of the two-decade Lord's Resident Army (LRA) war, a situation that has made the region to lag behind in terms of individual and infrastructural development.
Speaking to his supporters at Hotel Bomah Limited on Monday, Mr Kabuleta, said it was regrettable and disheartening for the people in northern Uganda to experience the consequences of what he described as "useless war."
"I visited Gulu District in 1997 at a time when I was a journalist. There was turmoil and people from the villages trek for several kilometers to spend the night in peaceful places just because of bad governance," Mr Kabuleta said.
The former sports journalists further said it is time to rally the locals in the area to abandon traditional ways of farming and embrace commercial agriculture so that they could catch up with other regions.
He said he would task district agriculture officers in the region to ensure that they offer advisory services to farmers like proper land use of fertilizers, control of pests, post-harvest handling, among others.
"Uganda is endowed with fertile soil. I will come up with deliberate affirmative actions for the people of northern Uganda since my aim is to put money into people's pockets instead of just a few Ugandans holding money," Mr Kabuleta said.
Rev. Pastor James Opoka, also a senior citizen in Gulu City said he got convinced after listening to Pastor Kabuleta's manifesto but wondered if all his dreams were achievable since he is running as an independent candidate.
Another supporter, Rev. Pastor Langol Edward Nam, said Mr Kabuleta had a good manifesto but he feared it might be difficult to replace a sitting president like Yoweri Museveni, 76, who has a rich military background.
"I like your plans for the people of northern Uganda. The only worry is if Mr Museveni will allow a civilian leader to take over government," Rev. Pastor Langol asked.
However, in his closing remarks, Mr Kabuleta, asked his supporters to have confidence in him saying, "I have a reputation to protect when you. Vote me as the president and I will fulfil all my promises".
The war in Acholi sub region lasted nearly two decades between the LRA and UPDF. Tens of thousands of people lost their lives, more than 1.5 million were confined in IDP camps while several women and children were abducted and recruited in the rebel group as fighters.
Source: The Monitor