“Only an Idiot Can Die of Hunger in Uganda” – Foreign Minister Claims

“Only an Idiot Can Die of Hunger in Uganda” – Foreign Minister Claims


What You Need to Know: 

Speaking to Ugandan Television channel NTV earlier this week, Foreign Minister Henry Okello Oryem claimed that due to the nation having fertile land, no one should be dying of hunger.

The Minister stated, “Only an idiot, a real idiot, can die of hunger in Uganda.”

Continuing, “Those are idiots because there is enough food in Uganda. If you work hard, there is land in Uganda, the climate is right despite climate change.” 

“If you make an effort to go out in the morning to till your land, plant your seed and maintain your plantation, surely, how then can you fail to get food?”

According to an Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) Report on the Karamoja region of Uganda, 342,000 thousand people are projected to experience high acute food insecurity in 2024. 

The report adds, “The Karamoja region in North-east Uganda has been chronically plagued by food insecurity and malnutrition, which are closely linked to weather related fluctuations, poor environmental conditions, high prevalence of diseases, weak infrastructure, high food prices, localized conflicts and civil insecurity, inadequate food access, poor dietary diversity, structural poverty, low-value livelihood options, poor hygiene and sanitation, and morbidity. 

The region has the highest food insecurity and malnutrition levels in the country. It is one of Uganda’s poorest regions, with income poverty at 66 percent (having increased from 61% in 2017) and food poverty at 75 percent (having increased from 70% in 2017).”

Oryem was appointed Foreign Affairs Minister in 2004 and is the son of former Ugandan President Tito Lutwa Okello. Tito came to power through a coup in July 1985 and served as President for six months before transferring power to Yoweri Museveni of the National Resistance Army (NRA). Museveni has held the position of President since. 

Additionally, some political analysts describe the Museveni government as an ‘illiberal democracy.’


Bianca Bridger
Bianca Bridger
Bianca Bridger is a Political Science Graduate from the University of Otago, New Zealand. Currently working as an Editor for The ModernInsurgent and writing for Atlas News, her interests include conflict politics, history, yoga and meditation.
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