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Minister Oryem Okello: Ugandans Dying of Hunger are Idiots

Hunger Killed Over 2000 Ugandans in 2022 -- Report

Junior foreign affairs minister in charge of international relations Henry Okello Oryem

Henry Oryem Okello, the Ugandan junior minister of foreign affairs in President Yoweri Kaguta Tibuhaburwa Museveni’s government, is on the spot after saying that people dying of hunger are idiots.

Minister Okello’s statement puts thousands of Ugandans in the category of fools. A 2022 Uganda Human Rights Commission (UHRC) Report on the State of Human Rights and Freedoms in Uganda released in May 2023 indicated that prolonged dry spell had trigger hunger killing at least 2,255 people the Karamoja Sub-region districts of Kotido, Moroto, Kaabong and Napak. The numbers could have been higher.

The UHRC report further indicated that children and the elderly  over 60 years of age were the most affected. In Kaabong District, 225 people – 104 males and 121 females – starved to death, and so did  188 people in Napak, and 35 in Moroto.

President Museveni alluded to the hunger-related deaths in Karamoja in his address to the delegates at the recently concluded Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) summit in Kampala.

Museveni told delegates that the images of people starving to death in Karamoja were “not representative of all of Africa,” adding that “we are dying from food here.”


Museveni’s minister Oryem Okello has now said those dying of hunger are idiots.

He said with the fertile soils and favourable climate, there is no way anyone should be dying of hunger if they choose to work hard, tilling the land and tending their gardens.

“Those [people dying of hunger] are idiots – real idiots that can die of hunger in Uganda. Those are idiots because there is enough food in Uganda,” Minister Oryem Okello told NTV.

“If you work hard, there is land in Uganda; the climate is right in spite of some changes. If you make double efforts to wake up in the morning, till your land and plant the seeds, you maintain your plantation, surely, how do you fail to get food?”

It is not uncommon for Museveni’s government officials to brag or even speak as though they just landed from mars. One of such top officials previously told Ugandans that her posh car does not feel the potholes in Kampala. She also said she will not be treated at dilapidated hospitals when she falls sick but will rather be flown to America for specialized treatment. (Read Details Here and There).

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