Minister Okello Oryem faces backlash after saying Ugandans dying of hunger are idiots

Posted on Jan 24, 2024
By LTAuthor


The State Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Henry Oryem Okello is on the spot after saying that people dying of hunger in Uganda 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.”

The minister who was speaking in an exclusive interview with NTV Uganda Wednesday 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?”


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