UGANDA: OPPOSITION LEADER FAULTS MUSEVENI FOR PERVERTING NRM MPS TO ABUSE CONSTITUTION

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Mr. Norbert Mao, the leader of the oldest political party in Uganda-DP

“It is not a question of numbers. If the National Resistance Movement (NRM) MPs say Acholi should be declared a National Park because they have the numbers in parliament, then Acholi can easily be declared a National Park. That approach will not settle the political dust we have in Uganda”

“We should adjust ourselves to the constitutional provisions, but not the constitution adjusting to our wishes. The constitution should be our ‘shock absorbers’. Those amendments watered down decentralization. Should we amend the bible? That kind of move is a crude way of doing business”,

GULU-UGANDA: The President-General of Uganda’s oldest political party, the Democratic Party (DP), Mr. Norbert Mao, has said that Dictator President Yoweri Museveni is abusing the large numbers of Members of Parliament (MPs) belonging to his party to abuse and arbitrarily amend the 1995 Constitution to enable him rule for life.

“It is not a question of numbers. If the National Resistance Movement (NRM) MPs say Acholi should be declared a National Park because they have the numbers in parliament, then Acholi can easily be declared a National Park. That approach will not settle the political dust we have in Uganda”, says Mao.

Mr. Mao made the remarks on Friday, December 15, 2017 while opening a public meeting organized in Acholi Inn, Gulu, by the Inter-Party Organization for Dialogue (IPOD) under the theme: ‘Putting Uganda First’; for leaders of political parties represented in the tenth Parliament, Civil Society and the media in Acholi and Lango sub-regions.

Founded in 2010, IPOD is a consortium of political parties represented in Parliament which includes Democratic Party-DP, Forum for Democratic Change-FDC, National Resistance Movement-NRM and Uganda Peoples’ Congress-UPC. It was initiated by development partners to ‘promote interparty dialogue and cooperation as a means for dealing with political differences and managing conflict without resorting to undemocratic means including violence; to foster and facilitate peaceful mitigation and resolution of conflicts within and between political parties, among other objectives’.

Mr. Mao cited that in 2005 alone, Mr. Museveni maneuvered 45 different amendments to the constitution which has ‘removed term limits, consolidated power of government to Mr. Museveni; he now makes thousands of appointments and has removed the power to own minerals underground from landowners and handed it to government.

“We should adjust ourselves to the constitutional provisions, but not the constitution adjusting to our wishes. The constitution should be our ‘shock absorbers’. Those amendments watered down decentralization. Should we amend the bible? That kind of move is a crude way of doing business”, says Mao

There is a debate currently going on in parliament to remove Article 102(b) from the constitution which bars anybody below 35 years and above 75 to stand for the position of president, and to extend the term of parliament from five to seven years. Museveni is now 73 and would not be legible to stand again in 2021 unless that amendment is passed.

Mr. Mao accused President Yoweri Museveni for frustrating the work of IPOD by refusing to attend its Summit meetings since it was founded but sends only junior officials who cannot make independent decisions concerning NRM party positions on IPOD issues.

He appealed to leaders of different political parties in Northern Uganda to put their political differences aside and work together to solve disputes among themselves for the good of the country.

“I believe we are all here because we serve our country. Let us stop thinking that political parties don’t matter in this country. Political parties are indispensible. IPOD was set up to settle disputes and disagreements among the different political parties and promote dialogue-dialogue on matter of Constitutionalism”, says Mao.

He revealed that when he first entered parliament in 1996, he and Mr. Daniel Omara-Atubo tabled a motion in parliament which took the suffering of the people in northern Uganda caused by the senseless war going on between government and the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) at a time when government didn’t want it investigated.

“We presented a minority report signed by only two of us. The beauty of democracy is that you stay in the arena. If you stay you eventually win the battle. I am pleased President Museveni agreed to talks. Today we have peace in northern Uganda. You cannot have dialogue with your friends only but with people who have hurt you too”, says Mao.  “We believe that whether we like it or not, eventually we have to come together to table because we are guided by dreams of a better Uganda”.

 

 

 

 

 

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UGANDA: CHOOSING MUSEVENI AS CHIEF GUEST AT A CULTURAL FESTIVAL ATTRACTS “HULLABALOO”

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A typical poor Acholi man, pauses for the camera while exploring his sesame (simsim) garden in Lamwo district recently.

“Event organizers around the country worth the ink used to write their names know this fact-that President Museveni is Uganda’s only chief guest”

“There is hullabaloo among the Acholi elite-on and offline-about the wisdom or lack of it in Ker Kwaro Acholi (the Acholi Cultural Institution) extending an invitation to President Museveni to be the Chief Guest at the Acholi Cultural Festival scheduled for December 14-16, 2017”

GULU-UGANDA: Acholi Times (www.acholitimes.com)-an online publication, wrote two articles on December 10 and December 12, 2017 respectively; on the wisdom of the Acholi Cultural institution to invite Uganda’s dictator of 32 years, Yoweri Museveni, to be the Chief Guest at the upcoming Acholi Cultural Festival scheduled for December 14-16, 2017.

The article on December 10, had its headline; “Museveni is a Delicate Guest at The Acholi Cultural Festival”.

“If this festival was not merely to bring the president, the vision would have even been stronger. The event would have been followed by Acholi Development Conference, or the cultural institution launching something like Acholi Development Foundation, Acholi Tourism Board, Acholi Bursary Scheme or something like that to rehabilitate education to launch an Acholi Investment Bank to offer soft loans in the Agricultural Sector for grains etc. Farming is Acholi’s comparative advantage as food basket”, reads part of the article that day.

The article on December 12 had its headline; “Acholi Cultural Festival: Hullabaloo over Chief Guest”.

“Event organizers around the country worth the ink used to write their names know this fact-that President Museveni is Uganda’s only Chief Guest….There is hullabaloo among the Acholi elite- on and offline-about the wisdom or lack of it in Ker Kwaro Acholi (the Acholi Cultural Institution) extending an invitation to President Museveni to be the Chief Guest at the Acholi Cultural Festival scheduled for December 14-16 2017”.

In the social media, especially Facebook forum, debate was sparked by one Okano EMar, who questioned, more than three weeks ago, the wisdom of choosing President Museveni as Chief Guest yet he has been on record saying that cultural leaders should not meddle in politics; yet it was under his regime that the Acholi as a tribe, suffered most.

There was a two decade war in the northern Uganda where the people lost their livelihood when their only source of wealth-cattle were stolen, many people were either killed or died of preventable diseases, under his watch and those who escaped death were herded into concentration camps dubbed; “Protected villages”.

“It is very annoying that the Acholi Cultural Institution decided to invite President Museveni to be the Chief Guest yet it was under his leadership that the Acholi, as a people suffered most” adding; “If he doesn’t want cultural leaders to meddle in political matters, then why is he meddling in cultural matters like in this particular event?” asserts Okano.

It is argument like this by Okano, that has forced very many elite sons and daughters of Acholi, both within the country like renowned international lawyer, Nicholas Opiyo; and those in the Diaspora, to cancel plans to attend the three-day’ festival in protest.

“For a long time and for various reasons including repression, conflict, social, economic and cultural regression, the Acholi have not been able to coalesce and celebrate the great attributes that make them a people”, reads part of the concept paper of the festival.

Because of the grave mistake the cultural institution has made, the Prime Minister of Ker Kwaro Acholi, Mr. Ambrose Olaa, addressed a press conference together with some sponsors like Africell telephone company and Uganda Breweries Limited at the Northern Uganda Media Club (NUMEC) and tried very much to correct the damage caused by the invitation to Museveni.

 

According to Mr. Olaa, the organizers have decided to create the position of a Guest of Honor, who shall be the head of the cultural institution, Rwot David Onen Acana II, while President Museveni has been invited as Chief Guest.

“You should not forget that President Museveni is also the Fountain of Honor of this country. If he chooses to come, then he will automatically become the chief guest, by virtue of his status. He has, however, not yet confirmed if he will come or not”, says Mr.Olaa.

Organized under the theme: “Kwero Deyo pa Acholi”, meaning; celebrating the ‘pride and glory’ of the Acholi people, the event is estimated to attract over 10000 guests and over 1000 performers and artifacts and cost over shs.150 million (about $42,000 dollars).

Major activities will include Acholi games, learning history, foods and drink exhibition, music and dances.

“The festival will galvanize and endear the people of Acholi to their culture and tradition, promote the unity of Acholi people and reinforce values such as freedom, faith, integrity, a good education, personal responsibility, a strong ethic, and the value of being selfless”, says part of the concept note.

According to the Presidential Advisor on Agriculture, Professor J.J. Otim, Acholi of the olden days had 200 different cuisines (types of food), but regrets that their cultural institution has kept record of only 56 different types of seeds.

He says the region is full of foreign researchers; he calls ‘gene hunters’ who come to do research on the different types of seeds and take it to their countries; later returning them back to Africa as their inventions.

Will such festival unite the Acholi; or will it bring food to table to a poor Acholi who eats less than a dollar per day?

 

UGANDA HAS NO POLITICAL WILL TO END EXTREME POVERTY AS REGIONAL DISPARITIES MANIFEST ITSELF

 

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A typical grandmother in rural northern region has to take care of her grandchildren.

Uganda’s success is not without caveats. In 2013, more than a third of its citizens lived below the international extreme poverty line of US$1.90 a day….For every three Ugandans that moved out of poverty, two fell into poverty. Poverty has also become increasingly concentrated in the Northern and Eastern regions of the country”

“It is true that there are disparities in economic development. This is not a new thing. The north and east have always lagged behind”

“Is there anything worth mentioning which NUSAF and PRDP have done? The government has no political will to develop the north, but if you see in terms of figures spent in northern Uganda, you won’t believe”

GULU-UGANDA: According to World Bank’s Poverty Assessment report 2016, despite the substantial progress that has been sustained over two decades to end extreme poverty, Uganda remains a very poor country with glaring disparities.

Poverty has become increasingly concentrated in the Northern and Eastern regions of the country as the Central and Western regions have experienced more rapid poverty reduction.

“However, Uganda’s success is not without caveats. In 2013, more than a third of its citizens lived below the international extreme poverty line of US$1.90 a day….For every three Ugandans that moved out of poverty, two fell into poverty. Poverty has also become increasingly concentrated in the Northern and Eastern regions of the country”, part of the abridged version of the report reads.

In 2006, approximately 68% percent of the poor lived in northern and eastern parts of the country. Seven years later, this proportion increased to 84% percent. Poverty has fallen in all regions, but gains have been slower in poorer Northern and Eastern regions.

The annual percent reduction in poverty has been almost twice as high in the Central and Western regions (7.4% and 7.9% percent respectively) than in the Northern and Eastern regions (3.1% and 4.7% percent respectively).

The report shows that high growth from 2006 to 2010 benefited poverty reduction. Although growth slowed for all households from 2010, poor households were able to maintain above average consumption growth and poverty did not falter.

Agricultural income growth particularly benefited poor households aided by peace in northern Uganda, improved regional markets, and good weather.

The Director of the Uganda Media Center and Government spokesman, Mr. Ofwono-Opondo, says the disparity in economic development between northern and eastern regions; as compared to that of Central and Western regions, has always been there but not a creation of the National Resistance Movement (NRM) government.

“It is true that there are disparities in economic development. This is not a new thing. The north and east have always lagged behind” says Ofwono-Opondo.

He says the government is trying to address the disparities in economic development through affirmative action programs like the Peace, Recovery and Development Plan (PRDP) and the Northern Uganda Social Action Fund (NUSAF).

He says the problem has been acerbated by the conflict in neighboring South Sudan which has affected the regional markets for our agricultural produce and is also straining Uganda’s resources.

Informal export from Uganda to South Sudan grew enormously between 2005 and 2008 before the latest round of conflict in south Sudan from US$9.1 million dollars in 2005 to US$929.9 million dollars in 2008. Formal exports also increased, but less dramatically, from US$50.5 million in 2005 to $245.9 million dollars in 2008, according to International Alert report.

“For the north to catch up quickly, there is need to restore stability in South Sudan and the region to move away from rain-fed agricultural practice to irrigation”, says Mr. Ofwono-Opondo.

According to the former Member of Parliament for Chua County in Kitgum district, Mr. John Livingstone Okellokello, the government of dictator President Yoweri Museveni has no “political will” to bridge the gap in disparities between the north and the rest of the country.

He says money which is supposed to develop northern region like NUSAF and PRDP are always stolen by the people recruited on sectarian basis.

“Is there anything worth mentioning which NUSAF and PRDP have done? The government has no political will to develop the north, but if you see in terms of figures spent in northern Uganda, you won’t believe” says the former legislator.

According a member of the National Planning Authority (NPA), Professor Sam Obwoya Kinyera; the north has a lot of potential to develop and catch up with the rest of the country if the region adopts industrialization and educating the children.

“It is true the war took us so many years behind other regions which have been peaceful and their children were getting good education. We need youth empowerment because economic growth depends on education. Western Uganda is high because the people there are educated and have own income”, says the Professor.

A typical poor grandmother in rural northern Uganda

http://www.blackstarnews.com/global-politics/africa/uganda-has-no-political-will-to-end-extreme-poverty-as

UGANDA: JAPANESE NGO BRINGS SMILES TO FORMER LRA VICTIMS THROUGH VOCATIONAL TRAINING

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Ms. Harriet Kilak, demonstrating how to design dresses

“I would like to take this opportunity to send our appreciation to Terra Renaissance for giving us the opportunity to do our vocational training here. Most of us had no opportunity to study because of the LRA war. We had no opportunity to continue with studies. Other students who went through this training are now self-reliant”

“I grew up and was raised by a single mother during the most trying moments of the war in northern Uganda. I am doing training in tailoring and dress designing. Before coming here, I didn’t know how to operate a sewing machine. When I graduate next year, I intend to start up a tailoring school at my village in Lukome”

GULU-UGANDA: I mistook twenty-six-year-old Ms. Harriet Kilak to be one of the trainers of former child soldiers and victims of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) who undergo vocational training at the Terra Renaissance Support Center for Self-Reliance, yet she is one of the trainees at the center herself.

As one of the invited guests to the 4th graduation ceremony of Terra Renaissance’s 7th beneficiaries, I arrived at this center at about 9.30 am local time (6.30 GMT). Ms. Kilak, who was dressed like Uganda’s first lady, Ms. Janet Museveni, with a black & white spotted dress and a cow-boy straw hat, was busy arranging flowers on the chief guest’s table.

I learnt much later during the course of the day, that she was actually not one of the tutors, but a student, after she was requested by management to come forward and a make a speech as a head girl.

“I would like to take this opportunity to send our appreciation to Terra Renaissance for giving us the opportunity to do our vocational training here. Most of us had no opportunity to study because of the LRA war. We had no opportunity to continue with studies. Other students who went through this training are now self-reliant”, she says.

It is now very difficult to comprehend how our unfortunate brothers and sisters, who wore scars of the brutal  war ten years ago, just like Ms. Kilak, has transformed and recovered through the assistances of some NGOs like Terra Renaissance or through personal resilience.

In the case of Ms. Kilak, her father, the late Andrew Latim Ogol, was killed during the insurgency when she was only three years old. She and two other siblings were raised up by her mother, Auma Vicky, from Lukodi protected internally displaced camp where in 2004, 56 civilians were killed by the LRA. Her mother could not afford to educate her beyond senior four at Gulu Army Secondary School.

“I grew up and was raised by a single mother during the most trying moments of the war in northern Uganda. I am now doing training in tailoring and dress designing. Before coming here, I didn’t know how to operate a sewing machine. When I graduate next year, I intend to start up a tailoring school at my village in Lukome”, says Ms. Kilak.

The Center, which is intended to promote reintegration of former child soldiers and victims of LRA rebellion in northern Uganda, provide vocational training in tailoring and dress design, handicraft, carpentry & joinery and small scale business management to enable the trainees be able to generate own income for self-reliance.

The center, which was established in 2006, is being supported by a Japanese Non-Governmental Organization (NGO), Terra Renaissance through funding from that country’s tax-payers and is located in Kanyagoga “A” village, Kanyagoga Parish in Bardege Division in Gulu City.

Another graduates,  27-year-old Ms. Monica Akwero, did not only drop out of school in Primary six from Lalogi sub-county, Omoro district, but she was also abducted by the LRA in 2003 until 2004 and defiled while in captivity. She is now sharing graduation with her three-year old daughter Prossy while in LRA captivity.

Just like Ms. Kilak, it is difficult to know that Ms. Akwero was a former LRA abductee by her looks unless she tells you. She is happily married to a new husband and is determined to educate all her children even without support from her husband, but through tailoring and other economic enterprises she does back home.

“I used to despise tailoring profession, but through the training I had, I now find it a very profitable profession. Vocational profession does not want laziness. I am now determined to buy land and design sewing machines to establish a tailoring school in Lalogi” says Ms. Akwero.

The Regional Manager of the NGO, Mr. Tatsujiro Suzuka, says the mission of his organization is “to restore the dignity, self-esteem and welfare for the disadvantaged through community based psychosocial and economic interventions, as we move towards a society of self-reliance and a total transformation of the society for a peaceful co-existence”.

The Chief Guest, Rwot Yusuf Adek of Pageya Kingdom, told the grandaunts that he was arrested by the government thirteen times in the course of the rebellion because he was trying to broker a peaceful resolution of the conflict which could have resulted in Acholi losing their land.

“I met Kony in 2005 in the jungles of the Democratic Republic of Congo and I briefed him on the plight of the people caused by the war. I told him that the Acholi would lose their land through government plan of establishing permanent settlement while in camps in the region. I told him not to turn his guns on innocent civilians but face the Uganda Peoples’ Defence Forces (UPDF)”, says Rwot Adek.

The Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) was founded by a former catechist in the Catholic Church, Joseph Kony, thirty years ago with the supposed aim of overthrowing the government of President Yoweri Museveni and rule Uganda according to the biblical Ten Commandments.

His campaign of terror, which went on for over twenty years until 2006,  has claimed at least 100,000 lives and drove 2.5 million people from their homes in northern Uganda. As many as 100,000 children have fallen into the hands of the LRA, being forced to fight or enslaved as sex slaves; or as porters.

Writing in the Telegraph newspaper on March 03, 2016, Aislinn Loiling, reported that the LRA abducted 200 people in the months of January and February 2016 alone while Associate Director of Enough Project says the new attacks indicates that Kony’s LRA “is not yet down and out”.

UGANDA: $100 MILLION SPENT ON “MEDICAL TOURISM” CAN PAY STRIKING MEDICAL DOCTORS-JOACHIM BUWEMBO

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Dictator Museveni, who is reported to have siphoned off $230 million to an off-shore account in the Cayman Islands, displays his cows to Ugandans.

“Without reducing the number of actually sick beneficiaries of its medical tourism expenditure (we don’t want to completely annoy the powerful managers of our natural resources), government can just cut out their shopping allowances and the non-vital joyriders who accompany them, and pay well doctors in hospitals who treat the vast majority of unconnected Ugandans”, says Mr. Buwembo.

 

“Minus 52 Sundays and a dozen public holidays, Uganda pays one million dollars every three days of the year to take members of lucky families and their companions on medical adventures abroad. Half of that (50 million dollars) could raise each of the striking 1,500 doctors’ monthly salary by $30,000 dollars per doctor”.

 

GULU-UGANDA:  Industrial strikes by medical doctors who work in government hospitals has entered its third week, thereby paralyzing works in government health facilities across the country.

As if that is not bad enough for Uganda, industrial strikes by public prosecutors have entered its second month bringing congestions in our detention facilities like prisons and police stations since suspects of criminal nature cannot be produced before court without these striking prosecutors.

Industrial strikes are not new to government who has always dealt with them in ad hoc manner. Those who held industrial strikes before include teachers of primary schools, lecturers in institutions of higher learning, non-teaching staffs at public universities; nurses and midwives; among others.

Each time strike occurs; government negotiates with the umbrella body of those striking and has always partly fulfilled their demands.

Ugandans have been discussing the strikes by medical doctors on social media a lot lately and many blame government for encouraging such strikes instead of dealing with the problem of salary disparities in public sector comprehensively and head-on.

According to one commentator on social media, Mr. Joachim Buwembo, Uganda government spends between $100million-$300 million dollars annually on “medical tourism” for VIP’s families to travel abroad to seek medical services, yet the total amount government budgeted for health services in the current financial year is a paltry $0.5million dollars.

 

“Without reducing the number of actually sick beneficiaries of its medical tourism expenditure (we don’t want to completely annoy the powerful managers of our natural resources), government can just cut out their shopping allowances and the non-vital joyriders who accompany them, and pay well doctors in hospitals who treat the vast majority of unconnected Ugandans”, says Mr. Buwembo.

 

He says the 1,500 striking doctors who work in government health facilities need a maximum of $50 million dollars to satisfy their needs but Uganda pays one million dollars every three days of the year to take members of lucky families and their companions on medical adventures abroad.

“Minus 52 Sundays and a dozen public holidays, Uganda pays one million dollars every three days of the year to take members of lucky families and their companions on medical adventures abroad. Half of that (50 million dollars) could raise each of the striking 1,500 doctors’ monthly salary by $30,000 dollars per doctor”, asserts Mr. Buwembo.

There has been mixed reactions from government. In fact, Mr Museveni has ordered military and police medical officers to immediately replace the striking health workers in hospitals across the country. The two institutions have however responded by inviting members of the public to seek treatment in their health facilities instead. While dictator Museveni issued threats of dismissal from government payroll, the minister of Health, Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng is using a softer language of appeal.

 

“Government appeals to all medical doctors to return to work immediately as their concerns are being addressed”, appeals Dr. Aceng.

 

The highest workers in public institutions includes the Governor of Bank of Uganda, Mr. Emmanuel Tumusiime Mutebile who earns colossal shs.50 million (about $14,000 dollars); Ms. Jennifer Musisi of Kampala Capital City Authority who earns shs.43 million (about $12,000 dollars); Ms. Doris Akol of Uganda Revenue Authority who earns shs.40 million (about $11,000 dollars); Mr. Richard Byarugaba of National Social Security Fund, who earns shs.39 million (about $10,800 dollars); and Mr. Robert Kabusenga of the Vision Group who earns shs.37.3 million (about $10,277 dollars a month.

 

While those managers of government corporate bodies earn in tens of millions of shillings, their counterparts, who have the same qualifications, but are in government ministries earn far less.

An intern doctor, for instance earns just shs. 960,000 (about $270 dollars). The striking doctors want him moved to shs.8.5 million (about $2360 dollars per month). The lowest public prosecutor who earns shs.645, 000 is now demanding shs.9 million ($2,500 dollars).

 

The committee tasked to review salaries for public servants has proposed big increases for different categories, which if effected will more than double the wage bill from the current shs.3.5 trillion (about $97.2 million dollars) to shs.6.4 trillion (about $177 million dollars).

The committee, which is supposed to submit its report at the end of November 2017, is intended to eliminate pay disparities and ensure pay enhancement across the public sector.

“It is not necessary to go on industrial action. I am on your side. I want scientists, pilots, doctors and other professionals to get what they would earn in the market if they were working outside the country”, says Museveni, in a softer voice.

According to a leaked report by a German publication, The Suddeutsche Zeitung, Dictator Museveni has siphoned away $230 million dollars from Uganda and banked it in an off-shore account at the Cayman Islands.

UGANDA: YOUTHS EXPLORE LIFE CHANGING EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES THROUGH SOCIALIZING AND SPORTS

YOUTHS TRAINING

Uganda youths use social events like sports to get employment opportunities.

“I had to quit that job after only one and half months because of poor pay and yet I was supposed to work extra hours”

“When a pig is hungry, it will eat its own piglets. Our government has become greedy like a pig and so we are telling our brothers and sisters that our problem can only be solved by us”

“Sometimes I would spend the whole week without money. I am now trying to get exposure through attending social events like this football tournament, where corporate bodies also attend, with the sole aim of getting rewarding employment”

GULU-UGANDA: What if, after several years of studying in an intense degree program at the university, you graduate, only to find out that there are no jobs within your field? This is very frustrating. Most graduates end up doing odd jobs outside their qualifications for meager pay just to survive.

According to Mr. Wilber Watmon Jaramogi, his first job after graduating with a higher certificate in Software Engineering in December 2016, was that of a cashier and as an assistant manager at a pork roasting joint in Gulu city. He was being paid only shs.100, 000/= (less than $30 dollars) per month.

“I had to quit that job after only one and half months because of poor pay and yet I was supposed to work extra hours”, says Mr. Watmon.

Although Mr. Watmon applied for different job opportunities, or even starting his own business, he was lucky in getting his foot in the job market. He was being told to wait for jobs while his business venture had not picked up.

“Sometimes I would spend the whole week without money. I am now trying to get exposure through attending social events like this football tournament, where corporate bodies also attend, with the sole aim of getting rewarding employment”, says Mr. Watmon.

The football tournament was organized by the Operation Manager of Queen’s Apartment, 24-year old law graduate, Mr. Anderiya Ono Langoya, on Saturday, November 11, 2017 as part of the activities to unveil the new family business located in the heart of Gulu to corporate bodies; and also to bring youths together to network with such bodies.

“Many youths in Uganda who leave college find it difficult to get employment. As a business, we thought it prudent to bring together with corporate bodies so that they interact.  Who knows, some of the youths can get employment opportunities”, says Anderiya.

He says much as they would like to hold such tournament ever year; funding, getting the corporate bodies to sponsor and the political will to support the youths are lacking in our leaders.

23-year old Ms. Linda Alouise Mary, a graduate from Makerere University who specialized in Ethics and Human Rights, says getting a job in Uganda depends on the kind of connection you have in workplaces and money to facilitate your job hunt  ‘bribe’ employers.

“You have to know someone in the working environment in order to get employed and also to bribe them. You are not taken in if you don’t have money”, says Linda.

According to statistics available in the public domain, unemployment rate in Uganda increased to 2.28% (percent) in 2016 from 2.15% (percent) in 2015.  The average unemployment rate per annum, from 1991 to 2016, stands at 2.41% (percent), yet universities and other institutions of higher learning send out not less than 700,000 every year up from 400,000 in 2012, according to the Daily Monitor of January 17, 2012.

A study conducted by the International Labor Organization (ILO) and Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBS) indicates that between 5% (percent) to 13% (percent) of Uganda youths are unemployed more so, most of  the idle youths are also not actively seeking work.

On June 17, 2014, a group of unemployed youths in Uganda, calling themselves: ‘Jobless Brotherhood’, took three piglets that were painted with yellow color to Uganda parliamentary building in order to tell the world that the National Resistance Movement (NRM) government is composed of ‘greedy’ leaders. The color “yellow” is NRM party color.

“When a pig is hungry, it will eat its own piglets. Our government has become greedy like a pig and so we are telling our brothers and sisters that our problem can only be solved by us”, says Mr. Robert Mayanja, one of the leaders of Jobless Brotherhood.

In January 2005, another group of youths which calls itself “Unemployed Youths”, were arrested and detained when they tried to register unemployed youths in Uganda to present to parliament.

Corruption, nepotism, tribalism, bribery, low pay, delayed pay, lack of skilled personnel and limited experience are some of the factors affecting employment opportunities in Uganda. This has left an entire generation of youth beret of a right to live with dignity.

According to a survey conducted by the State-Owned New Vision newspaper in 2014, 73% (percent) out of the 771 youths surveyed were unemployed.

 

UGANDA: MUSEVENI TO FACE HIS AFRICAN PEERS ON DEMOCRACY, ECONOMIC AND POLITICAL GOVERNANCE

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Consultations on African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) report in Gulu.

“I want to thank you the leaders of northern Uganda for the hospitality. This is the second review mission for Uganda by a committee of 18 experts who are in different parts of the country to find out if there is improvement in the situation in Uganda since the fist review was held so as to sustain dialogue”

“If all the laws were enforced, then Uganda would be a different country. It seems that all the good laws made in Uganda are implemented in neighboring Rwanda”,

GULU- UGANDA:  Uganda Dictator of 31 years, President Yoweri Museveni, will face his African Peers in January 2018 together with the presidents of Liberia and Sudan to assess and review their performances in democracy, economic and good political governance in their respective countries.

This was revealed by the leader of a ‘6-member committee of experts’, Mr. Dalmar Jama- a Somali national, on Monday, November 6, 2017 from Churchill Courts Hotel in Gulu during consultations to see if what is contained in the self assessment report prepared by the National Governing Council for member states of African Union on the situation on Uganda represent the views of Ugandans.

The African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) is mutually agreed instrument voluntarily acceded to by the member states of the African Union in 2003 as a self-monitoring instrument to assess, present progress, and provide lessons on how to enhance good governance.

There are only 36 out of the 56 countries in Africa who have agreed to be assessed under this protocol to establish and validate governance performance and highlight good practices and challenges in their respective countries.

This is the second country review mission for Uganda since 2007 on four thematic areas of the Mechanism namely: Democracy and Political governance, Economic governance and management, Corporate Governance; and Broad-based socio-economic development. The first assessment report was presented on June 29, 2008 at the APRM participating heads of states Forum which was held in Sharm-el-Sheik, Egypt.

The process leading to the production of the report was guided by a comprehensive questionnaire provided by the Continental APRM Secretariat that all countries which have volunteered to participate in this process adhere to.

“I want to thank you the leaders of northern Uganda for the hospitality. This is the second review mission for Uganda by a committee of 18 experts who are in different parts of the country to find out if there is improvement in the situation in Uganda since the fist review was held so as to sustain dialogue”, says Mr. Dalmar Jama.

Opening the consultation meeting, Gulu district chairman, Mr. Ojara Martin Mapenduzi, observed that authorities in Uganda lack ‘goodwill to implement and enforce the good laws’ in the country.

“This is good initiative because it will make government to know what others in Africa expect of us. This is ‘positive criticism’. Uganda has beautiful laws and policies but the question is whether we are making good use of these laws?” Adding: “if all the laws were enforced, then Uganda would be a different country. It seems that all the good laws made in Uganda are implemented in neighboring Rwanda”, says the district boss.

What is contained in the report?

On entrenching constitutional democracy and rule of law, one of the recommendation states that ‘the constitutional review under the 10th Parliament considers reinstating the Presidential Term limits to the previous two terms of Five years. The consultation in Gulu also added that Article 102 (b) of the Constitution on presidential age limit should not be amended.

In order to sustain Uganda on the path of sound Public Financial Management (PFM), the assessment recommends that government ‘meets its commitment under the PFM Act 2015 as well as with Development Partners under the Partnership Policy to ensure prudent use of public resources, a zero tolerance to corruption and efficiency in use of public funds.

On promoting and accelerating broad-based sustainable socio-economic development the report recommends that although the country is focusing on large scale infrastructure projects, it is prudent that ‘critical investments are prioritized for social sectors’ for accelerating human development.

It also recommends that Uganda improves the political, legal and institutional environment in order to maintain and improve ability to ‘finance own development plans and programs’.

Uganda recorded total debt burden to the tune of 36.90% of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2016, thereby making it unsustainable.