OPINION: If Makerere University can import gowns from China, are we interested in BUBU?


Makerere University students who graduated in recent years. Courtesy photo.
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

By Milton Emmy Akwam

In Buy Uganda Build Uganda [BUBU], we are looking at improving our country’s limping economy and to appreciate our innovation.  

I have also been told that, BUBU is a strategy aimed at promoting the use of locally manufactured goods by local but skilled personnel.

The Author.

I was informed prior that the demand of this BUBU policy will also demand Ugandans to position themselves in order to play respective roles in building the Ugandan economy and reaping from it.

In mid-2019 while speaking to the nation, President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni said he was no longer “importing his suits” from outside markets – not even from his favourite China. The President also said that he was buying his popular white-long-sleeved shirts from a local market in Uganda.

The Head of State was telling us the values of BUBU and I think those with mandates to implement this policy listened to him, and have been reminded often how and why we should own it.

Since BUBU was launched, key government institutions [MDAs] in my thinking have disobeyed the “BUBU pact” of not procuring, for example: their staff uniforms, office furniture, and other items from foreign markets.

And to prove my assumption right, our own top academic institution, Makerere University has reportedly imported 7,000 or [more] graduation gowns from the People’s Republic of China.

Our Makerere betrayed the “BUBU pact” and have gone ahead to distance herself from the transaction.

The denial has come because patriotic Ugandans might have reminded her about BUBU benefits to the country; also because they [concerned citizens] know there are many local companies with the capacity to supply gowns – perhaps at a cheaper price.

Even when Team Uniform Limited was solely contracted to supply these gowns, my question are: don’t we have the raw materials to make them from here? Was the supplier going to get huge loss?

Talking in terms of numbers, we have also ‘exported’ Uganda shillings 1.3 billion to China in buying 13,509 gowns for the same numbers of the students to graduate.

“The gowns were imported because we didn’t want to compromise on quality just for the sake of promoting local investors,” university’s communications department defended the deal.

Whereas it’s only Makerere University who have been recognized for “breaching BUBU pact”, like I said earlier, there are so many government institutions, private institutions breaking this “law” and what will our key principals do?

The Pearl of Africa’s viewpoint of national content is high on the need to give favouritism to goods produced or available in Uganda and or services which are rendered by true citizens and their companies.

Did Makerere University or a company she hired took into consideration, and I quote, “that the desire for government to protect national content is in the requirement for any provision of goods or services which are not available in Uganda to be undertaken by a company that has entered into a joint venture with a Ugandan company which must have a share capital of not less than 48% in the joint venture?”

Should all top intuitions start behaving like Makarere University? Because we are good copying things, not patriotic as we claim, BUBU will die – and a new slogan will be found and it will again die.

Let’s build our local economy, let’s be proud.

The writer is the Founder & CEO of GLCSMS LLC, TND News

Twitter: @MejaAkwa, Email: akwamemma@gmail.com, Mobile: + [256] 700 702 961

688 Views

  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
Previous Praises only as Obadiah Akaki, late Obote’s brother is dead
Next Adjumani’s Lavie Country Resort writes to reject hosting Bobi Wine