With signals already tendered to government and specifically to President Museveni, what has the Commander in Chief started doing for the youth?
For many years, youth were sidelined on a number of government projects. Those who were fortunate to benefit from government and perhaps President Museveni’s ‘handshake’ were few and their qualification to meet him was also known to only few people.
Many youth in the country have voiced their concerns in past years and recent months on unemployment, missing out on government programs such as Operation Wealth Creation [OWC], Youth Livelihood Fund.
Chains of procedures that must be followed before they are given support has been long and too frustrating.
This style though, is slowly starting to die as the President himself is seeing the anger in youth and the rallies, where all [people under 35 years] are getting united everyday to demand for his retirement – 32 years at the helm of Presidency.
The anger, zeal and determination especially from urban youth have started making President Museveni to reach them and see the kind of business they are undertaking.
It’s important to note that this pressure being mounted on the President’s two shoulders is being championed by youths’ much loved politician – Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine, the Kyandondo East MP.
Wine’s messages through songs and oration in public gathering and lately on international TVs, radios and print media have constantly been about youth plight, with youth unemployment and brutality being his key messages to the Ugandan government and international audience.
Subsequently, and on high demand for better service delivery or #M7MustGo campaign emerged wildly when Bobi Wine who grew up in a suburb in Kamwoya – Kampala was arrested and detained first in the military facility amid torture claim.
This was the first shot Museveni and his government exerted on the desperate youth who, by recent events, seems very ready and was just waiting for that ‘trigger’.
Locally, regionally and internationally, Uganda saw support through protests with message to Uganda government to #FreeBobiWine and other Ugandans arrested during the Arua Municipality MP by-election.
Significantly, urban youth [some who grew up from the Ghetto like Bobi Wine] who are living in Kampala and Wakiso districts held protests, calling for Wine’s unconditional release.
These youth held protests and burned tires in the middle of roads that affected traffic flows along Kira road [Kamwoka] and security had to intervene.
With signals already tendered to government and specifically to President Museveni, what has the Commander in Chief started doing for this youth?
In the month of September, Museveni has toured Kampala and Wakiso districts where he met youth doing a number of businesses and supported their SACCOS.
He has given working tools for those in carpentry businesses and also donated shs.100million to boost their businesses.
The President has visited Najja Furniture and Metal Works Association, Namasuba Furniture Makers’ Association, Katabi Artisans SACCOS, among other youth associations.
He has urged youth to be innovative and creative as his NRM government would no longer import what can be made from Uganda and by the youth.
“Uganda spend over shs.18 billion annually importing all sorts of office equipments like chairs, tables, etc and this is not supporting our economy but donating money to foreign countries,” Museveni said.
He says importation of such items must stop, calling on youth to consider value addition and producing quality products for sale locally and export.
Mr Museveni warned youth in Kampala and Wakiso districts who received his cash and tools [donations] to shun opposition politicians who often criticize government.
He asked them to work with politicians [leaders] who are for government.
Appearing on NTV Uganda news night show on Friday, children and youth Minister Florence Nakiwala Kiyinygi says Museveni has made personal donations to youths in Kampala and Wakiso districts, many of whom she says sleep in corridors.
According to her, Museveni sometimes drives himself to meet these angry youths.
“The President is paid to do his job as he was elected by Ugandans so does me as a Minister. He has driven himself and met this Ghetto youths unannounced [nobody has ever noticed that],” she revealed.
Why Kampala and Wakiso youth?
The National Resistance Movement [NRM] party chairman, Museveni has blamed opposition leaders in Wakiso and Kampala for politically damaging his youth.
He says these politicians are reasons poverty and unemployment is high among the urban youth.
“In entire Wakiso district you’re only remained with only one eye that is Rosemary Sseninde. The district is big and should have been helped if you had voted for NRM leaders. What you did was a mistake,” Museveni said Thursday while meeting some youth in Katabi where he donated items worth millions of shillings.
James Baka, 32, a boda boda rider in Kampala tells TND News Uganda that for 32 years now, he’s finding it difficult to manage his business and take care of his family.
“I have been trying to support my business from boda-boda money. I have heard about Youth Live-hood Fund, etc but not near benefiting,” a father of 3 children, says.