How “poor youth” were trapped by Development Channel company

Development Channel's Charles Lambert [L] explains to police officers. KMP photo.

With Uganda government fighting each fiscal year to reduce on youth unemployment rate through a number of government and donor’s programs, intervention by some private companies have been questioned and doubted.

Some youth are either being trapped directly or indirectly by organization or companies proving to help them – interestingly some selling to them modern gadgets. Others pay for it and wait for years to receive it or not at all!

A brief survey conducted in greater Kampala districts by this online newspaper reveals that – 4 out of 10 youth believe youth livelihood program is good for their development and quickly reducing over dependency.

Six (6) out of 10 said they do not think enterprises listed under YLP is good for them. Some says undertaking metal works or piggery are businesses done by remote people.

Two of the respondents say they use social media (smart phones) to market their grocery and boutique shops respectively – thanks to development channel ‘intervention’.

“I was able to use a smart phone i received from development channel to market my business. Because I wanted to expand it to other areas, I needed more phones from them which I paid – however, to date, I haven’t received it,” a lady who involved herself into development channel dealings told us on condition of anonymity.

“Around November last year, I, like other friends who had paid monies were promised their phones would arrive soon. It became a dream and I felt cheated on learning I was dealing with dubious company,” she added.

Has has DC transformed youths, Ugandans with their interventions? These questions have been answered in negatives, with many calling for government to ban such companies or organization defrauding Ugandans.

Many also told TND News that strict measures must be taken on DC and individuals dealing with them, to protect vulnerable citizens from sufferings.

Last year, after Lambert’s second arrest, Kampala Police said over 100 criminal cases was opened against the company and directors.

This was after the company collecting monies to provide ‘modern smart phones” to its clients but either intentionally or not, taking too long to deliver supplies, or not at all.

Many (youths) claim their hard-earned money were fraudulently taken from them.

A one Aciro, a victim told us last year she had paid over shs700,000 to the company but her phone “could not come” for a year.

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