Dear Afande Muhammad Kirumira, we appreciate your work in curbing criminal activities in parts of Buyende, Wakiso and Kampala.
The strategies you applied remain admirable. Like any other human beings, challenges come to you but how you handle and overcome them matters.
You might be passing through a lot but the means you use to express them is unprofessional, unethical and diminishes the organization you are working for.
You clearly know that Uganda Police Force has a code of conduct and procedures which you have failed to follow.
If a senior officer like you is not following the law and the code of conduct of your organization, which image are you showing to the junior officers?
Even though you say they are just concocting cases against you, who will believe you when you physically shout in the police ‘court’ and disrespect your superiors?
Afande Kirumira, cool down, listen to your soul first and think about the young officers and the public who are following you.
These things can be handled diplomatically.
We need gender parity in access to resources
As Uganda joins the rest of the world to celebrate the 2018 international Women’s day under the theme “press for progress”, there is a strong call-to-action to press forward to gender inclusiveness in access to factors of agricultural production.
Agriculture can be an important engine of growth and poverty reduction. But the sector is underperforming in Uganda in part because women face constraints that reduce their productivity.
Although more women (82 percent) than men (66 percent) are engaged in agricultural production, they control less than 20 percent of the outputs.
Only about 25 percent females have individual owner rights over land parcel holdings compared to their male counterparts who stand at 32 per cent.
It should be noted that the agricultural sector strategic plan intends to promote commercialization of prioritised agricultural commodities, especially among smallholder farmers given that most of them (about 69 percent) are still stuck in subsistence production.
However, this plan might not see the light of day without addressing gender disparity in access to land. Women need to have secure land tenure so they can invest in sustainable agriculture production without fear of being cheated or evicted.
Further, there is gender disparity in access to credit in favour of men. The percentage of females who seek and obtain credit for agricultural purposes (11.5 percent) is much smaller than that of their male counterparts (15.3 percent).
Therefore, there is a strong call-to-action to increase credit availability and affordability to all Ugandans but more so for women. This will help to relax the cash constraint that frequently impedes investment in agricultural productivity-enhancing technologies.
Although access to extension services is generally still limited, it is lowest among females. Increasing access to extension overall but more so for women is bound to lead to increased adoption of improved technologies in agriculture.
Currently, disproportionately fewer women than men access and use seeds of improved crop varieties, fertilisers, herbicides, and pesticides, among other recommended technologies for sustainable agriculture.
Thus, attaining gender parity in access to factors of agricultural production remains of paramount importance and is expected to ensure that women benefit from their labour and enhance their contribution towards inclusive economic growth and poverty reduction.
The author is a research fellow at Economic Policy Research Centre (EPRC).
Govt’s takeover of railway welcome
In 2005, the Rift Valley Railways Consortium (RVRC) from South Africa was awarded a concession to manage Uganda Railways Corporation for 25 years.
RVR’s contract was, however, terminated recently by government, citing breach of contract and causing financial loss of over Shs 2.4 trillion. Management was reverted to Uganda Railways Corporation.
I feel this was the right move by government and Ugandans are set to benefit. First, I am sure URC will help revamp passenger trains to help reduce on the hustle for taxis in the city centre especially during peak hours.
URC’s takeover also comes with employment opportunities for our own graduates.
Fix Dadamu bridge of Arua
I would like to register my sincere anger towards the local authorities of Dadamu sub-county in Arua district.
I recently took a short route to Arua town via Dadamu sub-county and what I saw was disastrous. Local authorities here have continuously failed to repair the only bridge along River Osu that connects the sub-county to the rest of the town.
The bridge is in a despicable state, yet many people use this route. There is a part that is still operational but it will soon fall off due to the too much pressure.
Disband ineffective environment bodies
All environment-related authorities such as Nema and National Forestry Authority have been given enough time and have completely failed to deliver.
Therefore, I request MPs that as they debate the National Environment Bill, 2017, they should repeal all those authorities and leave all powers regarding environmental protection to the public, ministry of Water and Environment and the local government authorities.
Inject all money formerly used by those authorities into the responsible ministry and local governments for easy monitoring.