Recently, recruitment exercises in state security agencies turned away many unemployed youth due to limited posts. This signals a failed policy in a slowly failing private sector.
NRM leaders who adopted such policy reforms recently attributed high interest rates to the absence of a national bank like the former UCB, which they partially sold amidst protests from Ugandan economists. The declining performance of agriculture is attributed to lack of private investments in the sector.
This has increased poverty levels from 20 per cent in 2013 to 21 per cent in 2016/17. This, therefore, requires policy review to ensure micro and macroeconomic stability in the country. Privatisation all the non-performing state enterprises like Uganda Telecommunication is a good solution.
Let competent Ugandans manage the state companies like any other profitable ventures. Government ought to know that our major infrastructure projects like hydro power dams, roads and railways, and airports construction are being contracted and financed by Chinese state-owned companies.
Our public sector can become the engine of economic growth as it was during the days of Uganda Development Corporation. Government of Uganda must move swiftly to rejuvenate all cooperatives nationwide to restore the growth of agriculture in rural areas as this holds youth in those areas.
There is need to re-establish a national bank to help finance different sectors.
Pipeline investor should not affect water bodies
As Uganda gears towards the much-awaited oil production phase, the East African Crude Oil pipeline (EACOP) is one of the key components that will transport crude oil from Hoima to Tanga port in Tanzania.
However, this pipeline comes at a time when the entire world is talking about sustainable development and climate change, which is related to the way we are utilizing our natural resources for development.
This pipeline in Uganda was designed to pass through more than 200 wetland sections. Most of the districts that this pipeline will traverse are located in the cattle corridor and are water-stressed.
The proposed technique for water and wetland crossings (open trench) has the potential to cause significant negative impacts, particularly in wetlands. Yet this seems to be ignored and the EACOP ESIA report does not make clear that: why the proposed technology is acceptable.
This way of digging almost two to three meters in the wetlands with a right of way of almost 30 meters means some wetlands will totally be destroyed. A lot of flora and fauna will be destroyed and in case of any spillage, the effects will be severe since our wetlands are systems that end up in open trans-boundary water bodies.
Therefore, the developer of the pipeline needs to elaborate in detail the way in which the crossings of the major rivers and associated wetlands will be done. A particular element of attention is how stretches with a water depth of two to three meters will be crossed.
The developer should also specify where and when potential interference between the water supply for the project and that for the local communities could take place, including its duration and who will be affected.
The mitigation and compensation measures for disturbing watering points for animals during construction are also not sufficient. Impacts could be highly significant for individual farmers. The same holds for loss of natural resources.
They should also elaborate what provisions have been put in place to cater for activities directly linked to some of these water sources, like brick making, sand mining, vegetable growing and communal resources like grazing.
All this is done after cabinet and presidential directives on cancellation of land titles in wetlands and conservation of wetlands respectively. The president has also of recent noted the need to conserve wetlands amidst increased pressure from investors.
Promote domestic tourism
Following the government’s bid to upgrade the Source of the Nile tourism site, we need to focus more on domestic tourism. Domestic tourism promotes our rare identity and is a source of national pride to the citizens.
The growth of Uganda’s tourism sector is partly dependent on the promotion of domestic tourism. Many people neglect the sites in their own country, preferring to take vacations to places like Dubai among other places.
It’s the role of core bodies in the tourism sector like Uganda Tourism Board, among others. It is important that we tap this revenue by promoting our own sites.
Kudos to parliament on sorting KCCA
The leadership of Kampala Capital City Authority had turned to be comic, bizarre and unproductive over the continuous verbal and legal leadership
struggles between the lord mayor, minister for Kampala and the authority’s technical team.
However, to ease the flow of work at the authority, parliament, chaired by the Deputy Speaker Jacob Oulanyah, considered key changes in the KCCA amendments, which will help to curb all misunderstandings in the city leadership.
MPs have decided that the lord mayor should no longer chair KCCA’s council meetings. MPs went ahead and ruled that the lord mayor should remain the political head of Kampala.
This meant that the council will have its own speaker and maybe form a cabinet. However, all the decisions will be implemented by the technical team of KCCA. We should thank the NRM MPs who are the majority in parliament for approving this amendment.
But in particular, we thank the government chief whip, Ruth Nankabirwa, who moved a motion of not going in for a vote but, rather, suggested for a consensus which all MPs welcomed and later approved.
These amendments will not only benefit the city council leadership but also the division mayors who will be able to own budgets and create their cabinets.
Domestic violence against women degrades our morals
There is increasing domestic violence in Uganda today and it has affected mostly women in the families. There are a number of issues behind this: alcoholism, mindset problems of taking women as inferiors, riches, the need to show power by some men and leaders, among others.
Some women have died as a result of this. Property has been lost and in the end marriages broken. At first many of us thought that this habit was in the villages, saying that urban men are more civilized. But the level at which women are violated against in both the urban and rural
areas is worrying.
However, when such actions happen, those who take part in them care less about the children, who are psychologically affected. A number of children have left their homes and landed on streets due to the violence on their mothers.
Today, a number of youths are not interested in getting married in fear of being violated. All people should stop domestic violence against women. Let us be role models for our children.