The State House Comptroller, Ms. Jane Barekye has urged politicians to support the Presidential development programs such as the Zonal Industrial Hub Initiative so as to increase their political mileage in their respective constituencies.
According to Ms. Barekye, if politicians become part and parcel of the Presidential initiatives and they come out successful, it will be very easy for them to convince their voters that they indeed did something to develop their areas, thus making it easy for them to be voted again back to their political offices.
“Political leaders, there’s a slogan that I always hear called “Political Mileage”.Now the President of Uganda has already given you enough political mileage by instituting this program of skilling the youth in the country,” she said.
“So hold unto their [graduates] hands, guide them into your constituencies, let them get capital, let them get small contracts from local governments and let them serve their families. Next time you are not going to look for votes because the President has already played a big role for you in your communities through such initiatives.”
Ms. Barekye made the remarks yesterday Monday, 9th January, 2023 during the graduation ceremony of 201 youth at Tooro Zonal Industrial Hub in Kijigwa village, Kijigwa Parish, Katooke Sub-county, in Kyenjojo District. The successful beneficiaries received Level I Certificates after training in different vocational disciplines such carpentry, welding, tailoring and hairdressing.
The Comptroller also expressed gratitude towards President Yoweri Museveni for having Uganda at heart and for always working around the clock to come up with ideas that would transform the country socially and economically.
“We have to thank President Museveni because he is always thinking of how to transform this country,” she noted.
“To the graduates, do not sit on your skills, please look for opportunities to improve your livelihoods. Parents if you have capacity please give them that start up capital as government also comes on.”
Ms. Barekye further revealed that State House was going to set up a well equipped Common User Facility at the Hub which beneficiaries will use to produce good free of charge, sell them and earn a living.
“Also embrace other government programs like Parish Development Model (PDM) to fight unemployment. 30 percent of the model funds was allocated to the youth. Leaders please help to guide these youth in how to access such funds,” she said, adding, “Our beneficiaries, you’re the pioneers, please don’t kill the name of the initiative, fight so hard so that you come out successful. Fight poverty and develop the economy of Uganda. The President is going to be proud of you.”
Dr Faith Kunihira, the Woman Member of Parliament for Kyenjojo District, commended President Museveni for initiating the project of skilling the youth, saying that the program will greatly help to curb the challenge of unemployment in the country.
Hon. Kabahenda Flavia, the Kyegegwa District Woman MP also Chairperson of Committee on Gender, Labour and Social Development tasked stakeholders to work hand in hand to ensure that beneficiaries are always given working tool kits upon completion of their training to make it easy for them to put their skills into good use.
“I would like to implore you to put up a small program to link up the Directorate of Labour and Employment Services in the Ministry of Gender so that we can be able to tap into business tool kits and also invite the President to work on this budget of the Juacali and business tool kits so that after this skilling, we give them tools right away,”she said.
Hon. Asaba Paul, the Kyaka North MP stated,” We really need to support this program. If any matter comes to Parliament, we the Members of Parliament we are going to support skilling and if it comes to budgeting, we shall do the same because these young people need to be given serious support.”
Eng. Raymond Kamugisha, the Director of Presidential Projects and Industrial Hubs at State House also advised the graduates to look for more opportunities by upgrading to Level II (Senior 6).
“Now you have level I (Senior 4) make sure you upgrade so that you can be able to enjoy other privileges like contesting for Parliamentary seats,” Eng. Kamugisha said.
On the other hand, Ms. Cynthia Kamasaka, the Manager of Tooro zonal Industrial Hub said they admitted 203 students from six administrative districts namely; Kyenjojo district, Kamwenge district, Kabarole district, Kyegegwa district, Kitagwenda district and Bunyangabu district. However, two students dropped out because they had registered for courses which they didn’t have at the hub, thus leaving the number to 201.
She said the students were trained in mindset and vocational skills for five months starting from 3rd August 2022 up to 23rd December 2022.