A collection of views,ideas about Uganda's politics,lifestyle!


BACKGROUND

Government recognised the need for an integrated system to identify citizens for national planning, national security, democratisation, revenue collection, and service delivery and immigration control among other purposes. With   this system in   place, it   would offer   Government a valuable mechanism   for addressing its challenges in planning, security, and more efficient provision of social services.

 All the above are fundamental reasons needed for Uganda’s registration for its citizens, however, how applicable is the beautifully crafted law?

 The controversial clauses for example Clause 39) “Change of sex of a child”, saw many membersID of Parliament fold their sleeves, ready to rebuke anyone or anything that suggested change of sex, as homophobia kicked, many MPs’rebuked the west for this influence.

 Given Parliamentarians rather radical views on homosexuality, the old clause was “ change of sex “, it was later amended to read “Registration of Children born hermaphrodites” it provided that a media doctor verifies these children as hermaphrodites.

 One would perfectly understand MPs’ fear of the clause providing for change of sex given their “moral beliefs” but one has to put in mind that some Ugandans that leave their country and change their sex from female to male.

Does this mean they will not be registered as citizens?

 “We Parliament to pass laws while considering reality, that people change their sex.” Said Minister for Justice and constitutional Affairs Kahinda Otafiire

The response to the minister’s advice can only be compared to noise from the market place as MPs’ rebuked him and his views on homosexuality.Speaker Kadaga asked MPs’ to legislate carefully, for some children are born hermaphrodites, they have both male and female organs and they would need to be registered under the new bill.

 But even with this change in the clause, question remains on how many women in Uganda have no access to medical care when it comes to childbirth, so how do you expect one to reach a genetics doctor to verify the sex of a child?

 The law is packed with an unrealistic requirements, Clause 40 Sub clause 2) requires a Ugandan to have a national Identification before receiving any services from of government or any other institution providing, these services such as:

 One seeking employment; identification of voters; application for, and issuance of a passport; opening of bank accounts; buy of insurance policies; the purchase, transfer and registration of land by any person or any transaction connected with the purchase, transfer and registration of land; pension and social security transactions etc

 Key question is how many Ugandans did register for a national ID? With all the shortfalls in the registration system, there were media reports where some places had no computers, or personnel, lack of equipment.isn’t hypocritical for a Government that failed to provide this service to some of its citizens, to turn around and refuse its citizens access to services?

(To the unemployed youth, make sure you registered for your national ID before you start to look for employment)

 The law also prescribes the data collected from the national ID registration, may be used by the electoral commission to update, keep up the voter’s register.The opposition tried their best to fight this clause; they questioned how genuine the data collected was for the electoral commission to pick and use the data.

 “The entire registration process was handled by the militarily, how are we sure that they did not register ghosts given the upcoming 2016 elections” asked MP Muwanga Kivumbi

 With Uganda’s Ghost history, in the different sectors from ghost teachers, ghost hotels, the opposition is worried that come 2016 elections, we are likely to have legally recognised ghosts who can vote.

 If one has not registered, according to this law, one will not access social   services, including   social security services, health, education and welfare benefits; without the possession of a national ID.

 It is a fact that penalties should be put in place for anyone who does not register however to limit ones’ access to core services like Education and Health care is simply inhuman if one’s to consider the crafty registration process that Ugandans were subjected to.

 “Giving unguided power and discretion to a person to restrict a service is simply unfair to Ugandans given that it is the role of any Government to give these core services to its citizens” said MP Ssegona

 The Death certificate and burial permit, this is under Clause 4,A   certificate of cause of death shall be forwarded immediately by the medical officer to the registration officer.

 The medical officer shall, on signing a certificate of death, issue a disposal permit to the person taking charge of the body of the deceased. Incase a person dies and the cause of death is not known, then relatives have ask court for a burial permit before the body is disposed off.

Reading this clause, I actually thought it was a joke, given our hospital facilitates and the lack of storage room for dead bodies in Uganda, I wonder where the dead bodies will be kept as one waits for a death permit.

 Plus the judiciary system lacks judges to preside over these many of the legal matters, where will these judges be found?

Some religions like Islam demand that a person is buried that same day, then what happens if there is no judge or the investigation on the cause of death goes on for a month?With the deadly disease like Ebola, cholera, how is one supposed to wait for a burial permit before they dispose off the body?

 The aim of the law is to harmonize and combine the law on registration of persons; to offer for registration of people; to set up a national identification register; to set up a national registration and identification authority; to provide for the issue of national identification cards and aliens identification cards.

 In conclusion, The Registration of Persons Act is a law that Uganda needs, however it is in bad shape and needs a reality check before it can be passed into law.


Now that graduation is over, many graduates are moving from door to door, brown envelope clutched under their sweaty armpits, for the fear that the sweaty palms, coupled with the accumulated dust will ruin the neatness.

At least 400,000 graduates (including s6 leavers joining the work place) are produced each year at the various public and private universities thanks to liberalization of education. Unfortunately, projects registered by the Uganda Investment Authority show that only 150,000 jobs are created annually leaving an estimated 250,000 potentially jobless.

unemployment-line

Youth in Uganda are an undeveloped power; we are largely ignorant of our own capacity, often without inward guidance towards our vocation; we are unadjusted to the society in which we must find a place considering we take up 70% of the population.

Full of energy and aspiration, yet we do not know how to expand the one or realize the other. Because our education system has made it a point, that we aspired to be professionals, studied particular subjects, our energy focused on achieving that dream of being a doctor, lawyer, journalist.

Even the job market teaches specialization in what you do. Now many are finished with school, only to be vomited out by the same education system and the specialized employment sector that taught them the things we know.Left to search for employment, yet one studied to become a doctor, the job market dictated that the only way to become a doctor is through medicine school.

“Youth is possibility; that is its charm, its joy, and its power; but it is also its limitation. ”

“George Eliot has pointed out a striking peculiarity of childish grief in the statement that the child has no background of other grief’s against which the magnitude of its present sorrow may be measured.”

Many employers want experience, how do you ask me for 3 years experience when I spent my childhood waking up at 6 am to go to kindergarten and specialize for the job market says so, so when youths whine about unemployment, they have nothing to compare to the grief they feel after all the years in school.

I challenge employers to recognise that good employees are made in the workplace and not in the classroom, to incur the cost of training youths to fit the kind of employees that they are looking for.

The necessity of working gives society steadiness and stability; when a large population of 70% youths are freed from this necessity, irresponsible mobs take the place of orderly citizens, and the crowd of idlers must be fed and amused to be kept out of mischief, this is the dilemma that Uganda is facing.

The daring schemes of youths enlisting themselves under the National Association of the Unemployed (NAU) with others branding themselves as “poor youths” “Unemployed youths” depicts a disgruntled constituency with capacity to endanger national security. Soon this will be breeding ground for anger and frustration that many harbour.

(And who would blame them?)

Others blame the absence of vocational training in higher institutions of learning, which instead promote elitist education as opposed to pragmatic skills. Vocational institutions teach the hands on kind of work, skills that would put icing on our “professional” courses we offer.

My solution to youth unemployment is focus of diversity, of the education system in terms of programmes,why can’t i offer physics and also study history? there should also be diversity in the job market.

I challenge fellow youths to pick interest and pursue things you love, be the doctor that paints for you love art, be the lawyer that writes fiction because writing is your passion, be the social scientist that finds vehicle mechanics fascinating, you never know when these passions could come in handy. But most importantly pick an interest Banage!

 


History is made in the 9th Parliament, chaired by the Speaker Kadaga, as members of Parliament failed to agree on a decision to approve a motion.

“Since I have been Speaker, we have never failed to resolve a motion” said Speaker Kadagamacaroniskeleton

Dr. Bayigga Michael P. Lulume (Buikwe County South – Buikwe District) moved a motion seeking leave from Parliament to introduce a bill the presidential Transitional Bill 2014, which is a private member’s bill.(Meaning it is introduced by an individual and not Government)

According to the draft bill presented by MP Lulume, Some of the defects in the current law include the lack legislative framework to promote orderly executive power in connection to the expiration of term of office of a president and his inauguration.

PART IV of the bill- provides for the swearing-in ceremony to be conducted in the capital city. It also provides that the day the swearing-in of the President-elect shall be a public holiday. It further provides for the signing of a certificate of inauguration by the President and the handing over of the instruments of power and authority by the outgoing President to the President- elect.

(All these, necessities of any young democracy)

When the speaker asked if Mp Lulume could be granted leave, there was a thunder NO, a female voice that later gained momentum as other NRM MPs’ followed her decision.

According to Parliament’s rules of procedure, it’s a right of a Member of Parliament to seek leave of Parliament to introduce a bill, however, members of Parliament have a right to reject the proposal.

The principal object of this bill is to make provisions for the procedure and ceremony for the assumption to the Office of President.

It achieves this by providing for the requisite arrangements for assumption of office by the President­ elect including the establishment of the Presidential Transition Committee and providing for the procedure for assumption of the, of President by the President-elect, and his or her access to instruments of power and state secrets.

Did the NRM rejection of the motion mean that they hate or are scared of the transition of power from one president to another?

Whoever came with the phrase, one cannot legislate in assumption; must have referred to the NRM MPs’, for rejecting a motion on a bill whose content they had neither seen nor extensively discussed.

It’s like a teacher awarding a student zeros in an exam, because they do not like their handwriting without reading the answers that the student has written.

The Leader of the opposition, Wafula Oguttu pleaded with the NRM MPs’ to approve the motion to give chance to MP Lulume to present a new bill.

“ This bill is a pure representation of a democracy, its aim is on peaceful transfer of Presidential powers, it will be like shifting power from Museveni to Museveni if he wins” Said LOP Oguttu sarcastically.

But the NRM MPs’ who are struggling from fear of the unknown persisted.

” Let this matter be deferred, for members of Parliament to Dialogue and get more information on the bill.” said Speaker Kadaga After realising how ridiculous members of the NRM sounded.

 

The NRM’s outline rejection of a bill without any objectivity is a screaming silence on how many of the Ugandan laws are passed, it poses questions on whether MPs’ even read the contents of a law or judge it basing on its title.


The Higher Education students Financing Act was passed on 12/12/2013, it was to harmostudent-loan-scheme-headernize public higher education financing by creating a central agency responsible for vetting applications for public education financing by introducing a students loan scheme.

While the basic arguments for the scheme are not in question, there are serious questions about the robustness of the Act’s operational framework to make sure that these broad goals as well as the more specific goals for students are realized.

The Rationale for Student Loans Scheme There are many arguments in favor of student loan schemes. Uganda, having recently joined over 70 countries that run such schemes, has incorporated several of these arguments as it has proposed and passed the Higher Education Students Financing Act. Despite these provisions under the Act, the Higher Education in Uganda has undergone significant changes related to use, institutional set up, number and differences among key players, and financing. It is doubtful if the government can secure and maintain adequate capitalization for the scheme.

There have been questions on;

1.Is there an efficient institutional management, including adequate systems for the selection of borrowers, the disbursement of loans, record keeping, data storage, and data processing?

2.Is there Sound financial management, including setting appropriate interest rates?

3.Are there Effective criteria and mechanisms for determining eligibility for loans, for targeting subsidies, and for deferring or forgiving loan requirements?

4.Is there an adequate legal framework to ensure that loan recovery is legally enforceable?

5.Is there Information and publicity to ensure that recipients understand the underlying principles and consequent obligations for the borrowing of repayment loans?

Weaknesses

With the corruption cases in Uganda, the key question many legislators, activists and youth ask is whether the loan scheme funds will stay put and not misused, case on point is, the findings of the report from the committee on Education on the ministerial policy statement and budget estimates for FY2014/15, a report that was read and tabled on the floor of parliament.

The Committee observed that during FY   2013/14 UGX 6bn was allocated towards the Higher Education Students’ Financing Scheme of which UGX 5bn was to cater for students’ loans and the balance of UGX 1.0bn for administrative purposes. However, the Committee learnt that the real release was UGX, The task force on pre­ utilized 4.5bn. Of this amount, UGX 1.52bn ,Implementation   operations   while UGX   1.29bn was transferred to   Higher Education Students’ Financing Board account instead of UGX 2.98bn.

The Committee noted with concern that the balance of UGX 1.69bn was diverted to other activities in the Ministry of Education and Sports. The committees recommended that UGX 1.69bn recovered from the   Ministry of Education and   Sports to be used to extend loans to struggling, continuing Students.

The Act does not address parents / students attitudes to grants / loans where non-payment may go beyond a mere resistance to honoring the debt. The other question that many ask is, What will happen to students who are granted loans but who do not graduate (students drop out, but stay liable for their debt).

Unemployable has been another key area for many of the policy analysts to look into; According to a 2008 World Bank Report, Uganda is among the countries with the youngest population and the highest youth unemployment rate of 83%.

To further lend credibility to these findings, in the 2011/2012 budget of Uganda, the Minister of Finance recognised that because of the high levels of unemployment, the Ugandan economy could only absorb 20% of its youth.

You have to ask yourself whether government is setting up youths for a disappointment and frustration, with Uganda’s unemployment rate, how does one except youths to repay the loan? These are among many of the concerns that have been raised by educators, students and policy makers as well as those on the Parliamentary Committee.

As the Scheme is launched there will no doubt be other concerns about the extent to which the scheme can address efficiency and equity concerns in a differentiated Higher Education system in Uganda that has more private than public players. The loan scheme does not address inequalities within higher education financing and access.

This is made worse by the law does not give for clear eligibility criteria for accessing the loan scheme. The only eligibility criteria proposed by the sectoral committee of parliament pays attention to critical causes for national development (sciences). But this is not a criteria, it is a prioritization of financing.

During the parliamentary debate on the education committee report, members of parliament were concerned that the loan scheme had been awarded to only students offering sciences and not humanities, the minister for Education Hon Jessica Alpo confirmed their fears by saying that the loan scheme was now focusing on students offering sciences as a property. This raised the question of equity of the loan scheme.

The timing of the loan is very critical in so far as; the loan scheme was introduced towards the notational elections. This may affect repayment as those who will get access to the scheme may think of it as political money. It may as well be abused and used for political ends, if not well safeguarded.

It is not clear from the law if this law is intended to finance higher education only in public universities, or whether private university students can also access the loan scheme; During the parliament debate on the Education committee report, Hon Anywar raised the question on why many of the candidates that had qualified for the loan scheme were mainly from Kampala International university It is also likely that the loan scheme can be used to control student activism at public universities; what happens if the students who are under loan scheme but show against some government policies of laws?

In conclusion, how will the loan scheme address the unemployment problem when our education system focuses on job seeking and not job creators? Over to you readers.

Check http://www.parliamentwatchuganda.org for an analysis of the Law !


1402257970770Most central to the understanding of our Members of parliament and the executive’s sleeping culture is their rather complex understanding of the concept of representation, MPs’ are voted to be a voice, but ours prefer sleep, or maybe be playing solitaire, I honestly do not which is worse, to simply ignore the issues of those who voted you or to simply give into the beautiful lullaby that our president  skilfully offers at every state of nation address?!

 

Anyway back to my idea, after tireless watching legislators sleep through taxpayer’s money, as an unemployed youth, I think my business idea will cover my problem and that of our beloved “honorables”.

 

My business plan is to start-up a chewing gum business, this brand of chewing gum will be called PARLIAMENTARY SLEEPING CURE, and I could sell it at 5000 each, the ingredients will include pepper, because one cannot dare fall asleep if pepper were in their mouths, I would rather have drooling MPs’ than sleeping ones!

 

Back to my plan, my proposal is to the Wrigley company East Africa limited, makers of Orbit chewing gum that was re-branded to PK, which according to the financial Director Mr Bazhan who was quoted in the New Vision back in 2004 explaining why  the brand name changed from Orbit to PK to mean: ‘Packed Tight, Keep Right’. I would however propose to the Wrigley Company to change my specific kind of brand name to Chew Tight, Keep Awake (CK).

 

Next to receive my proposal will be the Right Honourable Speaker of parliament, I will humbly ask to be allowed to put up a stall in parliament, near the main entrance to the chambers with a reminder to our dear MPs’ to pick up at least two packs, my proposal will include a permanent post at the State of Nation Address where I can also supply the same product.

 

I understand that due to health conditions, some of our beloved MPs’ cannot handle pepper, so the other ingredient will be ginger, I bet that it can tear one’s eyes enough times to make them stay awake.

 

If and when my business plan is accepted, I will become a distributor, use some of my third year university friends who are now heading for the unemployment zone, hence making some jobs and saving the country. I would have suggested that parliament allocate a budget for this chewing gum, but I guess the taxpayers have had enough de-toothing for a while, so I will pass on that idea.

 

Well considering that the president is now on twitter, I hope that he lands on a link to my blog, maybe this will then turn out to be a government initiative run by the unemployed youth.

Those in favor say Aye to the contrarily say No. As owner of this blog I shall count the votes, the ayes have it.


Unemployment is not only an African problem but also a worldwide known disaster, Majority of the governments are looking at entrepreneur skills as the salvation to this disaster.

The immediate solution that many have resorted to is to equip the youths with entrepreneurship skills.

ImageHowever equipping the youth with entrepreneur skills is not enough, their attitudes have to change.

 

In Uganda 83%youths unemployed, considering that 78% of Uganda’s population is made up of youths this is a ticking bomb that the government is sitting on. There has been some incentive by government to solve the unemployment problem by giving them money, for example the sack of money that president Museveni handed over to the youths in Busoga religion containing about $100,000 is not an answer to the unemployment problem.

 

More focus should be given to Agriculture, as one of the solutions to the over whelming unemployment problem.

 

Kampala is NOT the answer should be campaign started by the government to try to change the mind-set of many of the young people in the country.

Many youth in Uganda especially those that have gotten through school cannot think about becoming farmers, they would rather wear a suit and keep walking on the streets in search of a white collar job because or colonial education system prepares us for a white collar job.

Many youths view agriculture as an illiterate occupation, dirty and not fun!

 

Even after colonialists, the youth mind is still tied down to the constant, very irritating view that what is right, the notion that after graduation, the only solution is to wear a suit and report to the office every morning, and if you do not have a white-collar job, at least wear a suit in the morning accompanied with your CV and knock on office doors in search for one!

 

If the government focused on changing the minds of many of the unemployed and employed youths, that indeed agriculture is a salvation to the unemployment crisis that Uganda is facing.

 

Uganda is an Agro-based country, even with the oil dream and excitement, agriculture will remain as one of Uganda’s exports, and food is also a necessity for all Ugandans.

 

There are so many Agricultural schemes both private and government that use as many 4000 youths in Uganda, boost it’s exports and at the same time give the country with food.

According to Uganda rural fund, 80%of Uganda’s population practices agriculture in one way or another meaning that 2 out of 3 people carry out agriculture.

 

The Labor force – by occupation agriculture in Uganda is: 82% industry: 5% services: 13% (1999) GDP – composition by sector agriculture: 23.9% industry: 26.1% services: 49.9% (2012 est.) according to (Uganda Economy Profile 2013 – Mundi)

Agriculture received 585Billion shillings (FY 2012/13) Budget Speech 2012/13 If some money is budgeted as a government indicative to solve the unemployment problem.

It is the youth same energy both physical and brain wise, needed to boast the Agriculture sector.

 So to many youths out there, with some idle land that belongs to grand parents or is ours, do not just let the weeds enjoy the soil nutrients don’t be selfish, like Koshens says ‘do sumthin’ no offense to my Koshens fellows but I will take Obama’s slogan “ Yes we can”.


What is an African pension system is there a system like that? These were some of the many questions running through my mind, tired of talking to myself, I decided to bridge the idea to a friend of mine, try and probe his sexy brain for answers, after a series of arguments, we agreed that the girl child was the African pension system.

 

 In the traditional African society, a girl child was a device to solve the narrative plot of the African pension system. The social security was built around a woman, the anchor. 

 To put it into perspective, our great grand parents had a pension systemImage that worked perfectly for them, the presence of a girl child was a major factor in their pension system, the retirement package for the hard work. 

Pensions are a form of social security if you have gotten your working years, but it in the long term assert. The African traditional system was centered on inheritance,

Pride price was a down payment and this is how it worked.

  When you pay dowry to a man in form of cows, in return for a hand in marriage of his daughter, he would expand his hut, and then in turn pay dowry for his sons and they expand their clan.

Women were the subjects of this gift making a form of savings for society, the more the girls the more savings, this was a form of bridging gaps in clans, creating affiliation to   various clans, everything that the girl brings home as a girl is giving back to the man. 

In the meantime while the inheritance passes down from father to son, we had network of associated communities, on the reduction of conflicts and investment was in giving birth.

The boy goes home learns the trade of their fathers, the girls go home and learn the trade of their mother.

 This kind of pension system strengthen society, maintained discipline from both parties because they have something to gain, the silent laws on pension in the African society are simply amazing.

Considering that the colonist’s disrupted economy one cannot live in the past forever In Uganda we have pension system and laws that do not seem helpless in this sector and more are to come.

This pension system has been replaced by a couple of pension laws for example ,In Uganda we have a couple of existing pension systems like;

 Immature Pension System: No national Pension System (Pea-in-the-Pod) but there is a number of schemes serving a small portion of the population, namely:

 NSSF – where all private sector employees make mandatory contribution; PSPF – for public employees (public servants), Local Government Scheme (same as PSPF with decentralized administration), Armed Forces Scheme, Occupational Pension schemes (Parastatals, Banks, Telecom Cos, etc.)

 All the above pension systems are just not working for the Ugandan people, so I decided to put subject up for solutions and my idea was to copy the African pension system.

The question still remains how do we get our pension laws to work effectively like the African pension system worked, what is lacking in our new laws that is messing up everything??? Over to you readers.

 

 

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