NRM youth Thank Museveni for retaining Werikhe as minister
By Kitts D.Mabonga
With Bugisu Mount Elgon region being endowed with many natural resources like a hub for growing of Arabic coffee, national park, fresh water and extremely fertile soils for production of food around the year, stakeholders think that it was high time the government considered granting the region an exclusive ministry to serve as a nucleus in coordinating all government ministries, departments and agencies [MDAs] in realizing the effective delivery of social services to the over 8 million people of the region.
The call was recently made by members of the NRM national youth council for Eastern region during a thanks giving prayers and party thrown to thank President Yoweri Museveni for retaining Michael Werikhe as minister of state for trade and industry that was held at the Mbale Municipality gardens.
Minister Michael Werikhe reading the petition given to him by the youth leaders as his sweet heart looks on during the function.
The leaders noted that president Museveni should use his powers as fountain of honor to grant the ministry in charge for Bugisu affairs so that it can serve as a central coordinating hub for engaging other sectors of government, development partners and civil society organizations [CSOs] among other key stakeholders in bringing services closer to the population given that the region has fertile soils for planting all types of foods to feed her people and export, the Mt.Elgon national park and fresh waters oozing out of the Mt. Elgon among other natural resources and a hub for business with nearby Kenya.
They noted that the region has many challenges like landslides that continue to claim more lives each time heavy rains open up and leaving thousands more displaced within their own homeland with nothing to eat and drink while the government resettlement program moves at a snail pace.
They noted that they have socio- economic challenges of engaging the four Kenyan borders of Busia, Malaba, Lwakhakha and Suam in Sebei sub region alongside their sometimes hostile friends the Karamojong who occasionally clandestinely rustle their livestock.
They named other challenges as climate change, poor mountain terrain hindering free movement of children to school and easy access of quality and timely healthcare services among other basic essential community and household needs.
Brain Mauso the Bungokho Mutoto sub county youth council boss said he fully supports the idea of granting the ministry because the youth would benefit as the ministry working alongside that of Hon Werikhe of trade and industry would crest more jobs for their people.
Yahaya Mwanje the Mbale district youth council boss said the president is a kind man who understands the challenges his youth go through and was confident that he would grant the docket to enable Bugisu stand out among the fastest growing economies under the upcoming city status portfolio.
Namuwenge Rita the state house chairperson for presidential initiative for jobs and wealth creation said she would support the idea once it was brought at higher level in form of a petition from the concerned stakeholders of the region because the president was a great friend of the youth therefore she would add her voice and ensure that the region of which is her home benefits from such initiatives especially bringing services closer to the population alongside creating jobs for the youth.
Hon Werikhe while accepting the award that was given to him by the youth for thanking the president for retaining him in cabinet said he would pass on their invitation asking president Museveni to exclusively visit them soon so that they can share with him their challenges like the surging unemployment levels, any possible opportunities to benefit from the oil and gas in the Albertan graben region of Bunyoro that Uganda would be unleashing soon among others.
The minister revealed that they are going to embark on the last leg of debating and passing the city status bill as soon as parliament resumes so that Mbale among other proposed cities begins official business and he looks at promoting the industrial park were hundreds of jobs would be created for the youth of the region.
The minister who is also MP for Bungokho south said government has earmarked several billions of shillings that would be given out to organized youth groups across the country early 2020 as first priority because it had emerged that the youths are lagging behind in terms of development therefore they are lined up to access state funding on a revolving basis before the elderly come next.
He commended the president for giving him another opportunity to serve his country as minister saying he would continue with his mobilization strategy to ensure that more young people are encouraged to benefit from the several lined up government programs like operation wealth creation [OWC], youth livelihood program [YLP] and women empowerment funds among others so that they can participate in the economic development of their country.
NRM youth leaders join hands in cutting the cake in honor of Hon.Werikhe being retained by the president as minister.
Werikhe observed that as trade and industry sector line minister, he would ensure that more youth are mobilized and encouraged to form cooperatives so that they can produce cash crops for domestic consumption and export to earn an income and should line themselves up to benefit from the recently launched e- warehouse receipt system were farmers harvest produce, store it at gazetted warehouses and can apply for a small loan for school fees and other pressing needs and position the produce in store as collateral to clear loan later when funds are released.