Many readers are expecting me to start with the much famed ‘fiscal policies’, well, that will be for another day.
This piece intends to dichotomise the much hyped Youth support towards the Ghetto gladiator and the M.P for Kyadondo East, Hon. Bobi Wine, whose music I actually enjoy.
It is true that youth are the most significant composition of the population that determine the direction of the political wave ,however ,there are factors that sway and lure them from one end of the political square to another .
For the case of the prevailing political atmosphere, let me focus on President Museveni and Bobi Wine, am leaving our Dr. Besigye for we have been there to see and enjoy his quadral trials.
If one may ask ,what substantial youth policy could lure the youths from President Museveni to the new entrant Bobi Wine ?,well ,if you watched him on the recently held talk show –NTV on the spot ,you could easily answer .
True, one may not refute the claim that Youths want change but this shouldn’t be construed superficially, we should interrogate further the quality of change and what factors underlie the preferred change against the status quo.
Bobi a youth just lie the NRA fighters is a misconception
It is very true that Bobi Wine is a very good musician who attracts mammoth of clouds, however, using this factor to scale his political follower-ship is total deception.
Most of the talk liken Bobi Wine with the youthful Museveni and his NRA fighters in the 80’s ,the likes of Mugisha Muntu, Aronda Nyakairima, Elly Tumwine ,Tinyefuza and others. What must be considered special of these fighters is their special ideological touch, political training and enormous exposures beyond East Africa. For example President Museveni had served in various political positions: President of Uganda Patriotic Movement (UPM); vice chairman of the military commission and Minister of Defense.
This put the Youthful Museveni in a greater mobilisation position and able to manage the political dynamics of Uganda, region and the continent, if not the globe.
These attributes distance Museveni and Mr. Bobi Wine as far as the importance and potential of youthfulness is concerned.
Museveni and the Youth
All indicators point to the fact that government of President Museveni has undertaken deliberate efforts to empower the youths of all demographics to the lowest levels of governance –the villages some of which can be made explicit.
Skilling the girl Child
Skilling the girl Child is a programme that was started in 2017 by the president of Uganda to empower the girl child. The initiative is focused on equipping girls with hands on skills such as in Tailoring, Knitting, Weaving, Bakery, Confectionary, Shoe making and Hair dressing.
The initiative aims at reducing the unemployment rates of youthful girls. This initiative is creating jobs and a realisation of dreams as the girls start up their own businesses and uplift others. Vulnerable girls who have dropped out of school, those who did not go to school, those without jobs and orphans are given preference. The girls being trained are between the ages of 16 to 30 years.
Since its inception, there has been two graduations. Each intake lasts 6 months. The program has benefited over 9,214 girls in Kampala region. Currently 3,784 girls are enrolled in 6 training centres which include; Wandegeya Market Northern Wing, Nakulabye Catholic Church, Kigowa Ntinda Catholic Church, Luzira prisons, Mutundwe Subway located between UBC TV and Crested towers, and the latest addition located at Katanga.
The girls are provided with lunch during the course of the training to cut down on their costs since most of them come from humble backgrounds. After graduation, the girls are awarded certificates and given capital inform of money and equipment depending on the course they did to start up their own businesses to support themselves and families.
Affirmative action for the girl child and women emancipation are other critical creativities by Museveni government that have seen a woman relish a life that never flourished in the past many regimes.
Youth livelihood program
Though challenging, this is one extensively appreciated youth initiative that has benefited the youths enormously.
As of May 2018, funds amounting to Shs106,867,484,586 had been disbursed to 175341 youths in 14195 youth groups comprising of 45 % females and 55% males.
The most special feature of this fund is that it prioritises on the unemployed school drop outs, disabled and single mother youths who are most non privileged.
Notwithstanding the challenging factors, the livelihood program which is a multi-sectoral initiative targeting youths in SME’s, agriculture is anticipated to be one of the greatest success stories ever initiated by Ugandan government
As if that’s not enough, in the same year, over Shs17.7 bn had been disbursed to the youth under the youth venture capital fund borrowed at individual levels.
All these initiatives have been complimented by the fund offers by president Museveni to the Ghetto youths in Kampala Metropolitan, including Kamwokya, the headquarters of the Ghetto.
What Bobi has for the youths
It’s not a heaven concept that a Member of Parliament is delegated to participate in the enactment of laws to give direction on the governance of the country.
One year as a member of parliament, nothing remains visible to be extracted from Hansard as a contribution of Hon.Bobi Wine to the policy strength of the country, to my understanding, all these youth policies and programs come into play by an act of parliament.
Let me be clear here, other than the Twebelelemu chant ,Hon.Bobi wine has not made a contribution ,suggestion not even through a private members bill regarding his preferable policies that may do better than those prevailing in Museveni government ,not at all .
With the mega opportunity in the plenary, Bobi Wine has exhaustively proved to us that the youths should expect less contrary to what many expected .They therefore envision no future a head in Bobi Wine vying for an office higher than the M.P .
By the way, has anyone noticed that Bobi Wine is associated with the male youths and largely the urban few? To anyone who has followed the voting patterns of a Ugandan woman, you could easily tell who is the preferred candidate for female gender.
All said, Bobi Wine should not be misled by opportunistic and a handful of urban youths whose significance is far less than the Museveni diehards in the upcountry districts. He should desist from ill advice, exaggerated support that will most likely ruin his political future.
At the end of dilemma, Museveni stands out as the most favorite in the 2021 presidential election with more that 60% win.
Bahikire Daraus is a politician from Bukoto Midwest Constituency, Lwengo District