The State minister for Youth and Children Affairs Nakiwala Kiyingi has said that they’re going to start arresting Ugandans for being kind to street children.
Last month, Parliament passed a bill that makes it illegal to offer any donation to street children.
According to the new law, any person who offers a donation in terms of money, food or any help to street children commits a criminal offence and might face up to six months in jail or a standard fine of Shs 41,350.
Now according to Minister Nakiwala Kiyingi, starting this June anyone caught making a kind gesture to street children will be arrested.
While appearing on NBS Focal Point that airs every Sunday, the minister said that donating to street children is what has kept them on the streets as this aids business for the people who bring them to the streets.
“Yes, we will arrest them (Ugandans) for being kind. This is what is keeping children on the streets. For every five children you see on the verandahs, there is a lady and a man sitting in the corner. We know all these things so please abstain from giving them and let me have these who are stranded that I can feed. That is the money that I was given,” Nakiwala said.
Nakiwala confirmed that her ministry received UgShs. 3.4 Billion from the Ministry Of Finance having been passed by Parliament two weeks ago. She said that the money is going to be used to resettle street children and that from June onwards, no children will be on the streets.
“We have captured some people already who were commercialising children and they’re behind bars but we needed money to make this process sustainable. I can promise Ugandans that from June onwards, you will not find children on re streets. We have signed MOUs and have constructed 132 homes where we are going to take them,” Nakiwala added.
Tasked to explain how this is going to be implemented, Nakiwala said that implementation, world over is a major challenge due to corruption but added that she has always been articulate with the way she handles her responsibilities and certainly this will not be the one to fail.
“When I say that this child has to do this, they must. You saw me fighting with Fresh Kid. I do my tasks and get them done successfully. I have not defaulted anywhere and so when I say that you should not give them money, I will stick on to you and either me or you will have some one move out,” she said.
Tasked to make comments about her recent scuffle with young singer Patrick Senyonjo alias Fresh Kid, Nakiwala said that she contributed to what Fresh Kid is now.
She said that what was being done was child abuse and to her its not a question of whether people are negative or not but rather a question of what the law says.
“I am a mother of five. I Know what happens because if you can get time to be on the stage, why can’t you find time to be in church or time to come to the ministry for guidance and counselling? We signed an MOU and I have a copy so everything is done under the law now. The father has parental God given responsibilities and that’s what I was looking for,” she said.
She added: “I contributed to a great deal of what he is now. You’re following him but I have so many that have gone to that far without media. In any case, the media is not supposed to be in the lives of these children because they balcony the entire process. We must follow the law.”
Nakiwala also disagreed with claims that Uganda’s education limits people with special talents like Fresh Kid by trying to turn them into an academic route.
” Why do you separate academics with talent? Have you gone to Kitende and saw those footballers? They are in academics as well. The role of academics below 10 years is to unfold the talent and unveil your potential to make articulate your issues unguided.” She said.
On the Youth Livelihood Fund and President Museveni dishing out money
Nakiwala said there is no problem with President Museveni giving youth money as long as all the money is passed from Parliament.
She said that this youth have a magnitude of several programmes other than the livelihood fund that are aimed at empowering them.
She said that these are transitional because there are some who are getting out of the youthful bracket and those that are just joining the youthful age bracket and this makes it hard to trace the success of their campaigns.