The State Minister for Microfinance, Haruna Kyeyune Kasolo has taken a swipe at Kampala politicians especially those from the opposition for spending much of their time on fighting President Museveni than helping fight poverty.
Kasolo made the remarks on Tuesday as he launched the Emyooga presidential initiative on job and wealth creation in Kawempe and Central divisions of the city.
“You hear a Kampala politician blaming Museveni of making people poor as if he(Museveni) is the mayor of Kampala! It is you people who elect these leaders. Many of Kampala politicians have failed to draw a line between politics and development and this is a big problem for the city,”Kasolo said.
The minister explained that whereas government has in the past years introduced many programs to help Kampala people get out poverty, politicians have deliberately not mobilized people to embrace them.
He noted that many politicians think by ensuring people are poor, they have an upper hand of hoodwinking them for their own selfish interests.
“In the past, it was known that everyone who lives and works in the city is well off but things have changed. People no longer want to work but spend most of their time discussing politics. When you tell them about development, they start singing politics. When do the leaders you voted for help you get out of poverty,”Kasolo wondered.
“We have left everything to politicians yet they have not helped us much. They want people to remain poor so that they can use that situation as a campaign pad. Politicians who ask us to join them in shouting politics earn out of it but we don’t. Why don’t we leave politics for politicians as we focus on work?”
The minister said that the people of Kampala can only get out of poverty if they embrace government programs like Emyooga other than listening to what is told to them by politicians who are only looking for their selfish interests.
“You might be a supporter of NRM, DP, FDC or NUP but political parties will come and go but Kampala will stay. Let us leave politics behind and embrace these government programs for our own benefit,” he said.
Kasolo said government has injected over shs30 billion in Kampala as part of the Emyooga initiative to ensure people get out poverty but warned that the shs30 million meant for each sacco is only meant to motivate them to save.
According to the minister, the bigger picture is coming together and saving a little of what they earn as a group and this way, they would become rich.
The Emyooga initiative targets Ugandans especially in the informal sector who come together in form of saccos under 19 clusters including Boda boda riders, taxi drivers, restaurants, welders, market vendors, women entrepreneurs, youth leaders, people with disabilities, journalists, performing artists, veterans, fishermen, private teachers and elected leaders.
Each of the saccos will receive shs30 million as seed capital, save for the private teachers and leaders that will each receive shs60 million and 50 million respectively.
The program is part of the broader NRM principle of socio-economic transformation in which the government has committed 68% of the country’s homesteads, currently in the subsistence of market-oriented production.
According to Alfred Eboku Ejanu, the head of Credit and Operations at the Microfinance Support Centre, the implementing agency, they are currently at the mobilisation and sensitization stage but noted they would soon start educating people on what to do.
“We will later disburse and monitor the money given out to various saccos but they should know that the shs30 million to each sacco is only seed capital but it should entice them to continue saving,” Eboku said.
He noted that unlike other areas, in Kampala, the saccos are formed at parish level.