Guest Writers

BY Mathias Kasamba, Kakuuto County

Kakuuto County is located in Rakai District and borders Tanzania at Mutukula. We generate Shs2.5 billion every year from this Mutukula border.

My constituency has more than 120,000 people of mixed ethnicity, and are mainly agriculturalists, fishermen and cattle keepers. I must also note that it’s in my constituency where the first footprints of HIV/AIDS were first detected.

The area is dominated by mainly Baganda and Banyarwanda. It has five sub-counties, 26 parishes and 160 villages. We grow coffee and bananas and some people are now cattle keepers. But people are still moving from peasant agriculture towards commercial farming.

Our natural vegetation is good. We have fabulous plains, streams, rivers (Kagera and Rwizi), Kooki hills, plus the Malamagambo Forest. So, the communities here are doing lots of work to make ends meet. Some have started sheep and goat rearing. Chicken rearing has also become a common practice.

On the part of education, we have over 50 primary schools, 8 secondary schools and a vocational institute. And government is still doing a lot in my constituency in line with education.

Right now, most schools have been elevated to A- level as a way of minimising Senior Four dropout rates. In doing so, we are aiming at increasing the education levels in my constituency.

Government has also constructed roads—such as Kyotera-Mutukula (44kms) and Kyappa-Kasensero road. The government has also extended power lines to most parts of my constituency. My area is now lit; something that has boosted businesses in the communities and also increased employment opportunities.

We are also working with the NAADS programme to ensure that some reasonable work of mobilising farmers is done. And through this initiative, we have ensured that each sub-county gets at least Shs50 million annually, and if properly used, it can enhance agricultural production in the area.

Right now I am also working on a coffee-growing campaign programme so we can empower the community to improve on household incomes and earn a respectable living, and also educate their children. I have secured over 250,000 seedlings of coffee this year.

Last year I also gave communities over 150,000 seedlings. We have partnered with NAADS to help us foster this move.
NRM has done its level best in my constituency. This is true not only for my constituency, but the entire country. Government has fostered good governance.

We have decentralised both resources and leadership as a way of empowering society. For example, I first stood as a District Councilor. But later, as I matured in politics, I moved into Parliamentary politics in 2001. I am now the Chairperson of the Committee on Defence and Internal Affairs.

And this empowerment of people by decentralisation is not the only thing NRM has done. Just look at the literacy levels. Uganda is becoming the hub for the finest education in the region. People come from Somalia, Tanzania, Kenya and Rwanda to study in Uganda.

I think we have tested our government to know that it has delivered. NRM has given opportunity for the entire country to participate in politics. Structures are everywhere in this country. We have done enough. We are guiding and empowering women, youth, people with disabilities and workers.

The President is also working hard to ensure that we integrate regionally in order to increase our bargaining power and marketing levels. This is a nice move. However, the biggest challenge now is the sustainability of the structures we have built.

Accountability and service delivery is also a major thorn in our sides. We need to enhance the effectiveness of monitoring resources and funds government disburses to our people. We must strengthen the monitoring systems in our country in order to ensure that every penny is accounted for—and in so doing we shall improve our country.

As recorded by DAVID TASH LUMU

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