The theme for this year’s Independence celebrations is: Consolidation of National Unity, Security, Freedom and Prosperity. Indeed, it’s a worthy theme because at least we have achieved most of those things in our country, one of the major
achievements this current government has prospered in is bringing peace into our country.
If we are to look back, selfish interests had taken center stage and slowly by slowly we backtracked from the democratic path to dictatorship and finally into the tyranny of the likes of the late President Idi Amin.
In 1986, sanity was restored when the National Resistance Movement (NRM) with its army took over power. For any country to develop, we need peace. This government has ensured that the security organizations carry out their work promptly.
On the business side, youths these days are becoming more of inventors. All these show that the country has truly matured.
Happy Independence day!
Kadaga is a role model
I thought I might take a moment to use the events of this year to put into words some advice about choosing good female role models.
Too much is made these days about things like gender and race. I hope our world will rely less on labels that reinforce division but instead promote a more perfect equality.
The qualities that make a great woman are of the same qualities that make a great man because men and women are equal.
Real role models don’t seek to write history for their own purposes.
They don’t desire position. They reluctantly accept recognition and do so with deep humility. You will find that there are
people in this country who seek attention and hope to be recognized by all means through bad and good.
Their desire for personal validation often gets in the way of what is really important. Remember, your actions speak louder than your words.
Today I will talk about the speaker of parliament, Hon Rebecca Kadaga, a woman of steel, a vocal politician, a mother, and so much more to many. She studied at Namasagali College for her high school, law at Makerere University and graduated in 1978.
For the time she has been in leadership, a lot has been achieved locally in the area she represents, nationally and internationally. Her contributions are so visible that even her opponents in politics tend to warm up to her.
When you go to Kamuli where she comes from, you find that the roads in the municipality and other infrastructures are in a good state, especially the roads, and health centres.
In her reign as speaker of parliament, a lot has been achieved. Many bills have been passed into laws; she has improved on the functionality of the parliament and its image.
Let’s support Uganda Airlines
Uganda has just brought in planes for Uganda Airlines. Congratulations to the government for revamping Uganda Airlines after 20 years. It’s the biggest achievement so far this year.
However, for this airline to survive and compete with other companies, Ugandans, particularly government officials flying
out on official duty, should use this airline. And they should pay the full amount of the ticket fee.
More is needed at our airport
When a visitor from abroad gets out of the terminal building at Entebbe International Airport, he will immediately make a conclusion that Uganda is a country that still has some way to go.
When you step in the parking yard of this airport, you immediately see that the pavements are not wellkempt. Also, there are some potholes at the different spots of the parking yard.
There is some work, which is currently going on to fix the potholes at different spots of this park yard. The verdict is still out
there on how these repairs will turn out.
There is a fee which is levied from every vehicle which accesses the airport. One wonders what this money is used for.
Increase grants to the elderly
According to 2019 estimates, the population of Uganda is about 45.71 million, up significantly from 2013’s estimates of 33.6 million.
Due to the high fertility rate in the country, the age structure is skewed towards the younger generation with 48.47 percent of Uganda’s population being in the 0-14-year age group.
After that, 28.34 percent of the population of Uganda is in the 25-64-year age group. And 21.16 percent of the total population is dominated by the 15-24-year age group while 2.04 percent is 65 or older.
According to UBOS, the poverty rates have increased by about two percentage points from 19.7 percent in 2012/13 to 21.4 percent in 2015/16 of the people living below the poverty line.
Over 2.1 million children live with older persons as orphaned and vulnerable children after losing either one or both parents to HIV/AIDS endemic and civil wars, especially in Northern Uganda hence exposing the older population to chronic poverty because of the high dependency syndrome.
Meanwhile, majority of the older persons live in rural areas where poverty is rampant, lack decent shelter, proper health care and are often discriminated from service delivery yet they still care for a big number of vulnerable children.
Given the growing concern of the elderly poverty incidence, the government in conjunction with the development partners have exerted quite considerable efforts to halve it.
The duo implemented a comprehensive social protection policy whose key part includes a cash transfer scheme, the Social Assistance Grant for Empowerment (SAGE) where regular monthly grants of Shs 25,000 have been provided to 110,334 beneficiaries according to official figures.
This grant is being paid to the country’s senior citizens over the age of 65 and 60 to the dwellers of Karamoja sub-region in order to enhance their access to basic services and to start income generating activities.
Notwithstanding the above, the grant is poorly coordinated and under resourced hence questioning the context of its sustainability. There is need to ensure that the social assistance grant for the elderly persons is spread to districts with a bigger number of the elderly individuals in order to achieve the ultimate goal of social inclusiveness and reduced gap.
There is also need for incremental rise in the grant fee in order to increase the basket of goods that elderly people could buy.
These policies once adopted could help reduce income poverty as well as socio-economic inequalities for inclusive development by 2020.
Maya Denis Makika,