The intention of the Youth Livelihood program was to enrich One Ugandan who is actually in his late 60’s, and that is none other than Mr. Pius Bigirimana, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Gender, Labor and Social Development.
Mr. Pius was the Permanent Secretary in the Office of the Prime Minister and it was during his tenure that Mr. Geoffrey Kazinda run away with colossal billions of money that was stolen from the Office of the Prime Minister. A lot of Money was stolen through Northern Uganda Social Action Fund (NUSAF) Phase 1 and 2, Peace Recovery and Development Plan (PRDP) among other projects. It’s the reason Northern and Eastern Uganda never benefited from these projects and still continues to wallow in abject poverty.
What Mr. Museveni did was to transfer Mr. Pius Bigirimana from a scandalous and dilapidated office of the Prime Minister to Ministry of Gender with a view of continuing with his theft empire.
Mr. Pius’s first Machination of theft was through his crafted Youth Livelihood Program (YLP) introduced in 2013, under the Youth Ministry. In fact this was his first project to supervise under the Ministry of Gender.
On commencement in 2013, Government injected 75 Billion shillings and according to the 2018/2019 Budget, the YLP was allocated 256 Billion shillings.
According to Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBOS), youth in Uganda constitute a population of 29 Million People. The Youth Ministry claims One hundred Sixty three thousand one hundred and thirty (163,130) Youth have benefited from the YLP for the last 4 years. Even if we based on their figures as presented to us, these 163,130 Youth represent a meager and minimal 0.5% of the 29,000,000 Youth in Uganda. In other words the program has not impacted on even 1% of the Youth in Uganda.
This program has been marred by miss-appropriation and theft as expected. The Auditor General’s (AG) Report indicates that 527 Million Shillings was given to ghost groups.
Even the so called beneficiaries of the YLP are either given a Quarter or Half of the Amount they apply for, a balance of which is swindled by Mr. Bigirimana and his group (Focal Persons) at the district and Sub County Levels. A case in point, Usuk Sub County in Katakwi district, it’s on record that a son of the LC III Chairperson ran away with 10 Million Shillings, in Butaleja district, 9 Youths ran away with 360 Million Shillings. In Gulu, a District cashier ran away with 256 Million shilling. In Namayingo, 2 Official embezzled 70 Million Shillings. These are examples in only 4 districts and yet the same is happening in all other districts where YLP is claimed to be according to the Auditor General’s Report. All the above being presided over by Mr. Pius Bigirimana under the watchful eye of Mr. Museveni
As we talk now, the information we have is that Mr. Museveni wants to transfer this failed program from the Ministry of youth to state house. Understandably State House is known to be a clearing House for thieves. In fact it’s a mother of corruption. The YLP will therefore be moving from a flying pan to direct fire.
As FDC, we know these and similar programs are not sustainable solutions to the unemployment malaise. What government is doing is to give Panadol to a Cancer Patient even when they know Panadol cannot cure him/her.
As a party, we think unemployment can only be addressed by investing in Young People through skilling them in;
- Vocational training. Colossal amount of money pumped into YLP could have been invested into establishment of Vocational Training Institutes across the country to impart skills into the Young People and the results would be large scale creation of Small Medium Business Enterprises (SME’s) that could not only provide employment opportunities to Young People but increase the tax base.
- Introduction of a Dual Curriculum at higher institutions of learning. This will enable institutions to produce job creators as opposed to job seekers. An institution can produce a social worker that is also equipped as a carpenter.
Finally, instead of Mr. Museveni Changing this program from Ministry of Youth to State House, we in FDC advise him to retire and enable fresh ideas and leaders to take over the management of the affairs of the state.
Mulindwa Walid Lubega
NATIONAL YOUTH LEAGUE CHAIRMAN