KAMPALA, UGANDA: The Minister of Internal Affairs, Major General Kahinda Otafiire has asked for forgiveness from the ghetto youths in Kampala, saying the government committed mistakes in the implementation of previous poverty eradication programs.
He made the apology while addressing over 1,500 youths drawn from the ghettos in the Kampala Metropolitan area at Lugogo MTN Arena in Kampala in the ongoing sensitization campaigns on the government Parish Development Model programs.
Otafiire noted that previous poverty eradication programs rolled out by the government such as the Operation Wealth Creation, Youth Livelihood Programme, and Emyooga were full of mistakes, and the money never reached the intended beneficiaries.
“Government has always been making programs/projects to improve the standards of people, but most programs never worked for the common person, because the money remained in the hands and pockets of a section of greedy Ugandans, which we don’t want this time,” Otaffiire said.
He asked the youths to forgive the ruling National Resistance Movement-NRM party for the previous mistakes that have kept them in poverty.
He called on the youths to use the PDM money as wisely to lift them out of the poverty situation, which is forcing the majority of Ugandans into foreign labor.
Christopher Damulira, the Crime Intelligence Director explained that apart from sensitizing the youths on PDM, they intend to start selecting ghetto youth commanders who will coordinate with security in fighting criminality.
“We have noted that there are a lot of talents among these young ghetto people, which we need to tap into and help them to their full potential. We have noted that for a long time, we have blamed these ghetto youths for participating in political violence yet the majority of them are innocent. But we have realized that it’s high time we work together to end criminality in Kampala,” Damulira said.
Hajjati Asia Nabiseere Kinabi, the Head of coordination for PDM in Kampala district, said the government is determined to advocate and ensure the program is implemented to its fullest so that the targeted beneficiaries are supported.
“We have decided to create a ghetto parish in each parish in Kampala, with its commander who will profile and organize his people, so that they can also benefit in this program without interruptions by elder people, we have now started with educating them on some projects they can venture in,” she said.
Some youths led by Brison Kayizo from Kabalagala in Makindye and Nakawa division have welcomed the PDM but asked the government to reduce the requirements such as the National Identification Card, which many of them have failed to secure.