KAMPALA – The Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) has said President Yoweri Museveni has become a Vasco da Gama, who tours every village in Uganda without addressing the problems afflicting the country.
Vasco da Gama was a Portuguese explorer and the first European to reach India by sea. His initial voyage to India was the first to link Europe and Asia by an ocean route.
But FDC says the President’s tours are not producing much for the country.
“Instead of becoming a Vasco da Gama touring every village in Uganda, Mr. Museveni can invest the billions he is wasting on allowances in agriculture and tourism. Our people don’t want to be visited; they want programmes that will transform their lives,” said Mr Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda, the FDC spokesman, during the party’s weekly press conference on Monday.
The President last week concluded his three-month tour of the country where he said he was preaching the gospel of wealth creation. In a statement issued on Sunday, the President said he had identified lack of commercialized agriculture as a challenge in the country.
However, Mr Ssemujju said the President’s tours are not solving problems of unemployment by empowering the vulnerable youth.
“The FDC would also like to draw the attention of Ugandans and the world to the specific issues affecting our youth. The most obvious one is lack of employment which the Museveni government doesn’t want to address. Museveni and his ruling elite want the population to remain vulnerable so they can exploit it,” he said in reference to the International Youth Day, which is being celebrated on Monday.
Uganda has the second youngest population in the world, with more than 30 million below the age of 30. The UN theme for this year’s Youth Day is ‘Transforming Education’. The theme for Uganda as adopted by the Museveni government is ‘Transforming Education for Responsible Citizenship and Employment Creation’.
But FDC said the ruling party has no policy of dealing with unemployment.
“Boda boda has become the fastest growing industry in the country employing an estimated more than one million youths. The riders form the biggest percentage of accident victims in hospitals. Vocational training has now become a slogan. Instead of teaching our children how the Chwezi dynasty collapsed, why not teach them carpentry, building, tailoring, plumbing etc. They on their own can read about Mirambo woodland at leisure,” he said.