The National Economic Empowerment Dialogue (NEED) leader, Joseph Kabuleta Kizza has continued to spread his economic empowerment message to Ugandans in various parts of the country. This time round he took the gospel to Teso Sub-Region.
Meeting the locals and politicians who lost in last year’s general elections on Monday, Mr Kabuleta said Teso is one of the regions in Uganda which are well endowed with natural resources but the ordinary residents have not been able to get a fair share out of them.
He says this is one of the reasons why most locals are in abject poverty.
“What brings us to Teso is to help these people of this region to appreciate the fact that they are well endowed and they have resources that are actually enough for them to go by. They only have to stand up and demand for a fair share of their resources that are being gotten from this place and that way, they will be able to lift themselves from poverty,” the former presidential candidate urged.
“Now we are here to tell them as much as we know that we’re all being failed by this system, we want to define the sort of change that we need and we are here to preach the gospel of economic empowerment, to tell people that they can be empowerment economically to stand up and fight for what is rightly theirs and actually be a partaker in the wealth that God deposited in this region which they are actually entitled as people of this area.”
Mr Kabuleta further noted that unlike in some other parts of the country, the people of Teso are very galvanized and they are ready to stand up and fight as long as the leadership gap issue is addressed.
“We want leadership to think in line with the electorate on how to develop this region and how to bring its potential out in the best way possible.”
He also urged politicians who lost in the last general elections to sensitize their people from different areas in the region to fight for their resources as a way of alleviating themselves from poverty.
“We want to make people understand that they should not rely on politicians’ handouts especially during elections. They should know that they can work for themselves as long as they have a fair share of their natural resources. We have sent these politicians with an economic empowerment message which they should spread to their constituencies in that by the next general elections, people would have understood that they should vote for a reason not because they were bribed,” Mr Kabuleta said.
“All the people who lost during the last elections, are still very important because they were voted by over 60/70 percent of Ugandans. We believe that whoever stands for a political office, he/she always has something they want to add to their communities so they need a platform which they can use to speak. Those emerged winners always have platforms to air out their views but those who lost don’t have such. As NEED we decided to offer that platform for them to help their people fight against poverty.”
The former journalist also preached against the electorate begging from politicians. He said Ugandans can work for themselves as long the national cake is equally distributed throughout the country.
“Every change starts with a conversation so when people are speaking about things that matter, things about development and changing their livelihoods; It all begins with a dialogue. We are not poor, we are actually just lacking leadership but we can get somebody, he/she doesn’t necessarily need to be an elected person. We need someone to actually lead us to do something within a community that can improve our livelihood. Thats how it starts.
“It starts by giving our ideology to these people and them giving us their ideas which are of course very hopeful because they are the ones who know most about the region and us finding a common ground which we can now take to communities and say depending in where your from, this is what you can do to fight for yourself and dont just accept that your poor and go down and become a beggar. We don’t want any beggar in Uganda. We are not built to be beggars because we have a lot of natural resources.”
Goretti Asio, a former Soroti District Woman MP contestant and member of NEED, said the people in the region have suffered under the current government due to delayed livestock compensation and consistent land grabbing tendencies.
Teso is one of the sub regions that faced cattle raids, insurgencies and insecurity over the past years.
“As the region of Teso, we have had a lot of challenges. Respective, we have leaders in different government positions but they are just there to fill the posts. We have not benefitted much from those positions, so NEED has come to enlight the people of the potentials that the country has, in that we the ordinary people can also tap on the resources of our country. The people of Teso have been played for a very long time,”Asio stated.
“The compensation of our cattle up to date has become a political game that whenever there’s an election, that’s when NRM comes up to talk about the compensation of the people of Teso.”
So far NEED under Mr Kabuleta, has managed to spread the economic empowerment message to Buganda, Bugisu, Bukedi, Teso and Sebei regions.