News and Views
Youth MPs threaten naked demonstration over jobs
Youth MPs have given the government up to January 20 to release their money or they mobilise the jobless youths in the country to come to Kampala and demand the Shs44.5 billion promised in the budget for job creation.
Addressing a stormy joint news conference at Parliament this Wednesday morning, MPs flanked by National Youth Council (NYC) leaders also threatened to censure Finance Minister Maria Kiwanuka over incompetence. They have also accused the government of dillydallying at a time when most of the youth in the country are languishing in poverty.
“The Finance Minister is extremely annoying to the jobless youth of this country,” Mr Gerald Karuhanga said. “If it needs demonstrating when we are naked, we are ready to do so. The problem with ministers these days, they are either corrupt or incompetent. If they promised us air, they should say so, but they should know that we are going to mobilize the 15 million youth who are jobless and on streets to camp at the Ministry of Finance until the government releases the money.”
In the 2011/12 Budget, the government announced the Youth Entrepreneurship Venture Capital Funds to help the jobless youth. However, halfway into the financial year, the youth have not yet received the money.
MPs led by the National Female Youth MP Monica Amoding, Peter Ogwang (Estern Youth) and Gerald Karuhanga (Youth Western) have also threatened to stage a naked demonstration to show their discontent.
In her response to the MPs threats, Ms Kiwanuka said, “This is a 100 per cent bank and NGO money, the Memorandum of Understanding is still in the Office of the Solicitor General for approval before the banks sign. There is no deliberate delay, we are handling this matter seriously and the youth will soon access this money.”
As part of the Shs44.5 billion, the president last year allocated Shs25 billion to the Youth Entrepreneurship venture capital fund to support the Youth to start or expand their businesses.
The youth were to access loans ranging from Shs100,000 to Shs5 million or 20 per cent of injected equity for the youth group investments. The youth were also to undertake training in entrepreneurship skills and development to enable them create their own enterprises and the president has allocated Shs3.5 billion for the training. This would help to reduce the unemployment in the country.