The Forum for Democratic Change government will construct a cement factory in Karamoja Sub-region if elected into power, Mr Patrick Amuriat Oboi, the party’s presidential candidate, has said.
Mr Amuriat, who is campaigning in the sub-region, said while Karamoja has a wealth of minerals, the current regime has deliberately refused to construct factories there and preferred to transport the raw minerals to other regions.
He also said Karamoja, being prone to drought, his government will construct valley dams and tap water for use during dry season.
“I will make sure my government constructs a lime and cement factory in Karamoja so that people here can be employed in the industries. We shall also pass a policy where 80 per cent of the labour force in the cement industry comes from the local population,” Mr Amuriat said.
“Museveni has constructed two cement factories in Tororo and is transporting your minerals from here to the industries while you get nothing from your minerals. This time you must vote the key so that it will unlock wealth for you in this region,” he added amid ululation and chanting from the people in Nakapiripirit Town Council.
The FDC presidential flag bearer said the poverty levels in the sub-region are so worrying and that had it not been for non-governmental organisations, things would have been worse.
“The government keeps on deceiving you with many programmes, but the money is always stolen. They promised Boona Bagagawale, nothing happened, Naads came, they ate the money; Operation Wealth Creation turned into poverty creation. Now they have come up with Emyooga, which will not work. If the NGOs were not here, you people would have all died because of poverty and disease. So elect your own neighbour, your nephew who understands your problems well,” Mr Amuriat said.
He also said the biggest problem in Karamoja has been the insecurity of Turkana raiders from Kenya who attack area to raid cattle.
“We shall make sure we provide you security. The Iteso in Uganda and Kenya are the same. The Karimojong and Turkana are not different.
With me as the president, we shall use our relations to work out peace modalities so that Turkana from Kenya do not come to attack the Jie in Uganda and cause insecurity,” Mr Amuriat said.
Mr Amuriat said the FDC government will invest in productive sectors of agriculture, industry, trade, and tourism to promote the establishment of youth cooperatives.
“We will create employment quotas for youth in all government and private sector jobs and reserve at least 40 per cent of public procurement contracts for youth-led businesses or businesses that employ the youth with proof of at least 60 per cent of the labour force in such companies being youth,” he said.
What locals say
Mr Titus Maganda, who migrated from Sironko and lives in Nakapiripirit, said Uganda is now ripe for change.
“We are tired of this regime that has been promising hot air. For many years, the current President has been promising but nothing has happened. I was born and have now grown up in this regime, but I have nothing to show. We now need Amuriat to come and rescue us because he has promised to create jobs for us,” Maganda said.
Mr Simon Peter Lukai, a resident, said: “President Museveni has done nothing for us. We have a lot of insecurity and poverty and he likes promising a lot that this region will never be the same again but he has done nothing.”