Monday June 23 2014

Govt should listen to the jobless brotherhood

The remarkable display of a majestic ride in a Volkswagen Golf car by two Opposition youth accompanied by two yellow-coated piglets delivers for Uganda a moral story. The youth, calling themselves the jobless brotherhood, sought to dramatise their six-year fruitless job search and parade their annoyance against an unhelpful Parliament, which they mocked as ‘Corruption Constituency’.

Ironically, as is the case with several youth venture projects in Uganda, jobless Mr Tumuhimbise and Mr Mayanja with two yellow-painted pigs in tow, announced their dilemma in grand style on Tuesday. The piglets proved a perfect set of petition to the House to drive the message of youth unemployment home to the MPs, whom they humbled as ‘MPigs’.

But that the taking of the petitions were foiled, the youth quickly stopped, and the piglets bruised in a scuffle as they sought grand entry into the House’s foyer, serves a perfect parable of our youth failed search to be heard on unemployment.
At 29, Mr Tumuhimbise is winding up his years as an unemployed youth without a secure future and means of livelihood. Mr Tumuhimbise is only one of the young and restless 4.4 million of Uganda’s 7.2 million youth.

The lesson here is for our MPs not to develop headaches over breach of security at Parliament by the duo, but must rather be sweating over the youth’s warnings of run-away unemployment, corruption, youth exploitation, and government’s extravagance. Our MPs should be searching for policies to address the depressing recent research by the World Bank which shows that youth unemployment in Uganda stands at more than 62 per cent each year. And worse, more than 400,000 other young Ugandans are added onto the numbers of jobless brotherhood annually.

These worrying statistics should drive our MPs to mind our vulnerable youth and give them special attention. The MPs should recognise the choice of precincts of Parliament by the youth to dramatise their woes was a loud metaphor that they have dismally failed to make the necessary laws and policies to rescue the youth from unemployment.

For their slackness, Article 79 empowers MPs to make laws on any matter for the peace, order, development and good governance of Uganda and so must they do for our youth, and do it urgently.
Comic as it has now become, that Mr Tumuhimbise’s Shs700,000 piggery project proposal did not catch the eye of any of our 300-odd MPs, is pitiful. Also that Mr Tumuhimbise raised about Shs300,000 in a bid to start up the piggery but did not win approval from the several programmes meant to make the youth more employable, brings to question the criteria of choice of our beneficiary youth from the several chances afforded by the youth venture schemes.
The youth chose only a civil form of protest. They should be freed and government arrests their fears instead.