Opinion
Soroti University key for the 2016 general election in TesoPublish Date: May 15, 2014
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By Godfrey Beinomugisha

The current trend and the twist of politics in the eastern region particularly in Soroti and the districts around indicates that pressure will be mounting high and hard questions on the politicians and those planning for a re-election.

A presidential pledge for Teso University was given in 2011 elections that a public university would be built to serve people around eastern Uganda especially in Teso sub-region, Karamoja and Lango.

Most youth can’t afford going to the central region to study due to the high cost of leaving in Kampala and the high tuition fees so many of them have resorted to short courses; a fact that affects them academically and others have not gone for further studies citing high tuition fees that a peasant farmer can’t afford.

Teso region was promised full support, if they abandoned the rebellion that left many into extreme poverty. Taking an example of say Katakwi District, many parents have not been able take their children to higher institutions.

A feasibility study was done by the Government in 2012 at "Teso College Aloet and Uganda College of Commerce as a good cite for the university, but for the last three years, not even a foundation stone has been laid. Soroti was divided into several districts.

The greater Teso region includes Katakwi, Serere, Amuria, Kaberamaido, Kumi, Ngora and Bukedea.

Some districts have very high populations that need attention. The public’s demand for this public university might chock support for the NRM, if it is not dealt with immediately.

People ask why their very own minister of education has not worked so hard towards the establishment of this university because it’s the only hope to many who can't go to Kyambogo, Makerere or MUBS.

Taking an example of Kampala International University western campus, which has changed the face of  Ishaka and Bushenyi in western Uganda in western Uganda and also two other private universities in Kabale: Bishop Barlam and  Kabale University, Mbarara University of Science and Technology and Bishop Stuart Universty in Mbarara.

Also in Tororo Busitema Agriculture University in Tororo district, Mountains of the moon university in Kasese and Gulu University. Some of these are private universities though. It will be a tall question standing to challenge NRM in 2016. Therefore, NRM has to work towards achieving this Soroti public university plan otherwise it will reduce its support in the coming 2016 general elections.

Similarly, a group of board of members of Teso Cooperative Union has always been frustrated on trying to see the President on several occasions, to discuss how they can revamp the union which remains the only hope to many farmers, who are about 15,000 members in the region.

The union wants a loan to buy tractors, seeds to revamp to forgotten union but the bureaucracy and neglect remains a challenge.

My only request is to remind government to do as it pledged in the 2011 elections because these will be challenging questions to deal with when it comes to 2016 general elections.

The writer is a banker in Soroti
nyakitoko@gmail.com

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