Minister Amelia Kyambadde leaves residents dumbfounded when she weeps during a school fundraiser in Mpigi town council.
By Paddy Bukenya
MPIGI - Uganda's Trade and Industry Minister Amelia Kyambadde left residents dumbfounded when she wept during a school fundraiser in Mpigi town council.
The visibly disconsolate minister had been invited to speak as guest of honour at Namabo Primary School in Kafumu Parish, Mpigi town council, where a US delegation led by a 9-year-old made a donation towards the construction of latrines and four classroom blocks.
A stony silence engulfed the gathering as Amelia composed herself. (PHOTO CREDIT: Paddy Bukenya)
When she got to the microphone, she broke down and cried as residents and pupils looked on puzzled. There was a stony silence of nearly five minutes as stunned residents exchanged blank glances.
Security officials led the minister back to her seat and waited for her to recollect herself before going on to resume her interrupted speech.
The moment Amelia Kyambadde broke down as she started making her speech
The minister carried on with her speech, explaining that the sight of hungry pupils and the state of the school had literally reduced her to tears.
Amelia seems to say something to a member of the US delegation as she cries
She noted that as the pupils sang a welcome song for the guests, they were hardly audible; they looked malnourished, starved, and most of them were barefooted, with jiggers visibly sticking out of their toes.
The sight of hungry pupils, most of them barefooted with jiggers sticking out of their toes moved the minister to tears
A Primary Six pupil even failed to pronounce the word 'going'.
The school is littered with dilapidated structures that could collapse anytime. Amelia noted that most of the classes are conducted under trees while district leaders have exhibited the highest level of negligence.
Classes are conducted under trees, as the minister discovered (above) and below is an incomplete dilapidated structure supposed to house a classroom
The school head, Richard Nsubuga, informed the minister and the US delegation that of the 350 pupils in the school, only 50 had cleared lunch dues for the school term.
A nine-year-old (squatting) who led the US delegation looks on during the commissioning of four classroom blocks at the school
The situation is so alarming that pupils are hardly responsive during late afternoon classes because of hunger.
The US delegation made the donation through an NGO, Twezimbe Development Foundation, which is owned by the minister.
The Mpigi district education boss, Jacinta Ndagire, said they were aware of the plight of this school but had started constructing teachers' quarters.
Trade Minister Amelia weeps for hungry pupils