The president was responding to cries from the women who told him that the money government gives to their groups do not reach them
President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni has told women groups in Kampala that the reason why money does not reach them is that they vote for people who do not have access to where the national cake is shared.
“Whenever we give you a chance to vote you misuse it by voting people like Moses Kasibante, Kato Lubwama to Parliament. These people do not have access to where we share the cake,” he said while speaking in Luganda.
The President was responding to cries from the women who told him that the money the government gives to their groups does not reach them. They also asked him to increase the amount given to women groups to meet the demands of the growing number of women in the city.
Grace Kanyike, the chairperson Kampala Women’s Council said that though government funding through Operation Wealth Creation, Youth Livelihood Program and Uganda Women Entrepreneurship Program has elevated the status of women, there is need to increase the money.
She said the council has no money to run its programs such as monitoring of women projects.
Juliet Namale, from the Shauriako B women’s group in Kikuubo, revealed that the money government gives the groups does not reach them.
“The issue of increasing money would have been easy if you had voted good Members of Parliament who would help follow up this money. But still, we will see how to help you,” he added.
The President was speaking as the guest of honour at a belated women’s day event at Kololo ceremonial grounds on Wednesday. The event was organised by Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) under the theme Empowering Women through Innovative Approaches to Social Protection: A Prerequisite for Inclusive and Sustainable Development.
The celebrations, graced by hundreds of women in Kampala district, started early in the morning with entertainment from various women and youth groups. The women were treated to traditional and contemporary dances, plays and poetry praising the various programs the President has championed towards empowering women and youth.
Gospel musician and Buikwe district MP Judith Babirye worked the crowd with her hit songs Maama, Ndi Survivor and Favour.
Museveni, who arrived at the function in the evening, was warmly received by the elated women who sang his praises. He inspected the various stalls of their products and inspected a guard of honour mounted by Uganda Prisons and Police women.
He also handed over dummy cheques to 258 community-driven development (CDD) groups in Kampala and 34 groups under the Uganda Women Entrepreneurship Program (UWEP). CDDs got sh1.3b while UWEP got sh417m.
In his remarks, Museveni urged the women to form savings and credits cooperative organisations according to what they do to make easier for the government to give and also monitor how the money they are given is put to use.
He said that the idea was first mooted by the women and youth in Kassanda district and when he agreed, 13 groups were formed to which sh260m was released.
The President said those in the salon business should form their own while those in catering form their own. In this way, complaints about the money given to a few individuals will be avoided. He also noted that since Kampala is big, the groups should be organised at the division level.
“We want to help you with a start-up so that everyone does something that will create jobs and wealth,” Museveni said.
He also said that the government is focusing on supporting those who produce for both the local and international market such as those dealing in hides and skins, clothes and shoemaking, and urged the women to venture into such businesses.
Minister of Kampala Beti Kamya noted that the event was organised to celebrate women who have taken over both the responsibility as a mother and father to provide for their children, while at the same time developed their professional careers.
“Women in Kampala have a unique role, they take care of their families, pay school fees, pay rent, feed the family and help their husbands as well. All they want is what to do and peace to enable them work,” she said.
The acting KCCA executive director, Andrew Kitaka, said they are working towards making the city safer for women and girls through their street lighting master plan and their plan to ring-fence 30% of the programs at the authority to benefit youth and women.