Crime & Investigation

TVO Saga: Robert Shaka Indicted

Robert Shaka at SIU headquarters in Kireka on Tuesday (Photo credit: John Njoroge)

First Lady Janet Museveni made a touching speech at the launch of Kobulin Youth Skills Centre in Napak District on Monday as she narrated the painful struggle of Karamajong women and children as they desperately try to escape poverty and destitution.

The Minister for Karamoja Affairs also expressed joy that the region is developing fast and steadily meeting the needs of its people.

She said the long distances women walk to Kampala for survival are quickly coming to an end.

Header advertisement

Janet elaborated that functionality of Kobulin centre “comes at a time when the role of family in nation building is being tested as many Karamajong families especially those in Napak move to search for better lives in Kampala and other parts of the country.”

She pointed out that, remedy help “The migration of the people especially women and children from Napak district has had both positive and negative effects on those involved or left behind,” adding, “Although members of families that have migrated could have contributed to the livelihoods of the family by sending some support, this has been to the detriment of children.”

Janet said the promotion of the well being of the children and women is critical for national unity and development and that families of the vulnerable children must be targeted in order to achieve equitable and sustainable development.

The Minister is credited for having turned around Karamoja, a region known for poverty and illiteracy into a food basket and shining example of economic transformation.

Senior government officials including PS Pius Bigirimana (3rd left) at the function

Senior government officials including PS Pius Bigirimana (3rd left) at the function

Chimp Corps report Janet recalled that Karamoja “was one time known as most hard to reach areas and many people had negative mindset on the potential of Karamoja in National Development.”

She added: “As I talk now, Karamoja has become one of the areas people crave to live in. The Government through my office and other departments has worked tirelessly to create conducive environment to nurture and enhance the potential of Karamajong. We have embarked on addressing infrastructural bottlenecks to stimulate meaningful investments in Karamoja so as to reduce the cost of doing business.”

Janet said it was her “conviction that these in turn will attract industrial development and create more employment opportunities.”

Karamoja is being connected to the main power grid and the roads are being upgraded.

Janet expressed hope that the recent elevation of the status of Moroto into a city will benefit the region.

However, she argued, this cannot be possible if the people migrate to other parts of the country.

Children Affairs Minister, Evelyne Anite (2nd right) graced the function

Children Affairs Minister, Evelyne Anite (2nd right) graced the function

Economic development

“Operationalisation of Kobulin as centre for skills training is one of strategic spring board to catalyze sustainable socio economic development. The centre should address issues of child protection, domestic violence as well as youth empowerment,” said the First Lady.

The launch of the skills centre was attended by the State Minister of Youth and Children Affairs, Hon Evelyne Anite and Gender Ministry Permanent Secretary, Pius Bigirimana.

Janet said Government of Uganda has among others put in place deliberate efforts to support families and vulnerable persons of the community.

She emphasised that through NUSAF II and KIDP in her Ministry, they have managed to improve household incomes, address issues of health of the people and ensure food security in Karamoja among others.

“I would like to thank the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development for including Karamoja as one of the regions where social assistance grants are provided to empower women and families,” said Janet.

“I would also like to thank the Ministry for initiating Youth Livelihoods Programme and forthcoming Women Livelihood Program. These programs will greatly empower the Karamajong youth and women.”

Janet warned these important programs and positive benefits made so far are being sabotaged by “some people who encourage innocent children and lure them to migrate to streets. This has not only led to social disunity and disintegration of families where husbands, wives and children have been separated but has resulted into irreversible mental trauma, loss of mother tongue, values, family breakdown as well as promiscuity in case of separation of spouses.”

The Minister said, “These children and adults who have moved to urban areas continue to be exposed to dangerous and risky lives. This migration by Karamajong women and children is a turn-down to the philosophy of migration, which used to be a tool of food security. This act impact negatively on the women, children and family left behind as well as development in Napak District and Karamoja sub region as a whole.”

She appealed to Government, Civil Society Organisations, Development Partners, the media and public in general “to take up the challenge and play their role in addressing migration of Karamojong children and women to streets of Kampala and urban areas.”

Kabulin now hosts 110 kids taken from Kampala streets.

The facility is expected to empower the vulnerable children, youth and women of Karamoja with skills to engage in commercial activities such as agriculture to improve their livelihoods.

“Once Kobulin becomes operational, there would be no justification for our children in need of care to be abandoned or our young people and women not empowered,” affirmed the First Lady.

“I wish to take this opportunity to recognise support by Ministry of Gender Labour and Social since 2006 in addressing the phenomenon of Karamajong street children for national unity and development. I do appreciate that the number of children has reduced tremendously to a manageable one.”
Fresh charges have been slapped on sociopolitical commentator Robert Shaka, there following his arrest and detention on Monday, his lawyers have revealed.

Mr Shaka, who is accused of promoting sectarianism in the country using his social media accounts, was picked up at his home on Monday morning.

“A group of 10 police officers from the Special Investigations Unit [SIU] intercepted and arrested Mr Shaka as his home in Kyaliwajjala,” his lawyer Nicholas Opiyo told press on Tuesday.

Shaka is believed to be behind the notorious cyber bully account in the names of Tom Voltaire Okwalinga.

According to his lawyer Opiyo, he is now being accused of “Using computers and other electronic gadgets to issue offensive communication against the sovereign State of Uganda, bring it to hatred and contempt, and promoting sectarianism centrally to Section 41 of the Penal Code.”

Mr Shaka is also accused of attacking the person of President Yoweri Museveni, the First Lady Janet Museveni, IGP Kale Kayihura and Hon Amama Mbabazi.

Shaka has for the last 3 months been reporting to the CIID Headquarters particularly to the Media Offenses Unit that had earlier granted him police bond as investigations went on.

His home was searched in February and several gadgets including a laptop, ipad and flash discs were confiscated by police.

Mr Opiyo expressed displeasure that Shaka remains in detention without any form of electronic gadgetry, yet the said TVO continues to operate his/her social media accounts embarrassingly exposing the baselessness of the police accusations.

The lawyer vowed to prove Shaka’s innocence in courts of law, if he is charged.

“His social media accounts are well known and don’t appear under any pseudo name as the police alleges. His unceremonious arrest and detention represents an affront to the freedom of expression for all Ugandans especially those using new media platforms to express their views,” added Opio.

Shaka’s arrest has also generated widespread protest over social media, with unending calls for his immediate release




Header advertisement
To Top