Crime & Investigation

UNRA PROBE: Eutaw Named in Shoddy Ishaka-Kagamba Road Deal

Uganda’s unemployment rate is at 83 percent between the ages of 15-30.

For every 30, cialis 40mg malady 000 jobs available, viagra approved there are 390, 0000 persons competing for them.  For every one job in the formal sector, there are more than 50 people struggling for it.

Thousands of new graduates compete with those who completed earlier for the few jobs made available each year. This means the majority of new entrants in the labor market hardly find gainful employment.

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The current job market can hardly absorb about 25 percent of fresh graduates and the remaining 75 percent who cannot afford to remain idle are forced to enter the informal economy.

The unmasked reality is that youth are being used to do anything as long as it puts food on the  plate irrespective of the hazard such activities might bring upon them.

During any political or social economic unrest by either politician, students at the universities or community, the youth see this as an opportunity to loot property from shops and markets.

A World Bank survey in 2011 indicated that about 40 percent of those who join rebel movements are motivated by lack of jobs .

The challenge of unemployment isn’t only in Uganda but around Africa.

Agriculture sector employs 80-85 percent of the entire working Ugandan population with the largest portion consisting of small holder farmers.

It is very unfortunate that the young people have continued to shun away from agriculture and yet it is one sure way that can provide employment.

Farming has been left to the old who still use the archaic methods of farming coupled with rudimental tools hence finding it hard to earn meaningfully from the agriculture.

It is the young, energetic youth who are aware of modern farming practices that can transform the sector and earn meaningfully from it.

Changing the mindset of the young people and showing them that they can succeed in farming is paramount in revamping the agriculture sector in this country.  Through a massive sensitization exercise conducted by Young farmers’ coalition of Uganda, some young people have decided to go agriculture and they have started harvesting their dreams.

A one Nelson Tugume left his former work, relocated to his home village in Kiruhura where he started a passion fruit farm. One year on, Nelson has already started harvesting and he is earning double what he was earning at his former employment.

His passion fruit farm employs five youths who were formally unemployed. If more young people can join and do agriculture as a business like Nelson did, more jobs would be created both directly and indirectly.

I am obliged to young farmers’ coalition of Uganda for having realized this incentive and took the lead in changing the mindset of the youth towards agriculture.

There is no doubt that through sensitization, we can attract more youth into agriculture hence reducing the levels of unemployment not only in Uganda but across the East African.

By Brian Katabazi

The writer is the Head of Communications and IT,at Young Farmers’ Coalition of Uganda (YOFACO)
The probe commission investigating corruption and abuse of office in Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) has discovered that there were discrepancies in procurement of works services for the upgrading of the 35km Ishaka – Kagamba road.

On Monday, view former Head of Procurement at the roads Authority Mr. Dan Mugura was tasked to explain why two different ‘Eutaw International’ companies submitted a bid for work yet it had not been prequalified as the procurement procedure demands.

Furthermore, dosage the lead counsel Andrew Kasirye queried Mr Mugura how Eutaw International subsequently got on Ishaka – Kagamba road and Mukono-Katotsi-Kyetume road yet it had only applied for one road (Kapchorwa-Suam).

The commission expressed concern that Eutaw was illegally awarded the contract.

“A lot of things appear to have been smuggled into these documents. How did Eutaw get these two other roads that they didn’t apply for?” asked the lead commissioner, Justice Catherine Bamugemereire.

However the witness claimed that there’s evidence to prove that the firm in question applied for all the roads on which it worked.

“I suspect that the commission is working on wrong information because there’s evidence that Eutaw International applied for all the three roads,” claimed Mugura during the hearing on Monday.

He argued that he had earlier presented the same evidence when investigations following the Mukono-Katosi-Kyetume road saga last year.

Meanwhile, the same Eutaw received an advance payment of sh24.7b in a fraudulent deal meant for the upgrade of the sh165b Mukono-Katosi road, a corruption scandal that led to the sacking of top UNRA officials and charging of Roads and Transport Minister Abraham Byandala on corruption charges.

The former Procurement officer at UNRA, Allen Namale who also testified before the commission on Tuesday said that at opening of applications, Eutaw had only applied for Kapchorwa – Suam road.

Commencement of works of the USD 672 million Ishaka-Kagamba road project is said to have been delayed majorly due to absence of design drawings and delay in land acquisition.

This in effect extended completion time and led to variation of contract price.


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