“Sensitize the Youths Against Cattle Rustling in the Karamoja Sub-Region”- Minister Babalanda Tells Church Leaders

The Minister for Presidency, Hon. Babirye Milly Babalanda has appealed to the Church leadership in Karamoja sub-region to continue sensitizing the youth against cattle rustling.

She said cattle rustling is the source of instability and backwardness in the sub-region and the leaders should work towards curbing down the illegal act.

“If the situation of rustling is eliminated and there are no more illegal guns in the sub-region, the military will leave Karamoja. Otherwise, the presence of illegal guns and the instability caused by rustling are the main reasons Karamoja has been keep behind. When the people try to come together to create wealth, instability comes in and dismantles their efforts. On the account of this instability, many community members fear to start businesses, clear farms or even to think out of the box. Yet the mainstay of the region is in livestock keeping and anything that disorganizes this industry is sure to hamper the potential of the region,” Hon. Babalanda said.

The Minister made the remarks today while meeting with the Church leadership and the religious community in Nakapiripirit District.

Hon. Babalanda however commended the Church leadership for leading the campaigns to pray for stability in Karamoja. She explained that President Yoweri Museveni who is the champion of peace and stability in the sub region and the entire country, has enjoyed working with the religious and opinion leaders of the Karamoja sub-region and he appreciates their support towards pacifying the sub region.

“Had it not to be his tireless efforts and interest in keeping Karamoja safe and secure, I would not have been able to meet with you today,” she asserted.

The Minister further implored the Church leaders to encourage the population to participate in government programs such as Parish Development Model (PDM) and Emyooga, that are aimed at fighting poverty in the households.

“I also encourage the leaders and the people to fight the vice of corruption in the sub-region. The People should be vigilant to know what the government is planning for their areas, not only at the center but even at the local levels. The people should be keen to see to it that the district local governments provide the public services as planned and prioritized and that the leaders account for every penny released from the center,” she said.

As the immediate supervisor of the Resident District Commissioners (RDCs), Hon. Babalanda advised the leaders to seek for information about government programs from the commissioners and to discuss on how the public resources are being applied.

“If the RDCs are not able to provide you with the information I request you to contact the presidency through the toll-free telephone contacts that is available at the noticeboard at the RDC’s Office. You can as well lodge your complaint and obtain assistance through the Karamoja Region RDC Secretariat Regional Commissioner Sister Grace Akiror,” the Minister added.

“The church should help to talk to the young people to give them hope so that they are not used by the wrong people in the region. The church is neutral and can be listened to by the young people. It is well known in many parts of the country that the young people are being recruited into activities that are escalating instability and pushing back development. We need to talk to them and inspire them to look at the bigger picture of development. Development is achieved step by step by working hard and not through easy gains.”

On the other hand, Hon. Babalanda reiterated government’s commitment to ensuring peace and stability in Karamoja.

“We will continue to work with you to ensure that we transform Karamoja.”

The Nakapiripirit District Vice Chairperson, Mr. Yoyo Joseph thanked the minister for visiting them and thanked the Church for their activities aimed at promoting peace and education in the area.

He also applauded his fellow leaders in the district for the good working relationship and promotion of the government programs.

The area RDC, Mr. Okurut John Micheal said, ” The PDM is here to benefit you so support it to transform your lives.”