Furious M7 Disbands Bigirimana’s YLP Program in Kampala
By John V Sserwaniko
Through State House Comptroller Lucy Nakyobe, President Museveni has commenced efforts to disband Pius Bigirimana’s Youth Livelihood Program (YLP) in Kampala.
Reliable sources have revealed that, on failing to see the program’s visibility in Kampala, Museveni a few weeks ago directed his blue eyed boy Hillary Musoke (formerly a Sejusa PA) to investigate and write him a report advising on the way forward.
Reliable State House sources say that Musoke’s report showed the program was a miserable failure in Kampala and recommended its disbandment so that resources are directed into other efforts. Musoke’s growing influence on Museveni has been manifesting in the last few years since defecting from Uganda Youth Platform (UYP) which was formed in early 2010s specifically to propagate Sejusa’s anti-Museveni First Family propaganda.
Musoke then was disguising his hostile political activities by lecturing development economics at Nkumba University from where Museveni lured him to directly work in his office while helping him identify and convert militant youths that were still loyal to Sejusa.
Musoke’s first assignment was Kampala/KCCA where he advised Museveni against continuing to embrace Jeniffer Musisi’s policies tightening regulation of the Boda-Boda and taxi industry. The young man, who is pursuing his PhD, started sitting in KCCA top management meetings as Museveni’s listening post, to the chagrin of Dr. Judith Tukahirwa who eventually resigned as Musisi’s Deputy.
Also known as Junior Kisanja, Musoke was subsequently deployed in the fisheries sub sector and for months understudied the performance of then Minister Ruth Nankabirwa. He would report directly to Museveni about fisheries. His conceptual paper, reliable sources say, is what Museveni based on to disband the Fisheries Ministry (Prof Nyira was the last Minister there) which has since been replaced with a Fisheries Unit manned by UPDF soldiers.
Reliable sources say Museveni has previously made it clear to his man Vincent Sempijja (the Agric Minister) the Fisheries docket (that was part of MAAIF) will gradually be disbanded. This is so because, according to Museveni as advised by Hillary Musoke, this was a useless docket and the Ministers occupying it were mere figure heads doing nothing.
Musoke maintains that fisheries technocrats at MAAIF are complicit in the catching of immature fish among other malpractices on the lake. Indeed the soldiers now manning fisheries retained Musoke as a consultant on what should be done. The famous Najjera Model was also conceived from the President’s blue print developed by Hillary Musoke who Museveni is fond of publicly praising as development-oriented.
BACK TO YLP
Musoke’s report disclosed to Museveni that despite colossal sums of money being sunk in it, there wasn’t much to show for YLP in Kampala. He argues in his paper that, whereas Ministry of Gender officials led by Mzee Bigirimana have done their part disbursing money to different groups, many of the youths haven’t made any progress.
“They either ate the money or genuinely tried and things failed. What is clear and consistent in different city Divisions is that this program was perhaps not suitable for the youths in Kampala or it was a problem of not being inducted on how to start successful enterprises. Whoever you talk to, they are just crying saying things didn’t work out,” said sources familiar with Musoke’s report.
The report advises against going after these YLP flops, by way of prosecuting them, arguing that will politically make things more complicated for Museveni in 2021. So on Musoke’s strong recommendation, Museveni has resolved to forget about YLP and instead launch something different to still try and lift thousands of jobless Kampala youths from poverty.
Supervised by Nakyobe, Musoke last month completed a concept paper for something called “Skilling the Girl Child [SGC]” and on reading through, Museveni instantly liked the idea. It’s an intervention that will directly be coordinated from State House by Nakyobe technically aided by Hillary Musoke and this is what one of the knowledgeable sources we spoke to for this article said about the new program:
“SGC seeks to equip girls with vocational skills in areas like weaving, knitting and others. They will undergo training for 6 months all at Mzee’s cost and after graduating they will be certified and equipped with the appropriate machinery to begin working.”
Indeed last week, Nakyobe wrote to KCCA leaders asking them to avail Community Centers to be used for the 6 months training of the jobless youths in Kampala. Nakyobe’s letter proposed Nakawa to be the pilot Division for SGC and specifically 4 community centers have been designated to commence this training later this month. The 4 are Naguru, Kyanja, Kiswa and Mbuya-all in Nakawa Division.
“In fact Mzee was supposed to launch SGC in Nakawa Division on April 1st but he got busy and rescheduled. That is the day he will publicly share his dismay with YLP and announce the SGC intervention in its place,” said a reliable State House source adding that a new launching date was being devised most likely after Easter.
State House sources said that whereas Bigirimana’s YLP failed in Kampala largely because the youths mentally set out to “just steal the money and promise the President another term in return,” the Najjera Model largely achieved its objective and the big man was happy it succeeded.
“Hundreds of youths got the skills and the machinery and indeed engaged in production via metal fabrication. The problem now for them is that the machines are idle because they have failed to get market for the stuff they produced. So they are now stuck; very productive and produced many things but nobody is buying from them. Maybe people are poor or something. The challenge now for Mzee is to stimulate demand for their products through things like BuBu which can be used to compel government MDAs to buy from them,” said a Museveni aide.
It was further revealed that: “Because the Najjera Model went into things that naturally attracted males than female youths, a gap has been identified hence the SGC in order to specifically skill the jobless female youths.”
This source consequently maintained that SGC was coming not to replace the Najjera Model but to compliment it by directing financial resources to vocational trades that are more attractive to female youths-things like tailoring, weaving, knitting etc.
Having failed to realize the anticipated levels of accountability from Basoga youths to whom he publicly gave sacks of money, a relentless Museveni resorted to involving Nakyobe directly in such interventions. This is why she has lately been conspicuously in the President’s peasant farming activities in Luwero and previously in Busoga.
Informed insiders insist that introverted Hillary Musoke is the brain behind most of these personal interventions by the President.