By Spy Uganda
Tooro: As the country warms up for 2021-2026 general elections, Burahya county aspiring Member of Parliament, the youthful Ruben Kimome Araali has released his long awaited manifesto focusing on boosting the snail development of his Tooro sub-region, Kabarole District, but more specifically, his Burahya county. Kimome a law graduate and former personal secretary to Fort Portal Tourist City MP Alex Ruhunda Akiiki aka #Nikisoboka. Kimome’s slogan, “Makubebe” is the new-in-thing in his constituency that most of his fans are now fond of calling him ‘Makubebe’ (working together like ants) more often than his true names. He recently released his manifesto than has since left some of his contenders with cold feet. Kimome, having anticipated the obvious voter bribery and violence in the just concluded NRM primaries, he, from the one go, refused to take part in their primaries and decided to come independent. “In our area, a head of the family would come with two dogs and line with them, and they would be counted as voters! People would shift from one polling station to another and vote. Others would be be counted,then go back to the line behind the supposed to be last person, come back again and vote, five times. A sane person can’t call that ‘people’s voice’,”Kimome told this reporter last night, although we couldn’t separately authenticate the same.
Read Kimome’s full manifesto
“Ladies and Gentlemen I greet you in the name of Jesus Christ!
Allow me declare today, that I will be contesting for Burahya County MP as an independent candidate. When times are hard and difficult citizens and leaders must work together. I call upon each one of you to join me as we take Burahya county to greater heights.
Reasons for my candidature.
1. Land Matters
Burahya, like all other parts of Tooro (and Uganda at large) has been affected by land grabbing. The result has been constant land battles – undermining social cohesion and development of the area.
As the MP for Burahya, I will set up and lead a Community Lands Dispute Committee that will work with both government officials and civil society leaders, to peacefully resolve land disputes in Burahya. This group will also advocate on behalf of the poor – who are sometimes taken advantage of by rich unscrupulous land grabbers.
As a trained lawyer, I will stand with the community to identify and quickly address the causes of land grabbing. As an MP, I will work with my fellow legislators to close existing loopholes in our land laws, and offer concrete proposals to reform our judicial system – which sometimes perpetuate this land grabbing.
I will work tireless to address the legal, structural, institutional and cultural challenges on the land matter.
With my team, we will fight to increase transparency in land ownership processes – by computerizing land records, and holding local leaders accountable.
As a lawyer, I will also advise the community on their land rights, how they can protect those rights.
I will also sensitize the community on the importance of land ownership; and discourage them from selling their ‘gold mines’ – to acquire short term perishable assets like Boda Bodas, used cars, etc.
By far, Agriculture remains the bedrock of our economy. And, Burahya is both the bread basket and cash cow of the region. In addition to the industrious subsistence farming activities, the area has vast commercial dairy farms, and matooke and tea plantations – among others.
These local and commercial agricultural activities need government support – but, also a strong advocate. For example, the recent fluctuations in global tea prices have have translated to heavy losses. And, to cope, companies that are suffocating from loans and high operational costs have downsized – resulting in unemployment for many of our people. As the area MP, I will work within parliament to lobby for the creation of a national agricultural marketing entity – similar to the Uganda Investment Authority, to nationally and globally market the nation’s foreign exchange earners like our Tea from Burahya.
I will also work had to strengthen laws that protect employment and bargaining rights of agricultural workers – both permanent and seasonal ones.
I will also encourage the creation of small scale industries – to add value to our local food products.
3. Youth Opportunities –
The numbers of unemployment amongst our youth are staggering. Agriculture alone will not do the trick. We need Industrialization, and Entrepreneurship skills development. The first step will have to be the revamping of vocational training in the area.
As the MP for Burahya, I will advocate for a revitalized national vocational training program – to equip our youth with skills that will turn them into job creators – as opposed to job seekers. For Burahya, I will lobby government for a modern Hospitality Vocational training institute – to equip our area youth with tourism and hospitality industry skills that will enable them to set up enterprises/business activities that will benefit from and compliment the development of Fort Portal Tourism City.
The area is blessed with many tourist attractions – including but not limited to crater lakes, the mountains, natural forests, etc. These will give our youth a firm foundation.
4. Healthcare –
Government has the responsibility to ensure provision of health services that should be accessed by all citizens. The problem is that health units were put up, but were not adequately equipped with the medical equipment, personnel and medical supplies like drugs, gloves, etc.
Women are dying as they travel long distances to try and safely delivery their babies. Accident victims in rural areas have no access life-saving first aid medical interventions; there is no blood in rural health centers. Many people who suffer from diabetes and blood pressure ailments have to travel long distances to hospitals in Fort Portal every Thursday for medicine.
And, now that we are faced with a global pandemic, our people are even more vulnerable. I intend to advocate strongly for reforms and proper funding for the national health care system – and specifically, for Burahya.
5. Education –
It is not a secret that the education standards of our region have declined over the years. The old days when Tooro had the best schools that were the envy of the entire nation are long gone. But, we can reclaim that lost glory. If elected, I will make that my most immediate priority. I will concentrate on promoting the teaching of science, innovation/entrepreneurship, digital technology and ICT solutions – that will equip our students with marketable skills.
I will also continue to work/collaborate with area Educational efforts – like the noble idea of Tooro Education Fund (TEF) – advanced by Tooro People’s Conference – to support bright but needy students at different levels of their education.
I will also work hard as a leader to create partnerships and seek support and new ideas to improve the quality of Education in Burahya and the Tooro region at large.
In Parliament, I will support policies to fight rapid global warming (climate change) – and will be a strong advocate for preserving our natural resources – and promoting sustainable growth. Proper laws will help, but, I know the hard work is through community sensitization programs – and, I will be that advocate – both at the local and national level.
7. Financial Empowerment-
I will work with like minded area leaders to create/establish ‘Makubebe Foundation’.
This will mobilize the coalition of the willing from different villages to work together under the “Twimuke Tukorre hamu Makubebe” strategy – to build houses (Makubebe Estates), investment clubs, and small businesses.
FOR GOD AND MY COUNTRY.
Twimuke Tukorre hamu Makubebe!”