Youth urged to desist theft and indiscipline while at work

By Gloria Nakiyimba
The first batch of 80 youth has been flagged off for industrial jobs by Operation Wealth Creation boss Lieutenant General Charles Angina.
The youth will be working at the new Good will Ceramics industry at the Kapeeka Industrial park in Namunkekera village in Luweero.
Lt. Angina says this is in fulfillment of the ongoing government efforts to create job opportunities to address unemployment among youth which currently stands at 80%.
“Character, commitment and discipline will enable you retain the job” he counseled the youth.
He urged them to resist stealing, respect their employers and supervisors as they take on different jobs.
 Lt.Gen Angina revealed that recruitment of more youth to work in different industries is still going on.
The youth will be employed in upcoming industries in Tororo and Luweero.
In a bid to create wealth, and jobs, Operation Wealth Creation department will start training youth with skills required in the job market.
Good Will Ceramics administrative department manager Zhou Yu says local production of ceramics will drastically reduce cost of importing the product from Europe and China.
“The first production of ceramic tiles is expected within  the next ten days” he told the media in Kampala on Thursday.
According to Zhou Yu, 90% of the raw materials used in manufacture of ceramics is sand from Uganda while 10% of raw materials is imported from China.
He noted that  employees will be paid between 600-8000 shillings for a start, as the group undergoes training but added that they are working on the salary scales.
Every worker will receive a bonus depending on their performance.   In addition Good Will Ceramics will offer accommodation and two meals for each shift.
Major Rubaramira Ruranga advised the group to  avoid living a reckless life that can  lead them to getting HIV/AIDS.
“If you want to be productive, know your HIV status, if positive start taking drugs. There is also Hepatitis B which is acquired in the same way as HIV, so you have to be careful” he counseled the group.
When asked to comment on the impact of sand mining on the environment, Lt. Gen Angina said “those against sand mining are ignorant of what the world has done using resources to create wealth”.
Gen. Angina said many countries in the first world were industrialized by tapping into their natural resources.
He said it was wrong for the Wakiso district chairman LC5 Matiya Lwanga Bwanika to oppose the sand mining which  he noted was  not  only unique to Uganda.
 He gave an example of the USA which he said exports 3.3 million tons of sand annually, and China which exports more than 200 million tons of sand, while Egypt is the leading exporter of sand in Africa.

President warns farmers against wasting operation wealth creation seedlings

President Museveni has said that farmers who neglect seedlings distributed under the Operation Wealth Creation-OWC programme face arrest.

Museveni said that a law will soon be put in place to make it criminal for a person who receives government products but doesn’t put them to use.

“Don’t collect what you don’t want. Why should you ask for the seedlings then keep them in your house? I want a law that will punish such people,” Museveni said.

He was on Monday speaking in Katebwa Sub County, Kabarole district during an assessment exercise of the OWC programme.

Museveni’s comments were in response to Major Swaibu Thembo, the OWC coordinator for Bunyangabu County, who told the President that the programme was facing challenges among them negligence  of the farmers.

Thembo said that in the past three months, more than 3,000 coffee seedlings have been distributed to farmers in Bunyangabu, but some farmers refused to plant them and have rotted, despite requesting for the seedlings.

According to the President, the government has spent billions of money to purchase the seedlings, but it’s unfortunate that they are not being put to use.

The President also asked the OWC commanders and district extension officers to educate the beneficiaries of the programme on good farming methods.

“Before you supply the seedlings, teach the farmers the good agricultural practices and the advantages of growing tea or coffee,” Museveni said.

Steven Muhindo, the chairperson Katebwa Sub County Farmers Association, admits that some farmers are negligent, while others resell the seedlings. He however noted that some of the seedlings are left to rot because the farmers don’t have enough land where to plant them.

Operation Wealth Creation which is run by Uganda People’s Defence Forces Soldiers – UPDF replaced National Agricultural Advisory Services – NAADS extension services programme in 2014. Currently UPDF soldiers are overseeing the distribution of seedlings to farmers.

In different parts of the country, negligence of farmers, lack of monitoring, poor quality seedlings and distribution of inputs to unprepared farmers are some of the challenges affecting the progress of the programme.

In August, the Kabarole district Production Coordinator Salvatore Abigaba was arrested for allegedly forging signatures of beneficiaries of the programme.