In 2004 under the stewardship of Zoe Bakoko Bakoru, the Ministry for Gender formulated a National policy plan of Interventions for Orphans and other Vulnerable Children in the Country. This was considered a remarkable achievement in Uganda’s response to the situation of orphans and other vulnerable children and widows. Formerly President Obote had had a full Ministry in-charge of this sector after his army and Museveni’ s rebel outfit had created many orphans and widows in the Country.
Prior to this,the first Lady Janet Museveni had been running an NGO called Uganda women effort to save orphans (UWESO) structured along side the LC system. Whatever happened to this effort,only God knows.
The plan proposed by the Ministry was for well laid out and institutionalized procedures that were to expand access to essential services for orphans and other vulnerable children, their caregivers and families and households. All this where to be housed under the Ministry of Gender and social development and the Country planned to have these institutions fully operational by 2010. This whole project was funded by our foreign partners including UNICEF.
I remembered all this yesterday when I saw a musician Catherine Kusasira delivering sh20 million from the President to the family of the slain Kawuma. Most probably Museveni didn’t sell his cows to raise this money but picked Government funds and trusted them to a non Government Official, Kusasira. The action was right but the procedure was wrong, no wonder that the family in anger turned the money away.
I don’t know why,Mr.Museveni is continuously running away from his Government institutions and prefers to deal with the “Catherine Kusasiras” of this world. We have so many orphaned children and widowed women in Uganda today who are so vulnerable and definitely need a government hand extended through a well laid and institutionalised procedure to cater for housing, food, education, health and other issues of welfare.According to the plan,this would be achieved not through constant giving of handouts but through families getting assistance to start money generating projects or packages to cater for the same.
What Museveni is now drawing the gullible Kusasiras in, is complicity. Complicity is the participation in a completed criminal act of an accomplice, a partner in the crime who aids or encourages (abets) other perpetrators of that crime, and who shared with them an intent to act to complete the crime. Kusasira with all her excitement poor lady is being risked to approach already angered Ugandans who have had their loved ones killed in cold blood and are yearning for justice.By this action of carrying money to buy off the anger of those who had their loved ones murdered, Kusasira becomes a murderer by complicity.
Yasin Kawuma’ s family must be a responsibility of the Ugandan taxpayer because its our army the UPDF that arbitrarily executed their bread winner. But when Ugandans are to make such good of a bad situation,justice must be done first and papertuaters punished. I therefore say Kawuma’ s family is entitled to every penny of the money that Kusasira was carrying and more,the only anomaly is that it was being delivered by a wrong person with wrong motives.
So if Museveni these days trusts Catherine Kusasira more than Janet Mukwaya the Minister for Gender let him disappoint the latter and appoint the former, allow her to set up a Government body to cater for orphans and therefore reach out to Kawuma’s children and widow. The new Minister for Gender Catherine Kusasira would be required to not only reaching out to Kawuma’s family but also to the many more orphans and widows across the country.