By Andrew Baba Buluba
Former Presidential candidate and leader of the National Economic Empowerment Dialogue (NEED) Joseph Kabuleta has extended the gospel on fighting for the country’s natural resources with a visit to the Bukedi sub-region on November 05.
In September 2021, Kabuleta launched an economic movement, NEED, which he said aims at awakening the country to fight for their economic rights and protecting the vast natural endowments to benefit everybody.
The Friday interaction in Bukedi brought together over 120 political leaders who failed in this year’s elections as representatives from the 12 districts and 22 constituencies that make up the sub-region.
Kabuleta said Uganda’s biggest gold mine was only recently launched in Busia district which will soon be producing one ton of gold a day, according to a government-owned owned New Vision newspaper on October 11th, 2021.
The same story also said that a total of 8.9 million tonnes of gold have been discovered in the region.
At the current market price, a kilogram of gold is priced at about $55,000 on the world market. That means the mine in Busia will soon be producing $55m worth of gold in a single day, yet Bukedi is ranked as the poorest region in the country, according to some surveys.
“How can a region which is rich in limestone and phosphates and boasts of three big cement factories be the poorest?” the former presidential candidate asked the NEED delegates.
“How can a region which has the two very lucrative gateways to Kenya be the poorest?”How can a region so rich in fertile land and rice farms be ranked as one of the highest in food insecurity? How can a region situated between lake Victoria on one silk end lake Kyoga on the other be the poorest?”
Kabuleta urged the leaders of the region to wake up from their slumber and stand up to fight for their wealth which he said was being systematically stolen by a few political elites who have now used their connections to acquire square miles of resource-rich land in the region.
“For us, Uganda is a nation that holds our future, as our national anthem states, but to our President, Uganda is nothing more landmass mass over which he has control, and all the resources therein belong to him and his immediate family. The real fight is for our country, especially for its resources which have been taken captive by one family.”
While launching NEED in September, the former sports pundit said the movement would be constituted of politicians who currently hold no office but have influence in their respective sub-regions who will be the torchbearers in starting to start meaningful discussions that shall inspire a comic awakening in Uganda.