Shs336bn for purchase of radios: Money heist or patriotic act?


By Derrick Were

With all due respect, the Covid19 pandemic came as one of the things we have never witnessed in human history.

Specifically in Uganda, it came as a money-siphoning venture for those with sharp minds.

Mostly affected, till to-date, is the education sector with over 13 million students still home.

From what the Ministry of Education said, there “was to be no dead year for all those in continuing classes” since there was to be what they termed as “home schooling.”

This home schooling project was to be aided with newspaper questions, television and radio programmes.

One of the most captivating news from parliament in the recent past has been the continued appearance of the motion to purchase nine million radios to support home schooling for the continuing classes so that at an appropriate time, they would go back to school just to do promotional examinations.

One would wonder what drives the State Minister for Higher Education, Dr. JC Muyingo to always bring up this motion in parliament, despite its continued failure to appeal to the majority of the legislators in the house.

Looking at the academic calendar of the year, 2020, we are supposed to be ending the academic year on November 27, 2020 although it won’t be the case due to the adjustments for specifically candidate classes as well as the university finalists and medical students.

The radios were supposed to have been distributed way back in June and July in order to do what they were initially meant to.

But what went wrong then? If I am not mistaken, this could have been one of the reasons why a proposition came up to have candidates and finalists go back to prepare for their final examinations from school since the home schooling method had failed even before starting.

The president promised to talk about the fate of the continuing classes in January, 2021.

The year is left with almost one month of December. What happens during that month?

We all know; festivities and zero academic work.

Without being thought hopeless and sadistic, is December too long a time to lose than what we have already lost?

And if yes, how long is the purchasing and distribution process going to take?

We saw scenarios of areas that never got food relief and masks during the lockdown period.

How sure can we be that these radios will reach the intended target group?

That aside, should we think that the people pushing for this are the most patriotic Ugandans we have ever had in history?

I think the Shs336bn is just another money heist by just a given group of individuals to take them through the festive season.

What’s sad is, whether bought or not, the taxpayers’ money always finds ways of disappearing into individual hands.

I don’t mean to sound rude to those pushing for the radio deal, but the recent visit to the factory by some of the members of parliament to look at the progress of the project should have been enough to show everyone that there is something off about the whole idea.

Would I be wrong to say that this is a scam?

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