Rose Namayanja, the Minister of Information and National Guidance

Rose Namayanja, the Minister of Information and National Guidance

Some women told New Vision that the matter of compensation is so dear to them that every time they have a conversation with any political actor, they have to drive the point home.

This week, they had a rare chance. It was Rosemary Namayanja, the NRM national treasurer, who had gone to preside over the Christian Women Fellowship celebrations at Namiika Church of Uganda.

Key on the women agenda were issues concerning the Government plan to transfer the city to Nakasongola, expansion of the military base in the area and the presence of security officers on the lake, who they said hamper fishing.

?We want you to help us engage with various Government and NRM officials to speed up the process of compensation. There are many women who are going to be affected if the compensation is not done in the right way,? Margaret Komuhangi, the district woman MP, told Namayanja on behalf of the women.

Namayana said that: ?As the party in power, we will monitor the situation and ensure that you are all compensated.?

Namayanja also pledged to engage the ministers and the UPDF leadership to ensure that the process of compensation is fair and just to the people of Nakasongola, especially the women.

In May, Parliament approved the Government proposal to create another city so that Kampala can be decongested.

The proposal for the re-location of the new city as captured in the second five year National development Plan (2015-2021) is Nakasongola.

Nakasongola is almost 20 times bigger than Kampala with a very low population density. According to Uganda?s National Population and Housing Census 2014 released by the Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBOS), Nakasongora?s population density stood at 51.8 people/ km? with a total area of 3,511.8 km? compared to Kampala which had 8,418.7 people/ km? with a total area of 180.1 km?.

On the other hand, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), Ministries of Works and Defence are also renovating the military base, a move women nearby say has hugely eaten into their land.

UPDF spokesperson, Lt. Col. Paddy Ankunda told New Vision that the work on the Sh28b airbase expansion and rehabilitation is going on smoothly, but could not comment on the compensation of the people, referring us to the area spokesperson of the military air base.

Speaking to New Vision, Lt. Ibrahim Ssekito, the Nakasongola air base spokesperson said that 21 villages will be affected by the expansion. However, Ssekito said that mapping out the villages has been done and that the military is waiting for the Government valuer.

?No one will be evicted without compensation,? he said.

Girl child

Lead by Robinah Lubega, the chairperson of the Christian Women Fellowship, the Nakasongola women also raised the issue of few schools in the district, which she said, has hampered the education of the girl child.

However, Namayanja urged the women to discourage children from dropping out of school.

Citing her example of how she sold pancakes to fund her education, Namayanja said that when parents educate their children, they not only prepare their pension but also create a future for these children, especially the girl child.

She gave the women group sh2.5m towards the education of the girl child in the district.

?If I had felt ashamed of selling pancakes, I would not be the party treasurer. Don?t think when a child attends rural schools, he or she is a failure. The girl-child also needs to be educated to acquire knowledge and skills needed to advance her status ? knowledge for social interaction, self-improvement and status advancement,? she said.

Politics

However, Namayanja said that the NRM will handle the issue of compensation?cautioning women not to be confused by other splitter groups that are emerging out of the ruling party.

Singling out former Prime Minister and NRM secretary general Amama Mbabazi, Namayanja said that his defection cannot weaken NRM, citing examples of Bidandi Ssali, the chairman of the People?s progressive Party (PPP) and the late Eriya Kategaya, who she said left NRM but the party remained stronger.

?When you leave a group it is you who suffers?not the group,? she told women.

By David Lumu & Paul Kiwuuwa, The New Vision

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