Uganda: Bunyoro Demands Oil Benefits, Cabinet Jobs

Bunyoro sub-region has renewed calls for a befitting share of the oil benefits, a public university and special government consideration for presidential appointments.

The demands were presented to the President yesterday by Members of Parliament from Bunyoro sub-region at the silver jubilee coronation anniversary celebrations for king Solomon Gafabusa Iguru I of Bunyoro Kitara.

The Speaker of Parliament, Ms Rebecca Kadaga, represented the President at a function held at Karuziika Palace in Hoima Town.

"As Bunyoro, we lost key Cabinet positions of First deputy Prime Minister, Minister for Presidency, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Energy and other crucial presidential appointments," Mr Stephen Mukitale Biraahwa, the chairperson of Bunyoro parliamentary caucus, said.

"We, therefore,request His Excellency the President to reinstate Banyoro in senior Cabinet appointments," he added.

Mr Mukitale reminded government of its promise to open Bunyoro University, saying this has remained a rhetoric without being implemented.

The lawmakers also demanded that the proposed Hoima City be included among the first batch of cities, which Cabinet has approved to commence next year.

Government through the local Government approved nine municipalities including Hoima to be elevated to city status. Hoima and Mbale cities have been planned to become operational in 2021.

The Bunyoro Kitara Kingdom Prime Minister, Mr Andrew Byakutaga, had earlier underscored the importance of Government supporting the kingdom to improve on the social economic welfare of the people through skilling and exposing them to tap economic opportunities of the oil and gas industry.

They also renewed calls for a special share of the oil revenues.

Ms Kadaga said: "This region has oil and there is a planned oil refinery here. How many of these children will get jobs in that refinery. We need a university to skill our children so that they are able to work in the oil industry and other vital sectors."

She, however, reported that when parliament passed the Uganda national content regulations giving a quota for Ugandans to attain a given number of jobs and businesses from oil companies, the companies wrote to the President protesting the parliamentary decision, which they described as stringent for them to operate smoothly.

"When the President called me about it, I told him Your Excellency, the laws and regulations we passed are good for Ugandans. I said even if you return that Bill to us, we shall return it to you in exactly the same form," Ms Kadaga said.

President Museveni's message

In his speech delivered by Ms Kadaga, the President called upon Bunyoro Kingdom to join hands with government to fight poverty.

"Having prioritised electricity, roads, schools, hospitals, peace and security among others, government has established a steady foundation for wealth and jobs," President Museveni said.

King Solomon Gafabusa Iguru I, who was enthroned in June 1994, was celebrating his 25th coronation anniversary yesterday under the theme "Transforming Bunyoro Kitara Kingdom".

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