Ugandans will vote in a presidential election on January 14th 2021. The race has 11 participants; one female and 10 male candidates. All these candidates have set up goals for when they win the elections. Job creation being one of the greatest challenges in Uganda, it is at the centre of all their manifestos. Over the years, the country has recorded high unemployment among the youth who also make up a greater percentage of the voter population. According to Uganda Bureau of Statistics, the national unemployment rate stands at 9.2 percent, while youth aged 18-30 stands at 13.3 per cent, in a country of 41.49 million people. The battle for the presidency usually revolves around how to clinch the youth voters. Analysts say promises of employment, equality in job distribution and social justice could win a candidate more votes.
Mr. Museveni Yoweri T. Kaguta
He is the incumbent and the longest serving President since 1986 and seeking a sixth term. His manifesto theme is ‘secure your future.’ Museveni has pledged to promote job-rich growth and wealth creation which will be growth and wealth that generates more and better jobs for the benefit of all. He adds that NRM’s strategy has always been four-fold; including, diversification of the economy from over reliance on agriculture, extensive import substitution, in order to reduce the import bill, processing of raw materials to add value and building basic industries. In the next five years, Museveni aims at enhancing household incomes and improving the quality of life of all Ugandans by focusing on import substitution, industrialization and export-oriented production. His target is to increase the contribution of the industrial sector to over a third of the GDP.
Robert Ssetamu Kyagulanyi
He is President for NUP, in his manifesto, Kyagulanyi (AKA Bobi Wine) has promised to find meaningful employment opportunities for the Ugandan youth. In their first term in office, NUP plans to create five million jobs through refocusing priorities, investing in technology and embarking on a massive industrialization agenda. NUP pledges reasonable taxes imposed on businesses are and once collected, are put to the right use.
Mr. Patrick Amuriant
The president for Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) Party said his party’s policy shift will see a lean government and reduction in government expenditure to save money for investment in key sectors that will generate jobs. FDC pledged to fund all the Small-and-Medium Enterprises (SMEs), especially those that were hit by Covid-19 and are still shut.
FDC also pledged to skill and retool semi-skilled and young people who will be taken for refresher courses to sharpen them up. They promised to condition international contractor companies to give jobs to the indigenous people.
Gen. Mugisha Muntu Muntuyera
He holds the flag for National Transformation (ANT), party. As part of ANT’s manifesto, they plan to fight poverty in the country, and also promised to priorities the agricultural sector, which employs the majority of Ugandans in rural areas. While revealing some of the priorities in their manifesto Muntu said Ugandans need to be supported through cooperatives.
Mr. Willy Mayambala
He is an independent presidential candidate, he pledged to create more ministries including the entertainment ministry that will be able to create a third of the jobs in the government offices for only youths.
Mr. Nobert Mao
Democratic Party President Mao, said the youth are forced to engage in acts such as election violence and alcoholism because the ruling NRM has failed to come up with projects that would make them busy, Mao therefore said, the DP manifesto promises to build more factories to create jobs for youth and also set cooperative societies for sugar canes.
Standing as an independent candidate, Tumukunde said the youth require a special budget in order to design youth inclusive policies that will benefit them.
He also said the youth have been marginalized in all sectors of the economy, Tumukunde remarked that the government has deliberately ignored the people by failing to provide them with job opportunities.
The only female in the race plans to review Uganda’s trade policy options to address COVID-19 impacts, reduce import tariffs on essential goods and inputs, review domestic taxation policies on essential goods produced locally so that local firms recover from Covid-19 effects, institute stimulus packages to boost local production. Empower community businesses, farming, job creation, land security and putting in place response teams for disasters and pandemics.
He is also independent candidate in the race. His theme for the campaign financial liberation, he promises to use the country’s resources for the benefit of all citizens. In his manifesto, Kabuleta focuses on agriculture commercialization, reviewing the taxation system, leveraging the sports and arts sectors, improvement of the tourism industry and establishing a minimum wage to salvage the economy. He has also pledged to cut government expenditure by merging ministries and departments. He envisions that by the end of his first term of office, every household will have an average monthly income of Shs1 million. He plans to raise income from the sports and arts disciplines by merging the two into a ministry and create jobs in the sector.
Mr. Fred Mwesigwa
His presidential intension is to fuse government and the Church. This, he intends to achieve by running a campaign based on a new ‘era of love’. Mwesigye intends to restore Uganda on the foundation of God and also eliminate corruption and poverty by instilling morals in society. His priorities include raising the minimum wage for teachers and medics to between Shs800,000 and Shs1 million.
Mr. John Katumba
The youngest presidential aspirant said he knows the pain of unemployment and promised to tackle unemployment by increasing the value of Ugandan currency and reduce on imports as he increases exports. He plans to create more industries where many youths will be employed, he promised to develop and boost the Boda-Boda Industry because it employs millions of youths and also boost the music industry. Kurumba’s government will cut down the size of parliament, he says it’s wastes tax payers’ money.
By Lucky Mbabazi Agaba
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