Kadaga skips Busoga diaspora meet

For the first time, the Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga is not attending the Basoga Twegaite convention, a key a bi-annual event which brings together Ugandans from Busoga region living in the United States discuss the development of Busoga kingdom.

The Speaker who was discharged from hospital last month after nearly two months delegated Busiki MP Paul Akamba to represent her at the convention in New Jersey, USA.

In her message to the Basoga living in the diaspora, Kadaga asked them to tap into the investment opportunities in Busoga especially tourism which is seen as one of the lucrative sectors that will uplift the region from poverty.

Kadaga said that different sites in Busoga have been identified and that once developed, they have potential to generate revenue for the sub-region.

“We have partnered with Busoga Tourism Initiative, Ministry of Tourism and Uganda Tourism Board to attract both local tourists. I urge you the people of Busoga living in the diaspora to support our economy through tourism,” she said.

“We have developed Bishop Hannington memorial site in Kyando, Mayuge district; a religious site where Bishop James Hannington is believed to have been murdered. Every year thousands make pilgrimage to the site,” Kadaga said in her written message.

Other sites that she said have been identified for tourism include Kagulu hill in Buyende district and Itanda falls in Jinja district.

“The Kagulu Hill which is about 3500 feet above the sea level provides an adventurous hill climbing challenge,” Kadaga stated.

She further took the chance to announce the Busoga special program fund, aimed at supporting a range of sectors to improve economic standards in the region.

“I am glad to announce that government considered the need for a special program for the development of Busoga and to achieve this Parliament has passed shs 7.5bn for the program” Kadaga stated

The Bugabula South MP, Henry Maurice Kibalya reiterated that the Busoga special program is handy in a time when the region is grappling with poverty.

“We have succeeded in the special program for Busoga, which will uplift the region just like other development programs such as NUSAF and Karamoja development program,” said Kibalya

Members of Parliament were on the other hand tasked to explain their position on the sugar bill, during a heated political dialogue at the convention, with many of the delegates expressing fears that the legislation is aimed at eliminating out growers.

“If you say I don’t build a mill within 5-10km radius and that my mother is going to get a truck to transport sugarcane to Madhvan for three days, then that is not correct. What they are doing by zoning is [creating] a monopoly,” said Tony Isubikalu, the chairman of the board, Twegaite International.

The Basoga MPs at the convention however pledged to put up a spirited fight against zoning of sugar production.

“In the recent past, Madhvan sued Mayuge Sugar Factory at the  Jinja High Court seeking an order to relocate Mayuge sugar factory, and court overruled Madhivan,” said Akamba adding, “under our constitution, Parliament cannot pass a law that has an effect on an earlier court judgment, so if the law is passed with the provision of zoning, it shall not see the light of the day.”

Jinja Municipality West MP Moses Balyeku Grace defended President Yoweri Museveni’s position in rejecting the Sugar Bill which had been passed Parliament arguing that Museveni’s concern was about the interests of the big millers who pay large sums of money in tax revenue as opposed to the small millers who pay less tax.