President Yoweri Museveni said at Saturday’s Kako SS fundraiser in Masaka that such events were sometimes a waste of time.
He said he was always disappointed when schools invited him to preside over such events which ended up raising so little money. Museveni said government had capacity to borrow money and bankroll school projects without wasting people’s time on fundraisers.
“When I was invited to preside over a fundraising ceremony at Masaaba SS in Mbale district sometime back, I realised that they were wasting my time because on top of the Shs 10m I gave them, they only added Shs 4m to make a total of Shs 14m out of the Shs 500m they needed for their projects,” Museveni said.
He said he was disappointed and decided to borrow money to finance the school project.
“If Kako SS is planning to do it the Masaaba SS way, it is better you tell me in time and you don’t waste my time. We may make arrangements to fund your projects like we did with Masaaba,” Museveni said during the July 19 fundraiser and golden jubilee celebrations for Kako SS in Masaka.
Museveni’s portrait was sold at Shs 20m to Godfrey Mutabaazi, the executive director of Uganda Communications Commission. Former Bukoto South MP Muhammad Muyanja Mbabaali contributed Shs 5m and Hajji Musa Mpungu, the head teacher of Masaka SS, contributed Shs 1m. Museveni sold a bull at Shs 20m to Hajji Mbabaali. The president contributed Shs 60m in cash, which he handed to Jackson Ssengendo, the school head teacher.
He urged local leaders to gly fight poverty if communities they led were to renovate schools, health facilities and worshipping places.
“Had you mobilised all the people in Masaka district and each homestead was in position to contribute Shs 100,000 towards Kako SS’ needs, you would raise over Shs 25bn and that money would be enough to work on all schools around without inviting me here to fundraise,” Museveni said.
Earlier, the president visited St Henry’s College Kitovu, where he handed over Shs 50m to the head teacher, Brother Augustine Mugabo, delivering on a pledge he made a year ago during a fundraiser for the construction of an A-level dormitory. Museveni said fundraisers were good for schools but they did not solve the bigger institutional problems.
“When I look around here, there are a few people who can contribute during this fundraising. Without the likes of the UCC boss Mutabaazi, Salim Saleh and a few old boys and girls seated in about two tents, the others will not contribute anything,” he said.
He said with over Shs 1.7 trillion that government injected in the education sector, every aspect in schools would be addressed, if properly planned for. The president said if there were 5,000 secondary schools in the country and government allocated Shs 500m to each, secondary education would reach an enviable level.
The bishop of West Buganda diocese, Rt Rev Godfrey Makumbi, commended President Museveni for extending piped water to the diocesan headquarters, the neighbouring schools and community.
“We are now optimistic that we shall also get a tarmac road connecting us to Masaka-Mbarara highway as you promised. Signs show that this would also be realised very soon,” Bishop Makumbi said.
The Masaka district Woman MP and Bukoto East MP, Freda Kase Mubanda and Florence Namayanja respectively, reminded President Museveni of the Nyendo-Bukakkata road which government has planned to tarmac for the last 10 years.
“We also hear that the elderly in many other districts are receiving Shs 25,000 from government but the programme has not reached Masaka. We kindly request for your intervention so that our people benefit from the same because they need that money badly,” Mubanda said.
Source : The Observer