By Max Patrick Ocaido
Youth from Gulu district have petitioned Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga over the increasing unemployment in the country.
While presenting their petition on Wednesday, the youth-led by the General Secretary, Uganda Youth Federation for Good Governance (UYFGG), Eric Opondo want Parliament to come up with transparent employment to avert ugly incidents where jobs are being ‘politicized.’
The youth demanded that the government reduces the number of cabinet ministers as well as MPs on the ground that that exorbitant amounts of money is being spent on salaries rather than widening the employment base for the youth at large.
“The parliament and the president should respond to the reduction of the number of cabinet and members of parliament since a lot of taxpayers money is wasted in maintaining the huge cabinet and paying exorbitant salary of the parliamentarians which money can be diverted to create more employment and improve on the salary of government staff and employees,” Opondo said.
Statistics from the Uganda Bureau of Statistics show that the unemployment rate in Uganda stands at 6.5% and about 75.4% of the youth are unemployed. Annually about 700,000 youths join the job market but only 90,000 get jobs.
The youths blamed the rampant unemployment on bad governance and representation of unpatriotic charismatic leadership, poor planning and unfavorable policies that lack transparent and unaccountable institutions.
Kadaga accused the president of frustrating the minimum wage Bill that is meant to address the unemployment and welfare of workers.
“I am just as disappointed as you are [youth] because for a long time we have been lobbying the government to bring the minimum wage but the President does not believe in it. When we sent our law, he [Museveni] rejected the whole of it yet we went through a lot to have that Bill passed,” Kadaga said. She vowed to inform the House about the concern of the youth when Parliament returns from recess next week.
In August this year, President Yoweri Museveni rejected in its entirety the Minimum Wages Bill, 2015 that was passed by parliament in February this year. The Bill sought to set up a minimum wage determination mechanism across different sectors of the economy.