Emyooga: Well Intended initiative or Canvassing tool?
Emyooga Well intended initiative or canvassing tool
The timing of the presidential initiative on wealth and job creation codenamed Emyooga, which targets Ugandans, especially in the informal sector who come together in form of savings and credit cooperative societies, is raising questions about its purpose and intent.
As a programme, Emyooga targets bodaboda riders, taxi drivers, restaurants, welders, market vendors, women entrepreneurs, youth leaders, people with disabilities, journalists, performing artists, veterans, fishermen, private teachers and elected leaders among others. These must have formed savings and credit cooperative societies (SACCO).
Whereas Government’s expressed motive is wealth creation and job creation, the waiting recipients understand it differently. To them, Emyooga is government money disbursed to voters to incentivise them to go and vote for president Museveni again. It comes at a time when many have been financially shattered and tattered by COVID-19 pandemic.
Whereas it is a key requirement for the target groups to open up bank accounts, the plan is to withdraw the money at once when it comes and share have members share it among themselves.
The initial budget for Emyooga is UGX 260 billion ($67.6m) of which UGN150 billion ($40.5m) has been released. Opposition stronghold districts of Kampala and Wakiso districts have been allocated a lion’s share of UGX 50 billion ($13.5m), which will be distributed in 17 constituencies. Uganda has over 146 districts.
With the Emyooga project aiming at promoting job creation and improving household income of 68% of Ugandans in subsistence agriculture, is it possible that the excitement created around these funds will be translated into 68% of the votes influencing the outcome of the 2021 General Elections?
Uganda goes to the polls for general elections in January 2021. In the past similar projects that have been rolled out during election period have ended up being used a mobilizing tool for the incumbent party.