Kampala, Uganda | By Michael Wandati | The National Economic Empowerment Dialogue (NEED) party has strongly criticized political leaders for what they perceive as a disregard for the plight of impoverished residents in areas like Kansanga, Kabalagala, Bunga, and Ggaba.
The cause for concern stems from the ongoing demolitions conducted by the Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) in these regions.
These demolitions by the KCCA are part of the preparatory measures for the upcoming 19th Summit of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), scheduled to take place from January 15 to 20, 2024, at the Munyonyo Commonwealth Resort.
Following this summit, Uganda is set to host the Third South Summit, organized under the framework of the Group of 77 and China, a coalition of developing countries. The Third South Summit is slated for January 21-23, also at the Munyonyo Commonwealth Resort.
Addressing the media at the party’s headquarters in Rubaga, Charles Basajja, the party treasurer, expressed deep concern over the apparent neglect by leaders from Makindye Division. According to Basajja, these leaders had been actively collecting money from traders operating along various roads in the affected areas. However, when the KCCA initiated demolitions, these leaders allegedly failed to provide adequate protection or support to the affected residents.
Basajja emphasized that many of the affected traders had received financial assistance through programs like the Parish Development Model and Emyooga, aimed at supporting small businesses. Despite this assistance, their properties are now being demolished in preparation for events that Basajja argued have limited direct benefits for the impoverished population.
He particularly criticized the notion of sacrificing the livelihoods of these individuals for a one-week event, emphasizing the minimal impact it has on the well-being of the economically vulnerable citizens.
The party’s critique raises questions about the priorities and responsibilities of political leaders in the face of development initiatives and international summits. It underscores the need for a more comprehensive and inclusive approach to urban development, ensuring that the interests and livelihoods of the most vulnerable members of society are not overlooked or sacrificed in the pursuit of broader national objectives.