Lands Minister, Judith Nabakooba, has urged women in Kabarole to engage in income generating activities as a way of alleviating themselves from the bondage of poverty.
The minister who was speaking at the Women’s Day celebrations in Kijura Town, Kabarole district, called upon women to take advantage of the available government programs such as the Parish Development Model, Emyooga and the Uganda Women Entrepreneurship Program among others to secure financial independence.
“I want to encourage women who have some financial resources to seriously consider buying land. Land is a means of production and most income generating projects in rural areas require some land,” she said, adding that a woman who owns land or has access to it and utilises it well for production cannot die of poverty.
According to Nabakooba, economically empowered women have minimal chances of experiencing domestic violence.
During the event, Nabakooba also assured the residents of Kabarole that the land dispute between Toro and Mityana Tea Company Limited (TAMTECO) and the community members from Kijura Town Council and Kabende Sub-County will be resolved to a logical conclusion.
“The President is aware of the dispute and he had guided on it before I entered the lands ministry; however, implementation was delayed. Businge Victoria Rusoke brought the matter to my attention. I promise to ensure that the matter is handled once and for all. In the meantime, let the status quo remain as of now. No one should be chased from where he or she is. Let us co-exist peacefully as the government gets a lasting solution.”
She also revealed that the government, through the Land Fund, paid off landlords in Kabarole and Fort Portal.
The procured pieces of land, she said, include: Land in Mugusu Sub County, Busoro Sub County and North Division (Futi Butangwa, Gweri and Mandako areas) Nabakooba also hinted at the government’s plans to develop Fort Portal City.
“We are trying to develop Fort Portal City. We have the USMID program worth Sh20b. But the work is moving at a slow pace. I was informed that we are only 14 per cent which is disappointing. Let us work together to develop this city,” she said.
In her remarks, Kabarole Woman MP, Victoria Businge Rusoke, thanked the NRM government for empowering women over the. She however noted that more still needs to be done.
“Empowering women means building an entire nation. We need to have this mindset. Women are key in determining how a country will move from point A to B,” she said.
The Kabarole district Local Council Chairperson, Richard Rwabuhinga, pointed out the need of addressing the matter of the industrial park in order to help solve the issue of unemployment.
According to Rwabuhinga, the park, if done, would employ over 40, 000 people in the district, something he said would be a relief to the district authorities.
He also pointed out the need to issue land titles to the occupants of land the government bought from landlords in both Kabarole and Fort Portal City.
“Hon. Minister, I am also requesting that the land title of land bought by the government from landlords in both Kabarole and Fort Portal City be given to the occupants,” he requested.
The Burahya County Member of Parliament, Kagwera Steven, emphasised the need to look at women emancipation as a compliment to women and not competition with men.
“Women emancipation should not be looked at as competition with men but a compliment to the women so the nation is built strong,” he said.