Former Presidential candidate Joseph Kabuleeta has alleged that the ruling government has purposely contributed to the ongoing food and security crisis in Karamoja to extract the minerals and plunder the pastoralists’ cattle in the region.
He made the claims on The Brunch Talk Show with Olive Najjuma in a phone interview as he commented on the famine in the Karamoja sub-region that has claimed more than 600 people in Kotido, Kaabong, Napak, and Moroto districts.
According to Kabuleeta, the government perpetuates insecurity in Uganda's mineral-rich areas, making it no coincidence that the same regions often suffer insecurity.
In addition, he alleged that Karamojong pastoralists were arrested from their manyattas (homesteads) and charged in court as cattle rustlers just to be separated from their wives and children helpless so as to move them off the land and claim their resources.
“The cattle are stolen because the government has decided to create a perpetual state of insecurity in the area. Information from our sources shows that 70 percent of the bullets given to the pastoralists are from Nakasongola barracks,” he said. According to him, the government later creates insecurity in the region by killing the Karamojong pastoralists and accusing them of rustling so as to take charge of the area.
The National Economic Empowerment Dialogue (NEED) President further said the government wants to depopulate the region by fetching children from the region and dumping them on Kampala streets as part of the “genocide” plan.
Asked about his opinions concerning the 131 billion shillings for food relief in the region, Kabuleeta said the money is a diversion created by the same people insinuating the crisis.
“The whole situation will be typical in Uganda's resource-rich area as long as this government is in power. There is a group of people at the top of it, who are so greedy, they have no regard for human life, they are willing to wipe out an entire group of people just for the resources in there,” he explained.
He added that relief food is to cool the situation and has attracted international media attention. With the fertile soils Uganda has and the produce it harvests, he said there is a surplus in different parts of the country that can be bought and provided to the people of Karamoja without the World Food Program (WFP) having to do so.
“Across the line in Agago district, there are acres of good rice that farmers harvested and have been trying to export but in vain because the government has denied them licenses. This is because of President Museveni’s ‘Make Them Poor’ campaign. They were stuck with 50 tonnes of rice yet that is across the border with Karamoja where people are dying of hunger,” he said.
According to Mr. Kabuleeta, the first family is responsible for the hunger crisis because it has over time arrested the men in the villages and sold the people's cattle during the disarmament processes done by the UPDF.
He says the first family claimed to provide security to the people and convinced them to give up their guns used to defend themselves from rustlers coming in from Kenya thereafter grabbing their land and selling the cattle at the hands of the helpless pastoralists intentionally instigating severe hunger and starvation so as to fully take over the resource-rich subregion.
Brunch Talk is hosted by Olive Najjuma Monica every Saturday from Midday to 1 pm on RX Radio.