By Patrick Kagenda
Presidential candidate Abed Bwanika began his campaign rallies in Kamuli and Buyende on Monday Nov. 9 while on Tuesday Nov.10 he was in Luuka and Iganga. On Wednesday Nov.11 he was in Namayingo and Bugiri and on Thursday Bwanika was in Kaliro and Namutumba. On Friday Nov.13 he will be in Jinja. In the week beginning Sun Nov. 15 Bwanika will take his campaign to the Lango Sub-region before launch his manifesto. Bwanika who is taking a shot at the topmost office in the country for the third time is a born again pastor.
He is standing on his party the People’s Development Party (PDP) ticket one of the small opposition political parties in Uganda. Born on August 1, 1967 the 48 year old Abedi Bwanika lead campaign message is if elected into power his focus will be on youths and job creation.
Bwanika told The Independent, “We have opted to come as an individual party not under the TDA alliance because at first we were in support of the alliance and we thought it was the most viable way to remove President Museveni and bring change to this nation. However the people who were putting the blocks of the alliance together, I think didn’t believe that we were worth being included because they never invited us into their meetings and it is for this reason that we as the PDP have steered clear of The Democratic Alliance (TDA).”
Bwanika says unlike the first time when he ran as an independent with no prior preparation and the second time when he ran as a candidate sponsored by the PDP which was a new party, today the PDP is seven years old and has structures. The party has also built a network of supporters and things are a little bit very different from the last two times.
Bwanika says his party has very good support nationwide and this gives him a great opportunity to be a formidable candidate unlike the previous elections.
He says because of the nationwide presence PDP is now in position to field more people who are standing for different public office slots ranging from members of parliament and local council positions which are crucial if his party is going to win an election at the national level.
He says he should be voted because leadership is generational and every leader will come with remedies for every generation and whatever is prevailing.
He said he is 48 years old and rhymes properly with what is obtaining right now, and all Ugandans who have listened or had an opportunity to read his manifesto in the last two presidential campaigns agree that it is Abed Bwanika who has the best political platform that will take Uganda to the desired future.
“We need to expand our economy so that we can create jobs so that Ugandans can get a better standard of living. We have 83 per cent of our youth without formal jobs, so just standing on a political podium does not bring jobs. You can’t create jobs in a contracted economy so, ours is a strategy, an economic design that will expand our economy by increasing the exports,” said Bwanika.
He adds, “We want to put in place systems and bodies that will ensure that our farmers get markets both within and internationally. We want to improve our agricultural standards, seeds and breeds, and also pump money into agro-based industries. When we do that, agriculture will improve and our people in the rural areas will create jobs. In a nutshell, we want to make Uganda a regional shopping hub, and we can do that.”
Bwanika says the other thing he wants to harness in order to grow Uganda`s economy is the Ugandan Diaspora. Uganda has 1.5 million people outside the country. These are people with resources, with technical know-how, and with the best practices. There is no way you will develop this country without them.
He said when he becomes president he we will put a full minister in charge of the Diaspora and have a full directorate. We know these Ugandans and where they are and what their capacities are and we will ensure that we integrate them into Uganda’s economy. Every year they send US$1 billion back home but they are not integrated and are not known nor does anybody knows their capacities, and unfortunately they are not even going to vote.