“The government plan for long-distance learning through the provision of the 9 million radios sets is on course, the money is available and those radios will be provided” – Yoweri Kaguta Museveni (20.09.2020).
In the upcoming Budget Supplementary No. 3 of the Financial Year of 2020/2021. In the 19th edition of the COVID-19 Speeches this year on the 20th September 2020. In the supplementary budget however, they are stating the troubles with both the procurement and the timeline of offering the village radios to the general public.
First of Orion Transformers & Electrics, the producer doesn’t even make radios of yet. They are making electrical transformers. The company needs a lot of training to shift their production. It will take up to 6 months before starting the production at OTE. The planning from Ministry of Education is already have an impossible timeline. As the state is supposed to be able to give 2 million radios in January 2021 and February 2021. So, that the radio learning program can start in March 2021. However, that is impossible, as we are in November 2020 and with the timeline of 6 months means OTE could earliest start production in May 2021. Which means the whole project is futile.
The other things is that this would cost 336.8 billion shillings to make the radios locally. The Ministry have also found no funds to make it possible to procure the radios. This means, the whole thing is impossible. Just like everyone of us said in September after the promise was made by the President.
A big big promise, but no execution or idea on how to actually do it. The only way the Government of Uganda could have made it happen. Was if they we’re able to get some of the United Nations Organizations hooked on the idea and they are covering the funds for the procurement. After that their logistics and such are able to transfer the radios across the Republic. That would be imported goods or radios. Not Build Uganda Buy Ugandan (BUBU). Still, it would benefit the general public and the needs for long distance learning. Which was the idea in the first place.
Just that the Supplementary Budget had the post in the paper shows how much work they put into this foolish enterprise. As everyone knew it wouldn’t stick. The government wouldn’t have the funds or capabilities to handle this. They are still lacking funds to keep old promises and funds to cover those as well.
The GoU with the NRM at the helm isn’t ready for this sort of affair. It is just to much work and needs a team who knows logistics, electronics and has the capability to use funds wisely. Not just handpick one company and hope they can solve the whole issue.
It is easily to see that this was bound to fail. The whole promise was empty hubris with no sort of idea how to implement it. The President wanted to talk big-game, but have no cards on his hands to win. Therefore, he hope the bluff would work. However, we all should see how his failing and how his government is pathetic.
Instead of promising within its means and acting fiscal responsible. The Presidential idea of greatness isn’t working. That is why this was bound to fail… Village radios won’t happen on the government dime. They will not invest and neither act upon it. These folk cannot manage it or have the funds to pay the engineers and technicians to fix it. Peace.