The Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) Land Forces Chief of Staff, Maj Gen Eric Leopold Kyanda’s visit to One Love Zone ghetto youths in Kiryateete, Hoima has left several other ghetto youths in the city torn apart.
The split emanates from allegations that before leaving, the UPDF senior army officer, gave an unspecified tune of money to only one high-flying ghetto faction at the periphery of Hoima city.
A fortnight ago, Gen Kyanda met and discussed with the ghetto youths at Kiryateete east, urging them to rebrand their image and turn into ambassadors of security after several years of being dubbed as agents of insecurity in the area.
His engagement with only one ghetto youth group did not go well with other ghetto blocs in Hoima city following claims that the faction President, Mr Gilbert Karuhanga, received a colossal sum of money from the army officer but declined to reveal it.
However, Mr Karuhanga disputes the claims arguing that Gen Kyanda never made any financial transaction apart from advising them on security and socio-economic issues.
Mr Karuhanga says that the ghetto plans to advertise a variety of jobs so people can be employed as an avenue of relatively staving off poverty.
Earlier, Gen Kyanda had told Kazi-njema News that his engagement with the ghetto youths was centrally meant to know their socio-economic concerns and forge a way forward to addressing them along with associated security matters.
The officer also tipped them on embracing government projects like Emyoga, Youth Livelihood and Operation Wealth Creation (OWC) programmes that are geared towards alleviating poverty among Ugandans.
One ghetto young man who identified himself as Dramadri better known as weed-man subscribing to Sansiro ghetto faction based in Kiryateete near United Miracle Centre Church told this website that it might require Gen Kyanda to reach out to all ghetto blocs in the city if his efforts are to bear fruits.
Gen Kyanda’s engagement with the ghetto guys as a senior military officer has opened the ghetto to people from different walks of life with the media recognising their influence on the political, social and security arena.
Many a politician has been sighted working to relate with the ghetto guys showing a spirit of love and desire to get them out of their usual hard life characterised by widespread reports of drug abuse and criminality.
On Sunday last week, the One Love Zone ghetto President, Mr Gilbert Karuhanga, for the first time ever featured on Spice FM’s Ensonga omu bantu loosely translated as “Issue at hand” programme and aired out the challenges and ambitions with his faction members.
He called upon leaders to come to their rescue and pledged commitment to clean their long tainted image.
Hoima is the second fastest growing urban centre in Uganda after Wakiso in terms of population, according to the 2014 national statistics.
The population boom in the area is accelerating the growth of suburbs in all urban centres in the Albertine region with majority being youngsters.