President Yoweri Museveni has said that the proliferation of guns in Karamoja Subregion was responsible for the low development in the area.
Speaking at the commissioning of the Sun Belt Mining Group Limited factory in Rupa sub-county, Moroto district, Museveni commended the Karimojong for supporting the disarmament program that ushered in the peace now prevailing Karamoja, followed by the industrial revolution that will not only create employment for the people but will also bring about development.
“I am very glad that when we advised you to remove the guns you listened and now you see what is happening. Industries are being constructed because of peace. So I thank you, the people of Karamoja,” he said.
The plant that currently employs 120 Ugandans sits on a 3.3 square-kilometre piece of land and produces Marble floor, bathroom and kitchen tiles of all sizes. It is estimated that 560 million metric tons of marble are available in the area.
Sun Belt Mining Group has injected over USD 13 million in the project that forms one of the five factories to be constructed in Matheniko County.
Museveni noted that because of peace, the region is today witnessing a lot of development activities like the tarmacking of major roads, availability of electricity and a booming construction sector. “When I was coming, I was all the time turning my head left and right looking at new buildings and now factories. I was almost getting dizzy,” he said.
The President assured the people of Karamoja that his government is going to ‘bituminize’ the road from Moroto-Kotido-Kaabong up to the Kenyan border and the Kitgum-Namukora-Karenga- to Kidepo National Game Park.
Museveni further disclosed that he has held discussions with his Kenyan and Ethiopian counterparts on the possibility of constructing a road through Kenya to Ethiopia in order to access the Ethiopian market.
He encouraged the people of the sub-region to cooperate with the investors and noted that a lot of time and development opportunities had been lost because of insecurity. He said leaders of the time thought that cows were the only wealth available yet a lot of minerals that equally generate much wealth are available in their area.
President Museveni also paid tribute to the Chinese investors for coming to invest in Uganda assuring them of many opportunities that exist in the country.
The Minister of Energy and Mineral Development, Mary Kitutu said adequate power would be availed to the investors in Karamoja by June 2020. The Deputy Coordinator Operation Wealth Creation General Charles Angina said their main concern now is to add value to agricultural and mineral products.