In a press release statement, Operation Wealth Creation dismissed reports that claimed it was involved in creative arts cash giveaways.
Operation Wealth Creation (OWC) issued a strong rebuttal and dismissal of allegations which have been circulating on social media alleging that the operation was involved in transactions regarding the giving out of funds to certain artistes and musicians in the entertainment sector.
In the statement cited by MBU, it is true that the Chief Coordinator of OWC Gen. Caleb Akandwanaho Salim Saleh (Rtd) has been engaging with different stakeholders and actors from various sectors in the economy in Gulu.
Amongst them are stakeholders in the Creative and Performing Arts industry. The meeting was aimed at consultations and to explore ways in which OWC can be a vehicle for facilitating different kinds of support and other strategies to help the country deal with the harsh effects of the Coronavirus pandemic on the economy.
“Most sectors have been affected by the pandemic, and the Creative and Performing Arts industry has not been spared. In fact, it has been one of the worst hit due to the nature in which it operates. As you are aware, the virus spread is primarily due to social contact, and artists and musicians have been unable to perform and hold concerts, coming to 2 years now. This has severely impacted their earning potential and has left many of them without alternative means to make ends meet as holding open shows was their primary source of income and revenue,” reads part of the OWC statement.
Operation Wealth Creation in response to the crisis being faced by the country has intervened by carrying out and providing mindset change educational trainings and workshops designed to empower artistes.
OWC also wants to build capacity and equip artistes with the requisite skills to handle shocks that can impede their ability to earn a living in the future.
“The Creative Arts industry is dominated by people who operate in an informal nature some of whom are very vulnerable to economic shocks not of their making. It is important to note that the industry also has a high multiplier effect for wealth and job creation plus social inclusion which are good vehicles for economic empowerment, national unity and harmony.
“As such, OWC recognizes the potential of the sector for sustainable development and poverty alleviation which is one of the reasons it has taken initiative to coordinate under the stewardship of the Chief Coordinator who has been based in Gulu, Northern Uganda to organize and mainstream the industry in order to fully tap its potential for national development.
“During such engagements with the creatives which include but are not limited to music artists, alternative ways to earn a living and also to capitalize on their talents and large fan bases are shared, discussed and demonstrated,” the statement from OWC points out.
Most artists in Uganda belong in the informal sector that is subsistence in nature. In other words they live from hand to mouth on daily incomes they earn from their activities.
As an institution whose mandate and center of gravity is that demographic, we have found it appropriate that we engage our colleagues in the entertainment industry deal with this crisis we are all facing as a nation and also to forge ways to prevent such vulnerability in the future.
OWC would like to state that any reports/comments being made that we have given funds to individual musicians or any people in the entertainment industry are false and diversionary and should be treated as such. We have not released any money as OWC and if we are to carry out any operations requiring resource mobilization and disbursement, we do so within a very clearly defined processes and protocols as spelt out In the Public Finance Management Act.Maj. Kiconco Tabaro, Public Relations Officer at OWC
ABOUT OPERATION WEALTH CREATION (OWC)
Operation Wealth Creation (OWC) was launched by His Excellency Yoweri Kaguta Museveni in July 2013 as an intervention to efficiently facilitate national socio-economic transformation focused on raising household incomes and transforming subsistence farmers into commercial farmers.