Gen Saleh tells district leaders to account for Shs28b OWC money,

Salim-Saleh

Kasese District leaders are yet to account for Shs28 billion dispersed to them under the government’s Operation Wealth Creation programme (OWC), five years later.
Part of the money was used to buy 487 heifers, with 233 of them said to have died, costing the taxpayer Shs535m since each cost Shs2.3m.
The chief coordinator of OWC, Gen Salim Saleh, has now tasked the leaders to account for Shs28 billion disbursed to them between 2014 and 2018 for poverty alleviation.

“I want you to show me how you utilised the Shs28 billion that was injected into the district for the last four years. There is no single enterprise that has survived,” General Saleh asked the leaders on Monday during the launch of Shs119 billion Kasese agricultural based Investment plan at multipurpose hall in Kasese Town.
General Saleh, who has pitched camp in Kasese District since November 2018, observed that the people of Kasese are living in abject poverty even after the government sinking huge sums of money to boost their house hold incomes.

According to OWC records in Kasese, the money was used to buy heifers, maize, beans, coffee, citrus seedlings, pigs, among others.
Mr Emmanuel Allio, the Director for Investments under OWC, recently told the Kasese Tourism Association members that there was no single enterprise supplied to Kasese District that had a survival rate of 10 per cent, adding that they [OWC] failed to differentiate between the lazy poor and active poor.

Leaders speak out
Kasese mayor, Mr Godfrey Kabbyanga, admitted that OWC was wasting money to buy enterprises that were supplied in his municipality saying people in urban centres do not want cows and goats but rather need money to do business.
Mr Kabyanga said more than Shs336 million that was injected in the town under garlic growing was put to waste since no single seed matured.
The district chairperson, Mr Geoffrey Sibendire, said that there is need to change the guidelines of OWC.

What the report says
In a report compiled by the district OWC coordinator, Lt Col Medhi Baguma on November 27, 2018, which this newspaper saw, it indicates that Busongora North constituency received 108 cows where 48 are said to have died, Busongora South got 92 cows and 51 are said to have also died.
Also Kasese Municipality got 51 cows and six of them are believed to have died, Bukonzo East received 102 cows and 27 died, Bukonzo West got 102 and 85 died while the youth got 32 cows and nine of them died. A total of 226 of 487 cows received died.

The same report indicated that 4,613,948 coffee seedlings were supplied in 72,131 acres of land, 705,387 mango seedlings supplied on estimated acreage of 11,196, banana suckers 6,000 on 13 acres of land, eucalyptus trees 2000 seedlings, pine tree 20,000, maize seeds 302,327, beans, 132790, rice 8000, citrus seedlings 508,363, pineapple suckers 1,110,739, cassava (bags) 187, apple seedlings 508, 907, cocoa seedlings 980,000, passion fruits 51, 250 and garlic 10,000.

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