Leaders of Busia district local government youth SACO have rejected a maize mill donated by President Yoweri Museveni saying it is substandard.
The mill yet to be handed over to the beneficiaries was bought by Geoffrey Macho the Busia municipality member of parliament. It is being kept at the office of the area Resident District Commissioner where it was delivered on Thursday last week at night.
According to Edwin Benesa Chili the district NRM youth chairperson also member of the SACCO, the substandard mill with no value addition component is estimated to cost shillings eight million.
“We request for maize hurler with value addition component and not just a maize mill,” Benesa said.
Macho, received shillings twenty-eight million from Lucy Nakyobye Mbonye the state house acting controller in November 2017 to buy a maize hurler for the youths but he never informed the beneficiaries, until they discovered in December last year during a visit to the state house.
Benesa said, in addition to the maize hurler they also requested for a Fuso truck and startup capital of shillings two hundred eighty-two million which the president agreed to provide. Macho kept the money for that long without informing us that he had received a shilling,” he said, adding that they were shocked to hear it from the president that the money had been released. He said, according to the original design of the project, it was meant to employ 100 youths but the milling machine delivered by Macho is not in conformity with the quotation given to the president and can employ only two people. Let Macho give this mill to his voters in Busia municipality, Benesa said.
Martin Wabwire the Buyanga sub-county youth League chairperson also SACCO member said, the president to cannot give a small mill like the one delivered by Macho. Moses Barasa the Dabani sub-county youth chairperson also a member of the SACCO said, the mill is not commensurate with the money released by the president. “We should rather be without the project than camouflage that we have received a president pledge,” he said.
Michael Okiria the Resident District Commissioner said he does not do his work through the media, chased journalists from his office saying he was not interested in following up the issue. However, his deputy Paul Kalikwani confirmed that state house had asked him to follow up the matter adding that the mill had been delivered at the office.
“I am not technical enough to assess this mill and I have asked the engineer to come and see whether it has value for money,” he said. He appealed to youths not to reject the mill saying it will tantamount to slapping the president in the face.