LIRA –Appearing on 88.0 Voice of Lango FM, Lira Deputy Resident Commissioner rigorously fended off pointed allegations that the Presidential Initiative On Job and Wealth Creation, Emyooga program, was introduced to benefit President Museveni’s re-election.
Speaking on Coop Talks on April 20, a radio-talk show sponsored by The Uhuru Institute for Social Development, James Chemutai, said they have heard malicious rumors, which are false that Emyooga program was a political campaign tool.
The malicious rumor, he said, has been propelled by some local leaders, who did not understand the concept of the new government program.
Chemutai said the Emyooga program was established to empower Ugandans with seed capital to fight unemployment. He urged people to steer away from political propaganda.
“Emyooga program targets Ugandans, especially in the informal sector that come together and form savings and credit cooperatives (SACCOs) under 18 Clusters,” he said.
Chemutai said the clusters include; boda-boda riders, taxi drivers, restaurants, welders, market vendors, women entrepreneurs, youth leaders, people with disabilities, journalists, performing artists, carpenters, salon operators, tailors, mechanics, produce dealers, veterans, fishermen and elected leaders.
From the time of its launch in August, 2019 by President Yoweri Museveni, Chemutai noted that about 51 SACCOs including, 33 from Erute North and Erute South constituencies, and 18 in Lira City have already received Shs 30 million each.
Several emyooga beneficiaries who called into the talk show, expressed dissatisfaction with the way the program is handled by the responsible government officials. They said some beneficiaries have either failed to get the funds or get less than expected.
Emmanuel Ogwal, a youth chairperson of Dokolo North Carpenters’ Association, which comprises 30 members, said they were given Shs 30 million but were told to first raise Shs 500 million from other sources before withdrawing the cash.
Lillian Owino, an entrepreneur from Alebtong district, said there are too many fees beneficiaries pay before they finally get the money. She said, however that before she got her money, she was asked whether she supported NRM. When she said yes, her papers were processed.
Denis Okonye from Abim district decried the long process and troubles beneficiaries have to endure including walking for several days to the offices to access the money.
Okonye wondered why government does not use the established structures in different sectors including member-associations like Uganda Manufacturers Association.
In response, Lira district Commercial Officer, Josephine Alobo said they have been gathering people’s views on the rescue funds and are compiling a paper to submit to the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development for redress.
Alobo said the red-tape is meant to ensure the money is not mismanaged. She however, reminded emyooga beneficiaries to save a lot.
“It’s only a foolish farmer who begins to cook the seed and eat it up, the president has made an initiative to give you the seed and it’s upon you to grow or plant this seed so that you can be able to get many seeds, so that at the end of the day you are socially and economically empowered,” she noted.
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