MASINDI – Masindi Municipality Councillors have questioned the delayed disbursement of Shs 273 million meant for different groups engaged in different activities in the municipality.
The money was sent to Masindi municipality by the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) in July, 2021 under the Microprojects Program through the office of Bunyoro Affairs Minister.
During a council meeting at Masindi Municipality Council Chambers, the Councilors argued that their groups did whatever was required but they’re wondering why they are not receiving their funds.
“The group members engaged in farming expected to use the money to prepare for the second season. The season is ending but they’re are not seeing the money. No clear explanation is being given to them,” said Silver Asiimwe, the Male Councilor representing Bigando ward.
The Councilors’ complaints came about after Ronald Businge Kyomuhendo, the Mayor Masindi Municipality told the council members that a report compiled by the Community Development Officer (CDO) has discovered that some groups had files presented with intention to benefit but they were not in existence.
“According to my technical team, some groups are not on ground. It will be bad if we rush to give out the money without correcting the problem. I am requesting my Councillors to be patient as my technical team expeditiously correct the matter,” said Kyomuhendo.
But the Councilors faulted the technical team for going to do the verification without engaging the area Councilors who know the group members better.
“The groups have certificates of registration which were issued by Masindi Municipality Authorities. Why say that they’re none existent?” asked Asiimwe.
Amos Bandoho, the Councilor representing Isimba Ward noted that all beneficiaries and the groups are in existence, adding that the money should be disbursed.
“We have been giving these groups money. You know very well that they’re there. Give out the money as we do the verification later,” Bandoho explained.
Robert Akugizibwe, the Councilors representing Kijura Western ward blamed the technical people for not doing their work saying that the excuses the technical people gave were lame.
“All the files which were presented to the office of the Community Development Officer had the members and the group details. Why didn’t they trace them by that?” Akugizibwe asked.
Earlier on, Betty Kyomuhendo the Leader of Government Business in Council had told the members in her business report that as authorities at the Municipality, they decided that a technical team led by the CDO go on ground and verify all the groups before the disbursement of the money.
“The report is ready and any time from now the existing groups are going to get their money,” said Kyomuhendo.
Deo Kabugo, the Town Clerk Masindi Municipality said that the money came with guidelines attached saying that they should be properly followed before the money goes out to the beneficiaries.
“The groups should meet all the requirements needed. They should be with the minutes showing that they sit and they’re active. As an Accounting Officer, I am not going to release money to none existing groups. A thorough verification must be done first because this money must be accounted for,” Kabugo noted.
Masindi Municipality has been getting this money since the Office of Minister Bunyoro Affairs was created in the Office of the Prime Minister in 2012.
In July, the Minister for Bunyoro Affairs commissioned the disbursement of the funds at Masindi municipality headquarters.
She promised to follow up the money.
“I request the implementers to follow the guidelines to ensure that the money goes to the right beneficiaries,” said Jennifer Namuyango Kacha, the Bunyoro Affairs Minister.
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