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Tempers flare in Kwania over ‘emyooga money

The long-delayed release of emyooga funds, poverty eradication cash, in Kwania is fanning a wave of raging anger in the Northern District.

Aduku Town Council leaders have asked the government to explain the delay.

The leaders say the unexplained delay in remitting the funds onto the accounts of the beneficiaries has put them under a lot of pressure.

The LC-III Vice Chairperson of the defunct Aduku Town Council in Kwania district, Peter Otim, said they have run out of excuses.

He appealed to stakeholders to clearly explain the delay which is casting doubt on otherwise well-intended government programs.

“I can no longer give them an answer because I do not have one, and I cannot even guess because the responsible people have no answers for them,” Otim said.

The Town Clerk of Aduku Town Council James Obaya Keny said; “The money comes through the Micro-finance Support Center and then to the commercial officer, I have been trying to follow up on the issue, but I cannot get any clear answer.”

He said they are being labeled liars by the intended beneficiaries. Salim Komakech, the Kwania resident district commissioner, expressed disappointment at the delay but promised to call an emergency stakeholder meeting with representatives of the intended beneficiaries, chairperson business committee, the commercial officer, and local leaders in order to address this matter.

Ray of hope

Patrick Bura, the Kwania district commercial officer in charge of implementing the emyooga program, said money has been held back because the government wants to first issue certificates to all registered groups.

“Remain calm; starting next month, money will be disbursed to accounts of all the registered groups in Kwania,” he said.

Recently, when the list and the amounts received by each district were published, Kwania and Apac districts were on the list of beneficiaries yet no account of a single group has been credited.

Launching the fund

In August 2019, President Yoweri Museveni launched the emyooga, a poverty eradication program, as part of the government’s strategy to get 68% of Ugandan homesteads from subsistence farming to market-oriented production.

The finance ministry initially allocated Shs140 billion for the funds, but the government has now finalized its allocation to the entire program with Shs 260 billion.

Museveni said the emyooga money would be a revolving fund to boost entrepreneurs organized in Saccos.

The intended beneficiaries include; women entrepreneurs, carpenters, bodaboda riders, saloon operators, taxi operators, restaurant owners, welders, market vendors, youth leaders, Persons with Disabilities (PWDs), produce dealers, mechanics, tailors, journalists, performing artists, veterans, fishermen, and elected leaders,

But each SACCO will be required to have a minimum of 30 members.

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