Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The Chief Coordinator of Operation Wealth Creation-OWC General Salim Saleh has blamed the failure of OWC on bureaucracy and delivery of inadequate farm inputs.
OWC is a government intervention that was launched by President Yoweri Museveni in 2014 with an aim of improving household incomes after several government interventions failed to create tangible impact.
President Museveni has deployed over 400 soldiers of Uganda People Defense Forces to oversee the programme so as to alleviate poverty.
But General Saleh says that despite the army’s success in fight against insurgents and protecting the country, the war against poverty is still a big challenge.
Saleh who was speaking at launch of planned 39th Tarehe Sita anniversary at Timuna Secondary School in Nakaseke district, Saleh reiterated that there was disconnection between the technical staff and soldiers in the programme.
He explained that soldiers make assessments and submit proposals demanding for specific farm inputs but the technical staff (NAADS Secretariat) supplies less something that has crippled the programme.
He summoned Colonel Muhamood Abiriga, the OWC commander for Luweero district to tell the public how much they requested for the district so as to create impact.
Abiriga told the audience that they asked for 382 heads of cattle, 2400 goats and 360,000 to supply to residents in Luweero but NAADs is yet to supply.
Saleh questioned how NAADs secretariat can fail to deliver per such a simple demand.
Saleh said without addressing the bureaucratic tendencies in government and low supply of items, the programme won’t create big impact.
He asked the Chief of Defense Forces General David Muhoozi and Members of Parliament to help them to address the challenges.
Colonel John Byuma the OWC Commanders for Nakaseke district says they are disappointed for not delivering what residents need to get them out of poverty.
He says the low supply has also created unpopularity of the programme among communities.
Samuel Kisitu the district councillor for Kasangombe sub county says that apart from inadequate inputs, there is also late delivery of seedlings which has killed the programme.
Kisitu, however, disagreed with OWC Commanders that they should be allowed to procure the items saying this will worsen the situation.
Ignatius Koomu Kiwanuka also asked OWC and NAADs to ensure that they give the inputs to prepared farmers to avoid wastage of government funds.
Sam Kigula the LCV chairperson Nakasongola also tasked NAADS and OWC to ensure they supply quality seedlings to ensure high survival rate as well as high yields.
General David Muhoozi the Chief of Defense Forces says that the major challenge of UPDF after restoring peace is to ensure prosperity for all people.
In 2018, Gen. Saleh issued a statement detailing 25 major obstacles threatening the program but till now many are yet to be addressed plunging the programme into failure.