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Mukwaya, Butime warn districts, sub-counties on delaying govt programmes

Gender Minister, Janat Mukwaya (C) and her Local Government counterpart, Tom Butime (2R), and Permanent Secretaries, Pius Bigirimana (L) and Ben Kumumanya during the meeting.

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Top managers at the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development and that of Local Government have resolved to take firm sanctions against District and Sub county officials cited in the defective implementation of Government Programmes.

The decision was reached at during a bilateral meeting that was convened by the Minister of Gender, Labour and Social Development Janat Mukwaya at the Gender Ministry headquarters in Kampala on Tuesday July 18, 2017.

The meeting was attended by the Minister of Local Government, Tom Butime, the two Permanent Secretaries, Pius Bigirimana of the Gender Ministry and Ben Kumumanya of the Local Government Ministry, plus a host of Commissioners and Programme managers.

The meeting arose out of findings made by Mukwaya during her ongoing nationwide monitoring of projects funded under the Uganda Women Entrepreneurship Programme (UWEP) and the Youth Livelihood Programme (YLP). She has so far covered selected sites in the Karamoja, Eastern, Central and South Western regions.

Both the YLP and UWEP are programmes implemented under the established Government structures with the sub county and district officials wielding the responsibility to help communities generate project proposals, vet them and submit to the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development for funding.

Each project can be financed to a tune of Sh12.5 million while those with a value addition component can get up to Shs25 million, although the latter is approved by the Ministry.

Through her visits, Mukwaya said she had observed that the Gender Ministry was endeavouring to do its job although some officials at the district and sub county were not playing their roles and thus failing some of the projects.

“There is no functional linkage between the District and Sub county leadership. The Sub county leadership seems to be detached from the district and therefore the authority that the Chief Administration Officer (CAO) wields over the Sub county Chief is questionable,” She noted.

She said the involvement of Sub county chiefs and sub accountants as signatories to women and youth group accounts was envisaged to guide groups to implement their enterprises according to work plans.

However, this has in most cases been abused through extortion of money from the groups under the guise of transport and other allowances. In some cases there has been outright demand of ransom before signing.

Chief Administrative Officers and Chief Finance Officers (CFOs) were faulted for delaying the release of funds to beneficiary groups using excuses of the Integrated Financial Management System (IFMIS).

Although groups are not required to be formally registered to receive funding under the two Programmes, districts and sub counties were imposing levies for registration as Community Based Organisation as a means of boasting local revenue. Mukwaya ruled that this is wrong and must stop.
“We cannot be impoverishing the same people we are seeking to help” She noted.

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