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West Nile leaders ask gov’t to address gaps in Emyooga program

Koboko, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Leaders in the West Nile region have asked the government to make adjustments and address the gaps in the implementation of the Emyooga program.

The Emyooga programme was launched in July last year to target Ugandans in the informal sector clustered in 18 groups that include among others, boda boda riders, carpenters, tailors, welders, fishermen, taxi drivers, vendors and salon operators.

However, the program has faced challenges that include: varying guidelines relating to the formation of associations, putting the commercial officers as focal persons in accessing the money and a low level of knowledge on the Emyooga program and its timing.

Dr Aate Sharifa Taban Amin, the Koboko District Woman Member of Parliament said there is a need for massive sensitization of people about the program since it was rolled out during the election period. According to Dr Aate, the timing of the program gave a perception that the money was free.

She says that sensitizing the people about the program will help achieve its targeted objectives.

Terego Resident District Commissioner Bessie Modesta Ajilong says that some locals are pointing accusing fingers at focal persons who are implementing the Emyooga program, which she says has caused hatred among the people in the district.

Huda Oleru, the Aringa East Member of Parliament says that despite inadequate information to the beneficiaries about the program, some successes have been registered especially the formation of groups and opening of bank accounts.

Bosco Ocima, one of the Emyooga group leaders of produce business and a beneficiary from Koboko district pointed out that lack of a common position on the program among political and technical leaders has forced some members to abandon the program.

In August, Deputy Speaker Anita Among sent Members of Parliament on a week-long recess to investigate irregularities in the Emyooga funds disbursed.

The decision was to ensure that funds earmarked for the recently launched Parish Development Model do not suffer the same fate.

During the assessment by the MPs, bureaucratic tendencies, meddling of politicians and mistrust among beneficiaries were blamed for the slow progress of the Emyooga program.



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