Some claim that most of their members are illiterate, yet all the money request forms are written in English, and they lack timely guidance from the project supervisors and so they hired local government employees to fill these forms for them at a fee of 50,000 Shillings per form.
“Those very officials escorted us to the bank and after withdrawing the money, they immediately wanted us to give them a kick back which we earlier declined," says a member of the beneficiary groups who reported the officials to the police. "After a week, I agreed to pay them 150,000 Shillings, but they kept on harassing me as they demanded for more money.”
Stella Naigaga, a saloon operator says that one of the VHTs confiscated her national ID under unclear circumstances. “They registered me alongside my other five workmates but after our 30 minute’s engagement, the VHT member sped off with our IDs claiming that they were a requirement to expedite the release of the relief funds to the beneficiaries,” she said.
Eva Kwesiga, the Resident District Commissioner in charge of both Iganga and Bugweri, says the suspects were meant to distribute the funds on Sunday. “These two were supposed to distribute the funds on Sunday morning but they were no show yet the beneficiaries had gathered at the district headquarters,” she said.
According to the occupants, they have been under threats of eviction since 2016 and are worried that Mengo through Buganda Land Board-BLB may evict them anytime without due compensation despite occupying land for more than 30 years.
Each of the sub counties received 15 saving boxes for distribution to youth groups in their area. Innocent Omogo, the In Charge of NCBA CLUSA Uganda in Kole District, says the saving boxes will help the members to keep their savings safely.