Hoima Resident district commissioner-RDC Samuel Kisembo wonders why the money has not been recovered yet the people who approved and recommended the groups are around. He says some of the CDOs and the sub county chiefs directly got involved in the procurement process of some of the group items while others illegally formed groups that they benefited from yet they were not supposed to be beneficiaries.
Community Development Officers-CDOs and Sub county chiefs in Hoima district have two months to recover Shillings 1.5 billion disbursed to youth groups under the Youth livelihood project or else risk missing their salaries.
According to information obtained by URN, the money was disbursed to 138 youth groups between 2014 and 2017. However, to date the money has never been recovered. CDOs and sub county chiefs were key in initiating, approving and recommending the beneficiary groups.
Samuel Kisembo, the Hoima Resident District Commissioner, says they have given the officers an ultimatum of two months to recover or else their salaries will be held until money is recovered.
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He says some of the CDOs and Sub county chiefs got directly involved in the procurement of some of the group items while others formed groups, which benefited from the revolving fund.
Kadir Kirungi, the Hoima LC V Chairperson says the implicated CDOs and sub county chiefs registered ghost groups that benefited from the Youth livelihood project. He says the CDOs are finding it hard to refund the money, saying withholding their salaries would be the best option.
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Isaac Bitamale, the Hoima District Youth Livelihood Focal Person, says the district has only been able to recover Shillings 300 million out of the disbursed Shillings 1.5 billion since 2014.
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Hope Suzan, the Community Development officer- CDO Hoima Municipality says some of the youth groups have disintegrated and therefore they are difficult to be traced while others shared the money amongst themselves and never even started their intended projects.
Moses Musinguzi, the Buseruka Sub county Chief says most of the youth groups in the sub county, which opted for piggery, lost their stock to swine fever. He says such groups are finding difficulties to pay back the money, since they lost everything.
Geoffrey Murungi, the Hoima District Youth Chairperson has welcomed the proposal to withhold the salaries of the officers to push them to recover the money.
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Leonard Okello, one of the beneficiaries of the Youth livelihood project in Buseruka Sub County, says most of the group members were not sensitized on how to use the money and ended up sharing it.
Youth livelihood project is a revolving fund set up by government as one of the way of boosting production and fighting youth unemployment in the country.