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Disintegration of Groups Slows Recovery of Youth Livelihood Funds

Charles Rwakairu, the Youths Councilor at Wobulenzi Town Council and Ishahak Mugema, the Luweero district Youth councillor admit that many of the groups disintegrated because they were formed with a purpose of accessing funds but not working together.

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Youths leaders in Luweero District have acknowledged that the disintegration of youths groups has greatly affected the recovery of money disbursed under the Youth Livelihood Programme, a government empowerment strategy targeting unemployed youths.  

The observation was equally reflected in the latest report of the Auditor General for the financial year ending June 2019. According to the report, the government has only recovered 10.4 billion Shillings, out of disbursement of 45.5 billion Shillings to various youth groups, act5oss the country. 

Namutumba and Kiboga districts are listed among the worst performers with a recovery outturn of three and five per cent respectively. The best performing local governments were Ibanda district, with a recovery rate of 64 per cent, Ibanda municipal council at 63 per cent and Bushenyi at 57 per cent. 

In Luweero district, the recovery rate stands at 28 per cent, 38.2 per cent in Nakaseke and 33 per cent in Nakasongola district. 

In all places where recovery was impossible, the Auditor General established that the groups had disintegrated, and the youth had opted to share the money amongst themselves to take separate ways. Others were affected by enterprise failure as well as Inadequate monitoring and evaluation. 

Charles Rwakairu, the Youths Councilor at Wobulenzi Town Council and Ishahak Mugema, the Luweero district Youth councillor admit that many of the groups disintegrated because they were formed with a purpose of accessing funds but not working together. 

They observed that even after going separate ways, such youths don’t use the funds in profitmaking ventures. They, however, note that the youth’s groups were large and politically driven, making the recovery of money impossible. 

Rwakairu // Cue in: “Actually when…

Cue out...they are”//     

// Cue in; “Wekanga nti group… 

Cue out…obasiba”//    

Paul Ssimbwa, the Chairperson of Wobulenzi Modern Saloon 11 project says that they got eight million Shillings in the financial year 2017/18 but immediately disagreed on the project because the group members wanted to share the money and lost interest in the venture, as soon as he objected to the proposal. 

Ssimbwa invested all the money in the proposed saloon project with only one of the initial members of the group.    

//Cue in; “Kituufu abantu….  

Cue out…mpolampola.”// 

Several chairpersons of youths groups in Wobulenzi Town declined to be interviewed and others fled when URN visited them on Friday. They allegedly feared arrests after reports indicated that they had failed to pay back the money. 

Wobulenzi Katale Youths Metal fabrication project is among the few groups which are still united and they intend to repay the money starting January this year. Ashraf Ssekyaya, the project's chairperson says that they have remained united because they choose people with a common business interest and goal. 

Phoebe Namulindwa, the Luweero Resident District Commissioner says that some causes have been addressed in the revised Youth Livelihood Programme policy. Namulindwa says the group members have been reduced to five from 12 to ease recovery. 

Namulindwa noted that earlier on efforts to arrest defaulters were fruitless because members fled from the district after getting the money.

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