Distribution of 800,000 Hand Hoes Divides MPs

Members of Parliament have disagreed over the distribution of hand hoes meant for their constituents saying it was selective.
One of the refugees rest after digging holes to erect his house

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Members of Parliament have disagreed over the selective distribution of hand hoes.

Appearing before the committee on Budget to present the committee report of the Agriculture sector, the Agriculture Committee chairperson Janet Grace Okori-moe was tasked by MPs to explain the procurement of hoes and why only selective MPs were given hoes for their constituents.

The matter was first raised by Dokolo Woman MP Cecilia Ogwal who questioned the whereabouts of the hoes since many MPs did not receive the hoes.

According to Ogwal, two years ago MPs were given 100 hoes each, but since Parliament passed the budget for hoes in 2018, there are more requests for hoes.

Ogwal alleges that the hoes were selectively given to MPs and Ministers who are close to the Government. She says that communities in Dokolo did not receive hoes. 

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However, Solomon Silwanyi, the MP Bukooli Central MP who is also a commissioner of Parliament dismissed the allegations.  He asked the chairperson Patrick Isiagi to rule Ogwal out of order saying hoes were distributed fairly.

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The MPs had complained earlier that hoes were being given in their constituents without their involvement, but Government later decided to give the MPs hoes to distribute.

According to Okori-moe, 800,000 hoes were procured and the requested the Minister to distribute them through the leaders. She said both her and members of the committee were not aware on the procedure of getting the hoes.

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The Committee, however, did not come to a conclusion on the matter of the hoes, as they were scheduled to meet other stakeholders.

Attempts to contact the Agriculture Minister Vincent Ssempijja to comment on the matter were futile. 

President Yoweri Museveni in his 2016 election manifesto promised to avail hoes to every household to support agricultural production.