In the 2014/2015 financial year, Isingiro District disbursed 396 million shillings to 44 selected youth groups. Each of the groups received between 5 and 11 million shillings. Only 50 million has been recovered accounting for only 16 of the disbursed money.
Isingiro District is struggling to recover funds advanced to various youth groups under the Youth Livelihood Programme-YLP.
YLP is a Government of Uganda financed programme designed as one of the interventions to the high unemployment rates and poverty among youths in the country. The programme targets unemployed and poor youth aged between 18-30 years.
In the 2014/2015 financial year, Isingiro District disbursed 396 million shillings to 44 selected youth groups. Each of the groups received between 5 and 11 million shillings.
Out of the 396 million shillings, only 50 million has been recovered accounting for only 16% of the disbursed money.
Some of the groups have paid between 500,000 and one million shillings, while others are not bothered to pay and are instead engaging the community development office in a hide and seek game.
Arthur Byaruhanga, the Isingiro district Community Development Officer, says that the most disturbing challenge is that almost all the groups have defaulted on the money that was given to them.
Some of the groups are Kyera Youth Making group, Kaberebere II Youth Matooke Dealers, Kaberere I Produce Dealers, Kagoto II goat rearing project, Rugarama Youth goat rearing group, Kiryaburo Youth Boda Boda group. They were each given money worth 9 million shillings but have not bothered to repay even a single coin.
He says that the only option will be to track down the group members and hold them accountable for the money that they received.
Samuel Mihanda, the Kabuyanda town council youth chairperson, told URN that failure to recover the money will eventually cost the youth as they may lose out getting more funds.
John Mudoogo, the Isingiro district chairperson, says there is need for more sensitisation among the youth so that they understand the need to repay the money that was given out to them.
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Isingiro district Youth councillor, Robert Ankunda, told our reporter that the district leadership has embarked on a campaign to mobilise members of the defaulting youth groups to start paying.
He says that the some groups shared the money or sold off goats and other animals thinking that the programme was a token of appreciation from the government.
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He says that his only worry is that the district may lose out on the next release of money for the programme.
In Rukungiri district, the youth have also defaulted on the money released to them.
The district disbursed Shillings 257 million to 37 selected youth groups. Each of the groups received between Shillings five and 12 million shillings.
However, to date, the district has only managed to recover 48 million shillings from 15 groups. According to Nemesius Agaba, the Rukungiri District Senior Community Development Officer, 21 youth groups have failed to return the money advanced to them.
Other districts with similar challenges include Kasese, Lira and Arua among others.