Kween district has failed to recover millions of Shillings advanced to several youth groups under the government Youth Livelihood Fund in the 2014/2015 financial year. The Youth Livelihood Fund is a revolving fund meant to empower youths by providing them with startup capital.
According to Kween district, Shillings 511 million was disbursed to 96 youth groups. Some of the Youth groups that benefited from funds are Mulugwe animal Traction, Kapkwata Boda Boda riders, Kisongi Youth Nursery Bed, Nyuit rice growing group and 12 groups involved in Irish Potatoes growing among others.
Dismas Noah Malinga, the Youth Livelihood Focal Person and Senior Probation and Social Welfare Officer Kween district, says only Shillings 64 Million of the Shillings 511 million disbursed to the 96 youth groups has been recovered.
According to Malinga, some of the beneficiaries misused the money thinking it was a presidential handshake.
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Michael Wanje, the Kween Chief Administrative Officer, says most of the defaulters have fled to Kenya after failing to pay the money. He also dismisses claims that some beneficiaries thought the money, was a presidential handshake.
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Rogers Taitike, the Sippi Region Police Spokesperson, says they are investigating some of the youth who received the funds and have failed to pay back. "We are yet to arrest more youth over failure to remit youth livelihood funds.” He however, didn't disclose the identity of the defaulters they have in their custody for fear of jeopardizing their investigations.
A member of one of the youth groups that received the money told on URN on condition anonymity since he is also on the list of those being hunted by police that they were never sensitized before they were given the money.
He claims that most of the youth groups thought the youth Livelihood fund was a donation from president Museveni to the youth of Kween district. He however, says they have started paying back the money since the district started demanding for a pay back.
"We had planted Irish Potatoes with the aim of selling but unfortunately they made losses and sold at a cheaper price of Shillings 35,000 per bag,” he said.