The National Coordinator of the Operation Wealth Creation (OWC) programme, Gen Salim Saleh, on Monday has launched a scathing criticism against Kasese district leaders for allegedly mismanaging Shs 28 billion that was allocated to the district between 2014 and 2018.
Addressing the district leaders in Kasese Town on Monday, Gen Saleh said residents in the area have remained poor despite government sinking huge sums of money to boost their household incomes.
“I want you to show me the Shs28 billion that was injected into the district for the last four years. There is no single enterprise that has survived,” he said.
Gen Saleh was alluding to a report presented by Mr Emmanuel Allio, the Director for Investments under OWC, who said that there was no single enterprise supplied to Kasese district that had a survival rate of 10 percent.
Gen Saleh said the government will no longer waste funds.
“We no longer want to waste any more money on people who have no sense of responsibility. Because people have been used to free things, that is the reason, they would pick tea and coffee seedlings, heifers, pigs among others and leave them to dry on the ground without planting them,” he added.
The President’s younger brother added that the experience got from Kasese means that OWC will change its strategy from funding to financing so that the beneficiaries are able to access funds at low interest rate that is refundable at a specific period of time.
The district chairperson, Mr Geoffrey Sibendire, said there is a need to change the guidelines of OWC since he has not seen its impact on the ground.
“I wish the guidelines should be changed so that it causes impact otherwise we [government] will continue to spend money that has no impact on the ground and people will keep blaming the system,” Sibendire said.
He said instead of transforming lives of the communities a lot is being used to benefit few individuals in the chain of the programme.
“This OWC is not better than NAADS , it is even worse because of no provision to involve the district leadership at all levels apart from being called to witness the receipt. Even where the district leadership had tried to intervene, they are being defeated by the guidelines,” he noted.