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Youth Storm CAO’s Office, Hold Secretary Hostage Over Livelihood Fund

A group of angry youth in Namutumba District on Monday stormed offices of the Chief Administrative Officer (CAO), Mr Davis Dembe, the Chief Financial Officer (CFO), Mr George Balasirwa and locked their secretaries inside, demanding their resignation over their alleged failure to transfer Shs410m of Youth Livelihood Fund (YLF) to the accounts of 42 group beneficiaries.

Businesses came to a standstill for about an hour as some civil servants fled their offices for fear of being harmed by the group led by the district youth male Councilor, Mr Yusuf Dabadha, and Mr David Wako, the district youth Chairperson.

The group first took to the streets before storming the District headquarters chanting: “We want the resignation of CAO and CF,” before closing almost every office.

According to Mr Dabadha, since the previous Financial Year (2017/2018), Mr Dembe and Mr Balasirwa have allegedly refused to give out money to the beneficiaries.

“We are now in a new financial year and getting ready for the next phase but authorities are still keeping a deaf ear,” he said.

Mr Wako fears the money was lent to businessmen while at the same time wondering why the CAO is ‘taking long’ to transfer the money from district’s general collection account to the youth group accounts. “Mr Museveni should save us from Mr Dembe and transfer him,” Mr Wako said.

Mr Dembe could not be reached because his known telephone number was off, however the district information officer, Mr Noah Kiire, said Mr Dembe had instructed him to speak to the youth after being tipped off that they were rioting.

He, however, conceded that the district had delayed to remit the money but the two are working hard to rectify everything.

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“They (CAO and CFO) didn’t create these mistakes and all this mess, but it’s the youths themselves who messed up. Rectifying errors on youth group accounts is the mandate of the youth group chairpersons, not the CAO and CFO,” he said.

Mr Basalirwa said by now the youths would be operating their businesses but there were mistakes in opening up their group accounts which is delaying the process.

“We cannot transfer money to their accounts without verifying. They need to be calm because violence will not sort out anything. Much as we delayed to give out the money, the youths are to blame for the mess and errors in the group accounts,” he said.

 

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