Commercial officers, Community Development Officers and other government officials risk being sent to jail for failing the new government program on alleviation of poverty, the Kasese Resident District Commissioner, Lt.Joe Walusimbi has warned.
Speaking during the launch of the Emyooga president initiative on wealth and job creation in the Bukonzo East and Bukonzo West constituencies of Greater Rwenzori district on Tuesday, Walusimbi said that in the past, government officials have partly contributed to the failure of several programs but warned it will not be business as usual.
“This is a presidential initiative and let no body claim ownership over it. Whoever wishes to play around with it is warned. I want to warn government officials more especially Community Development Officers who are good at dodging that this time it will not be business as usual,” Walusimbi said.
“All the officials concerned with this project should be warned against failing it. I will arrest and jail you for failing this project.”
The RDC said in the past, he has seen several CDOs ask for as much as shs300,000 from people to help members come up with constitutions for their saccos whereas many commercial officers have charged exorbitant fees for registration of associations but warned this will not be tolerated because it discourages members of the public from embracing government programs like Emyooga whose main aim is saving through saccos.
“We are going to do everything possible to implement the program but whoever plays around with it should not blame me over the outcome.”
He however asked members of the public to embrace the project and own it so as to greatly benefit from it.
“This is not like other programs where you get money and go away. We shall be following you to see that you use it well. What we want you is to be happy and live in peace and earn a good living.
According to Alfred Eboku Ejanu, the head of Credit and Operations at the Microfinance Support Centre, each officer at the district has his own responsibility as part of the Emyooga project and that they will be held accountable in case the program fails.
“Community Development Officers will be identifying and mobilise members of the public to join the program through their various clusters since they understand the various communities throughout the district,”Eboku explained.
He noted that the Community Development Officers will also register members according to their various associations at parish level as part of the new poverty alleviation scheme.
“Like herein Bukonzo East and Bukonzo West constituencies, we expect the Community Development Officer for Kasese to start right away moving in various villages and coordinate with LC one chairpersons to mobilise and registers members to join the program at every parish.”
The official from the Microfinance Support Centre said after registration of associations at parish level, commercial officers will now mobilise the associations to form saccos at constituency level.
The saccos formed at constituency level will each receive shs30 million as seed capital apart from elected leaders and private teachers where each will get shs50 million and shs60million respectively.
The Microfinance Support Centre is the implementing agency for the program.