Kasese Municipality MP, Robert Centenary has warned government that the new poverty alleviation program risks failing even before takeoff if officials implementing it repeat past mistakes.
Centenary made the remarks during the launch of the Emyooga presidential initiative on job and wealth creation in Kasese Municipality and Busongora South Constituencies of greater Rwenzori region.
“Supervision and monitoring of this program will be key for its success. Implementers should carry out good mobilization and sensitization of the people about the program so that people understand it very well,” Centenary said.
“On implementation, beneficiaries should be supervised to see that the money borrowed from saccos is used well and returned to the saccos. The beneficiaries should optimally utilize the money borrowed from saccos because the success of this program will entirely depend on the success of the first beneficiaries. If they don’t repay the money they borrow from saccos, it will discourage others.”
The Kasese Municipality legislator however noted that whereas the program is good and welcome to the area, its success will depend on government officials and other implementers whom he warned against repeating mistakes as done during past poverty alleviation programs initiated by government.
“I want to pledge my support to ensure the program succeeds but I am advising government on mitigating risks. On the beneficiaries’ side, they must be trustworthy.”
He however asked government to think of other groups of people like painters and other artisans who have not been included in the 19 clusters.
The Kasese Resident District Commissioner, Lt.Joe Walusimbi warned he would arrest any government official who plays around with the program.
“I assure you that with this presidential initiative, I will leave no stone unturned. This project has to be a success. Whoever wants to play around with this project should be ready to be jailed,”Walusimbi said.
Speaking on Thursday evening, President Museveni said whereas shs260 billion was injected in the program, he wants more to be injected to benefit many people especially in the informal sector around the country.
Let us fund them (Emyooga). We put in shs 260 billion but it is not enough. We should put in more money. The money we have been using for foreign travel should be put in Emyooga so that those who are well off, help those who are not,”Museveni said while addressing NRM party members after the CEC elections.
Ugandans in 19 clusters including Boda boda riders, taxi drivers, restaurants, welders, market vendors, women entrepreneurs, youth leaders, people with disabilities, journalists, performing artists, veterans, fishermen, private teachers and elected leaders will be encouraged to form associations at parish level and these(associations) will be members to the respective constituency saccos.
Each sacco at the constituency will receive shs30 million , save for elected leaders and private teachers whose saccos will receive shs50million and shs60 million respectively.
The program to be implemented by the Microfinance Support Centre is part of NRM’s principle of socio-economic transformation in which the government wants 68% of the country’s homesteads, currently in the subsistence of market-oriented production transformed to commercial production.