Nine eastern Uganda districts fail to recover youth funds

Members of Parliament’s Local Government Accounts Committee have asked Chief Administrative Officers to penalise staff who have failed to properly supervise the Youth Livelihood Programme in Eastern Uganda.

The Committee was in Soroti last week where local government accounting officers from the districts of Kapelebyong, Katakwi, Moroto, Amuria, Serere, Sironko, Kween and Bukwo converged to consider the Auditor General’s Report on the performance of the Programme.

The Committee observed that non-payment of the Youth Livelihood funds was partly due to some technical officers neglecting their duties. This was evidenced by Soroti District Sub county Chief of Tubur, Julius Apetu, who appeared before the committee while drunk.

“If you can get drunk in the morning when you are to appear before us, what about when on your normal business,” said Judith Akello.

Committee Chairperson ordered for his arrest and was detained at Soroti CPS.

Soroti CAO, Henry Ddamba, was directed to relieve Apetu of duties as Tubur sub County chief.

Soroti District received up to Shs 302.1 million meant for youth groups in the financial year 2014/2015, but had only recovered Shs 66 million or 22 per cent by the end of the 2017/2018 financial year.

In his report, the Auditor General said that a physical inspection to some youth groups revealed that some groups collapsed without paying back any money to government.

There was also lack of books of accounts, documents to prove accountability or copies of contracts awarded in some sub counties in Pallisa district, contrary to Local Government Financial and Accounting Manual.

The Committee directed Pallisa CAO, Joseph Mukasa, to investigate the Principal Internal Auditor Emmanual Kiirya and Senior Accounts Assistant Agapitus Keedi who absconded from duty at Gogonyo sub county. They were referred to the District Service Commission for further management.

In Amudat District located in Karamoja region, the CAO, Masokoyi Waswa Matanda, said some beneficiaries of the funds had crossed into Kenya to avoid arrest.

“Apart from Amudat bordering Kenya, it’s also a pastoralist community which has made it more complicated to trace beneficiaries,” said former district CAO, Saraphine Aliya, who was in charge during the audit period.

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