Joan Kakwenzire, Senior presidential Advisor on Poverty Alleviation has come under spotlight over her handling of a one-billion-shilling poverty eradication project.
Last year, President Yoweri Museveni sent one billion shillings to purchase improved breads of goats and cattle, and have them distributed to farmers in the districts of Sembabule, Mubende and Gomba, but locals say they have never benefitted from the project. In her report, Kakwenzire says that the money purchased 56,000 goats, 20,000 cows and 110, 000 coffee seedlings, which were subsequently distributed to the recipient Sub-counties in the targeted areas.
But Ibrahim Batuma, the Lwemiyaga County NRM party chairperson, says the report presented to them is deceitful, saying they cannot trace its impact in the area. Batuma says that when he heard of the project he mobilized farmers to prepare their farms to benefit from it, but he was disappointed when the area did not benefit from the scheme.
He explains that the report claims that each parish in Sembabule received 6 heifers and 11 goats, but just a few individuals in the entire district got the items.
Batuma wants investigations into the scheme, suspecting that some of the funds may have been embezzled. Deborah Nabadda, the area district women Councilor says the residents are also raising accusations on them as leaders for deliberately mismanaging the project, meant to develop them. She says Kakwenzire and her team failed to give physical accountability that justifies their record presentations to the residents, adding that there is entirely no value for money seen in the area.
Nabadda wants them held liable for presenting what she called false reports, and mismanaging the project that aimed at improving the livelihoods of the local people. The residents have threatened that if the office of the Resident District Commissioner (RDC) fails to probe the scheme, they will storm the President’s farm in Kisozi, Gomba district, to present their grievances.
But Joan Kakwenzire says that the aggrieved residents failed to fulfill the requirements of the beneficiaries. She says some of the residents in Sembabule lacked standard grazing areas to accommodate the distributed animals, and there is no way they could capture them. She explains that they saw no need of giving the items to unprepared people.Kakwenzire also blamed the local leaders for failing to mobilize and promote development ideas among their people and think of playing cheap politics all the time.