March 2, 2014

Concerns As OPM Spearheads UGX 20B Cattle Restocking Project

Gulu district chairperson Martin Ojara Mapenduzi has warned that the cattle restocking fund meant for northern Uganda could take the same trend of abuse of resources as other government programmes in the area.cattle

Government is implementing a 20-billion-shilling restocking fund in Northern Uganda, with 83% of the implementation being done by the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM).

And now Mapenduzi says the OPM has been implicated in many scandals including the disappearance in 2012 of over 50 billion shillings meant for post-war recovery under the Peace Recovery and Development Plan.

Mapenduzi stated that the OPM had gone ahead to start the procurement processes without involving the district and also identified suppliers already without the knowledge of the district.

He says the OPM officials came to consult them and yet they had already gone ahead to start the activities of the cattle restocking process.

Last year, Government earmarked 20 billion shillings for the expanded livestock restocking programme in Northern Uganda under the PRDP.

According to Mapenduzi, the cattle of between 150 to 200kgs that is to be procured are of poor quality and yet they are being purchased by the suppliers at between 800,000 to one million shillings. He states that cattle of the same size ranges from 350,000 to 500,000 shillings in the region. He says that if not effectively managed, the 7 districts in Acholi sub region may not benefit from the restocking process.

Mapenduzi also says that the guidelines of the new fund have not favoured districts with traditional parishes claiming that Gulu which has 3 counties and the majority of population in northern Uganda is being given the same funding as districts with only one county and a limited population.

The restocking program will be implemented in Acholi, Lango, Teso and West Nile with each of the sub region getting 5 billion shillings.

Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi assured members of the PRDP that Government has tightened financial management systems to guard against financial fraud.

Mbabazi said the integrated financial management system has been reorganized to provide for transparency and accountability at every level of action and all Bank of Uganda transactions have to be confirmed by the respective accounting officers.

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