The selection of beneficiaries for the Youth Livelihood program in Luweero district has been marred by irregularities raising fears that it could fail to cause the intended impact.
In April this year, Luweero District received more than 500 million shillings from the Gender, Labor and Social Development ministry.
The money is meant to provide interest free loans to youth to kick start income generating project so as to fight the rampant youth unemployment. However, in Luweero the youths are accusing Community Development Officers, Town clerks and youth council chairpersons for resorting to nepotism, tribalism, corruption and political marginalization while selecting beneficiaries.
Musa Kironde, a youth in Bombo town council says beneficiary groups are being asked to pay between 15,000-20,000 shillings before they can be approved to access the funds. He says the appraisal forms are being sold at 1500 shillings, which he says an unfair. Arafat Nsereko another youth in Bombo town council says the groups have been considered on tribal grounds. He says the Nubians are being favored against other tribes in Bombo town.
Nsereko says that they are planning to stage a demonstration to protest lack of transparency and unfairness in the program. The situation is not any different in Wobulenze town council. Francis Kiwanuka a youth in the town council accuses technical officers of registering shady groups, which they use to eliminate the intended beneficiaries.
In Kamira Sub County, Christopher Musisi accuses the community development officers of sidelining established groups in favor of newly formed groups. Musisi says that they are skeptical the project will meet its intended objectives. Persis Namuganza, the Luweero Deputy Resident District Commissioner has confirmed receiving complaints saying she is equally disappointed by selection of beneficiaries.
Efforts to talk to Martha Mutono, the Luweero Community Development Officer in Charge of funds were unsuccessful. Irene Nakamatte, the Wobulenzi town clerk and Gaddafi Nasur the chairperson of Luweero Youth Council deny the allegations. Nakamatte says that some of the groups complaining were eliminated due to lack of the requirements. She says technical officers who applied for the funds were also stopped.
Nasur Gaddafi says even the groups that were selected will be assessed this week, adding that, those that fail will be eliminated. He also promised to look into all the complaints accordingly before the disbursement of funds. At least 65 groups are expected to bag between 5-8 million shillings in Luweero district.