Kiryandongo youth lead gov’t program defaulters list

Thursday, February 1, 2024
Kiryandongo LC5 Chairperson, Ms Aliguma Edith Adyeri addressing stakeholders during a meeting at the District headquarters on Wednesday, January 31, 2024
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  • Youth in Kiryandongo District lead in defaulting on government livelihood support programs, according to a Ministry of Gender, Labour, and Social Development meeting. Out of 1.17 billion shillings disbursed, only 261 million shillings have been recovered since 2013.

Kiryandongo District’s youth top the list of defaulters in government special interest livelihood support programs administered by the Ministry of Gender, Labour, and Social Development, as revealed during a stakeholder meeting convened on Wednesday, January 31st, at the District headquarters. Caroline Rukundo Benda, the Supervisor of Recovery and Skills Development at the Ministry, reported that out of the 1.17 billion disbursed to youth beneficiary groups in Kiryandongo since the inception of the youth livelihood program in the 2013/2014 financial year, only 261 million shillings have been recovered.

This subpar recovery rate positions the youth as the leading defaulters when compared to women beneficiaries who received 428.5 million shillings under the Uganda Women Entrepreneurship Programme (UWEP) and repaid 102.6 million shillings. Rukundo emphasized the need for fund recovery to benefit other groups and highlighted the impact on the district’s indicative planning figure.

Addressing the stakeholders, Elizabeth Adong, the Deputy Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) of Kiryandongo, urged Community Development Officers (CDOs) to regularly share recovery reports with leaders for progress tracking. Adong emphasized the commonality of defaulters across various government programs and stressed the necessity for a clear beneficiary tracking system to prevent defaulters from benefiting in future programs.

LC III Chairman Nelson Osaga called for collaboration between technical staff and political leaders to monitor and ensure fund recovery. He also expressed concern about alleged ghost groups, like Kisweka cassava growing, making recovery challenging.

District Chairperson Edith Aliguma Adyer requested evidence of ghost groups and emphasized the need for investigation and apprehension. Stakeholders proposed summoning defaulting groups to discuss rescheduling repayment plans and apprehending non-cooperating parties. Benjamin Muhumuzathe, the District Youth Chairman, raised concerns that summoning might force youths to sell land and property to repay funds.

Deputy CAO Elizabeth Adong assured stakeholders that the office of the CAO would summon defaulters and apprehend non-cooperating parties, preventing queries in the Auditor General’s report. Aliguma urged all stakeholders to take ownership of recovery strategies, commending groups that repaid on time. She emphasized the district’s interest in improving household incomes and livelihoods beyond fund recovery.

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