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55 Women in Lyantonde Face Prosecution for Defaulting UWEP Funds

Andrew Timothy Kamugasa, the UWEP coordinator in Lyantonde district indicates they have failed to recover part of the money which was given out to some groups.

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At least 55 women in the different enterprise groups in Lyantonde District are facing prosecution for defaulting on the public funds disbursed through the Uganda Women Entrepreneurship Program-UWEP. 

The women received the funds disbursed through the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development to strengthen the capacity of women for entrepreneurship development, through the provision of affordable credits and support access to other financial services that enable business growth. 

Andrew Timothy Kamugasa, the UWEP coordinator in Lyantonde district indicates they have failed to recover part of the money which was given out to some groups.

He explains that the eleven groups that have been listed for prosecution owe the program 50 million shillings and have defaulted for the last five years.

Kamugasa indicates that some of the groups have either disintegrated or the members relocated to unknown destinations, as a way of avoiding accountability.

He explains that they have secured a resolution from the district council which gave them a go-ahead to hunt down the defaulters and have them prosecuted, for the good of other groups that are also waiting to benefit from the program funds.

  //Cue in: “kati nga abo….   

  Cue out; …..ezo tezikulema.”//

According to the district’s project disbursement schedule, each of the women groups was on average given 5.6 million shillings which are meant to be operated as a revolving fund. In total, Lyantonde district had of December last year received 488 million shillings paid out to 87 women enterprise groups, venturing in the different income-generating projects.  

Kamugasa says that the district has only managed to recover 169 million shillings, which is so low compared to their expectation and is affecting that program’s progress.  

//Cue out: “kubanga kati Ministry….   

Cue out; ….butasasula ssente.”// 

Joselin Kyorisimira, a member of Mpumudde Women Cheesemakers group says that their business was affected by the Covid-19 induced lockdown situation. She has pleaded with the government to allow them to use the funds as seed capital.

She says that they also going to engage the district leadership to forge a way forward other than pursuing them for prosecution.

“All of us were badly affected by the lockdown restrictions which affected the business operation. The government needs to revise the terms of this project to allow us to recover,” she noted.

Rosette Nayebale, the Lyantonde Town Council Vice Chairperson, says she is also going to appeal to the district Chief Administrative Officer to backtrack on the prosecution process and instead engage with defaulters to work out a lenient recovery program.  

The Uganda Women Entrepreneurship Program was initiated in the 2015/15 financial year, to empower women to improve their income levels and contribute to economic development.  

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