Beneficiaries under the Northern Uganda Social Action Plan Phase
three (NUSAFIII) Project in Agago District have accused their executive leaders
of paying ghost beneficiaries.
Members of Oporot tree planting group in Patongo Town Council under the NUSAFIII
Moo-Dege watershed in February last year received 65 Million Shillings from the
government to implement eucalyptus tree planting for business on two and half-acre
piece of land.
A total of 136 members drawn from Oporot North village were registered to
benefit from the government project aimed at eradicating poverty and
But Martin Okwera, the Community Project Management Committee chairperson says
a recent assessment found only 85 members of the group has since the inception
of the project last year been active.
He notes that the executive members of the group recently signed for payment of
136 members for labour provided in the planting of eucalyptus tree seedlings on
two and a half acres’ piece of land. He however says only 85 active
members who had provided labour received payment while money meant for 51 inactive
ghost members haven’t been accounted for.
According to Okwera each member of the group was supposed to receive 290,000
Shillings for labour provided in clearing the two and half-acre field for
planting eucalyptus trees. He says close to 15 Million Shillings hasn’t been
accounted for by the executive leaders that comprise the secretary, treasurer,
and group chairperson.
//Cue in: “koko wa tiye..
Cue out:…pi dano 51.”//
He also alleges that unclear deduction has also been made on savings of group
members citing that the members are getting less than the shillings 81,000 they
are meant to get.
The group members also accuse their executives of failing to follow the
transparent procurement of eucalyptus seedlings. One of the members who
preferred anonymity alleged that a total of 3,300 eucalyptus trees seedlings
procured by the executives were never planted and are alleged to have dried up.
He notes that although no receipts were presented to the project management
committee, the executive members purport each seedling was procured at 300 Shillings
but a separate investigation indicates the members procured at 500 Shillings.
Okwera has called on the district leaders to intervene and investigate the
management of the group and the Patongo Town council NUSAFIII facilitator over
mismanagement of funds.
Francis Odok, Patongo Town Council NUSAFIII Facilitator who has been accused of
siding with the executive leaders of the group declined to comment on the
matter and referred this reporter to the Nusaf Desk Officer (NDO).
Prossy Atim, Agago District Nusaf Desk Officer acknowledged releasing money
meant to pay members of the group on request by the group’s executive leaders.
She says a week ago, she received a complaint that 51 ghost persons in the
group were accounted for in the money released for the group yet they didn’t
participate in working.
According to Atim, the executive leaders have now been ordered to make a refund
for the money which hasn’t been paid out adding that failure to do so will
warrant action against them.
Efforts to get comments from Oporot tree planting group Treasurer and the
secretary were futile by press time as their known phones numbers were all
Andrew Onyuk, Agago Resident District Commissioner, says the three
executive leaders of the group will be summoned for questioning.
NUSAFIII Project which became effective in March 2016 and implemented through
the office of the Prime Minister with funding from the World Bank is expected
to end on June 30 this year.