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Group Leaders in Agago Flee Homes over Alleged Theft of UGX 16m NUSAF Funds

The executive members who include the treasurer Esther Obura and Secretary Bosco Okot reportedly fled over the weekend after failing to pay 16 Million Shillings to their members.
A sign post for Oporot Tree planting group in Patongo Town Council in Agago District

Audio 4

Two executive members of Oporot tree planting group in Agago District have gone into hiding over fears of attaching their properties.  Last year, the group benefited from the Northern Uganda Social Action Fund- NUSAF III program.

The executive members who include the treasurer Esther Obura and Secretary Bosco Okot reportedly fled over the weekend after failing to pay 16 Million Shillings to their members.

It is alleged that they swindled the money meant to pay for labour for 85 group members who participated in eucalyptus tree planting in April this year. They are also accused of paying 51 ghost workers who didn't participate in planting trees, inflating eucalyptus prices, and procuring few quantities of eucalyptus trees for the project.

On Monday afternoon, angry members of the group stormed the homes of the leaders in Patongo Town Council after months of waiting in vain to receive their payments. They however found their homes under lock and key while their phone numbers were off.

Martin Atuka, the Community Monitoring Group Chairperson says that members of the group had been patient for over three months and had made up their minds to attach their leader’s properties.

//cue in: “lwak okanyo cwiny…

Cue out:…jo me district.”//

He says the members decided to attach their lands and recover shillings 16 million which they allegedly were used without their knowledge.

Luo

//cue in: “wan pe wa…

Cue out:…I ada na.”//

Sidonia Akot, one of the group members accused the treasurer of signing for the withdrawal of their money which was later used by the executive members despite the hard work they had been doing.

Akot also faulted local leaders in the district for frustrating their move to recover their money by consistently giving a grace period to the accused to leaders to recover the money but in vain.

//cue in: “jo ni ko

Cue out:…abedo I buc.”//

Patongo Town Council LCIII Chairperson Joseph Komakech however during a heated meeting with the members called for calm and asked the aggrieved members to desist from taking the law into their hands.

He advised the members to task the accused executive members to show proof of payments made since they claim to have already made payments to the aggrieved members.

Luo

//cue in: “An onongo lega…

Cue out:…ciling a lwak.”//

Agago Resident District Commissioner Andrew Onyuk earlier said that his office had already intervened in the matter. 

He also cautioned the members who had taken a move to attach their properties to withdraw their intentions and instead, give time to the executive members to pay back the money. 

Oporot Tree planting group received shillings 65 million from the government through the Office of the Prime Minister-OPM in February last year to Implement eucalyptus tree planting on a two-acre piece of land undertaken by 136 members from Oporot North village.  

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