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
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.
“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.
//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
out:…abedo I buc.”//
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.
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.
//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.