Joanita Nakityo, the deputy Chief Administrative Officer, told MPs that the money meant for co-funding worth 300 million shillings, was diverted to pay three former staff of Kabarole who sued the district for illegal dismissal from work.
Kabarole district is lagging behind in co-funding the National Agricultural Advisory Services (NAADS) programme.
This was discovered by Members of Parliament who sit on the Local government committee, who were in Kabarole on Friday to establish whether the district had implemented the recommendations in the Auditor General’s report of the 2010/2011 financial year.
The Auditor General John Muwanga queried why the district and farmers were not co-funding the programme as it is supposed to be. The report further stated that failure to co-fund affects the programme.
Under the NAADS Programme, local governments and farmers are supposed to contribute 5% to the programme for sustainability.
However, the MPs led by Jack Sabiiti, the chairperson of the committee and MP Rukiga County, were surprised to find out that the district and the beneficiaries were not co-funding the programme.
Sabiiti put to task Grace Kazigati, the district NAADS coordinator and Joanita Nakityo, the deputy Chief Administrative Officer to explain why they weren’t co-funding the project.
Nakityo said that the money meant for co-funding worth 300 million shillings, was diverted to pay three former staff of Kabarole who sued the district for illegal dismissal from work. She also says that since the scrapping of graduated tax a decade ago, the district generates inadequate local revenue.
She also said that the creation of town councils, was also affecting the revenue of the district, since the areas aren’t managed by the district.
Grace Namara, the Woman MP for Lyantonde district, asked Nakityo if money for co-funding was included in the district budget for 2012/2013 financial year. The MP requested for copy of the budget, but Nakityo said she hadn’t come with it.
Kazigati said that some of the farmers were not co-funding, because they think that the programme has to entirely be funded by the government. She however says that the NAADS department is sensitizing farmers on the importance of co-funding.
Sabiiti said that local governments should address the issue of co-funding seriously. He said that districts which don’t co-fund the programme will have the NAADS funds withheld. He also noted that farmers should be encouraged to co-fund in order to build a sense of ownership of the programme.
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David Kagoro, the chairperson Rwimi Farmers Forum, says that some of the NAADS beneficiaries don’t contribute funds, because they don’t generate any income from some of the enterprises they engage in.
Some of the problems affecting the NAADS programme that the committee found out, include the tendency of farmers not to pay back funds for the inputs used, which affects the smooth recycling of funds to other group members and the dry spell which causes crop failure.