Supply and distribution of coffee seedlings in Kasese District has been
halted following protests from local nursery bed
operators against the conduct of Uganda Coffee Development
Authority-UCDA Kasese field office staff.
The already existing supply contracts
have also been suspended.
Coffee nursery bed operators accuse UCDA staff of extortion,
failing to renew their operation certificates and selectively awarding coffee
supply contracts and certificates.
Last week, the Kasese field
coordinator Moses Alinda was picked up by police for statement recording at Central police station after
he was accused of asking money from the operators before inspecting
The operators said they were paying
30,000 shillings for services that are supposed to be for free.But Alinda in his defence had said the money
was a form of appreciation from the farmers.
Now, the Kasese District Chief
Administrative Officer Asuman Amis Masereka has directed all coffee supplies to
be suspended until thorough investigations are made into the allegations.
The CAO also asked for the verification
of all coffee nursery bed operators, joint inspection of nursery beds and
requested the district production department to generate demand for coffee
seedlings within the district.
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Masereka says they have
taken the decision to ensure there is transparency in the business and improved relationship between UCDA, nursery bed operators and the farmers. He says he has
constituted a team to investigate the concerns and produce a report by Wednesday
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The Kasese RDC Lt. Joe
Walusimbi has asked the office of the District Internal Security Officer-DISO to
investigate the allegations of extortion.
He also accused the
heads of production department of failing to coordinate with their field staff
to monitor and understand farmer's challenges.
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Rahab Masika, a nursery bed operator from Bukonzo East says they have been frustrated by persons from outside the
district who are cleared to supply the local farmers yet they also have
the ready seedlings. She is demanding fairness in allocation of
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UCDA Regional manager Rwenzori says his office has taken note of the matter
and will apprehend whoever is found guilty of extortion and mismanaging the awarding of supply contracts.