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Kasese UCDA Field Coordinator In Trouble For Alleged Extortion

Under a common agreement, UCDA supports nursery bed operators with extension services and in turn, buys the seedlings. The operators allege that they have been paying non-receipted Shillings 30,000 whenever their gardens had to be inspected for prospective supply or need to renew operation certificates.
ACDA field coordinator for Kasese District Moses Alinda being led to the police pick-up, his accused of extorting money from nursery bed operators

Audio 5

The Uganda Coffee Development Authority-UCDA field coordinator for Kasese District, Moses Alinda is on the spot-on allegation of extorting money from coffee nursery bed operators before inspecting their beds. 

The nursery bed operators also accuse Alinda of using his office to allocate coffee supply contracts to persons who do not have nursery beds, falling to renew their certificates and selectively awarding supply contracts and certificates.   

  This came up in a joint meeting between the coffee nursery bed operators and UCDA officials spearheaded by Kasese Chief Administrative Officer, Asuman Amis Masereka and the office of the Resident District Commissioner-RDC mid this week.  The meeting followed complaints from nursery bed operators accusing the UCDA Kasese filed office of trying to kick-them out of business.   

Under a common agreement, UCDA supports nursery bed operators with extension services and in turn, buys the seedlings. The operators allege that they have been paying non-receipted Shillings 30,000 whenever their gardens had to be inspected for prospective supply or need to renew operation certificates.

Tasked by the CAO to explain why he has been collecting the money, Alinda said that the operators had been generously giving him a token of appreciation in form of lunch. In further trying to justify a response, the officer said one of the nursery bed operators had actually sent him Shillings 500,000 without his consent. “If I go to someone’s garden and he gives me lunch what is wrong with that?” Alinda asked in defence.   

However, Kasese RDC Lt. Joe Walusimbi did not allow Alinda to remain in the meeting and ordered security to take him to Kasese central police station to record a statement. Walusumbi said it was unfortunate that civil servants are the ones frustrating government’s development efforts by discouraging people from seeking services.     

//Cue in: “Your extension workers…       

Cue out: …next time now.”// 

Walusimbi also ordered Alinda to be removed from the supply allocation committee, adding that he will take up the matter with higher authorities in UCDA.

 

//Cue in: “Pending your signature… 

Cue out: …will crush you.”// 

Emmanuel Tumwizere, UCDA Regional manager Rwenzori told URN that they don’t charge for any service provided by UCDA to nursery bed operators. He said regional extension officer receive funds for their field activities, adding that the allegations of operators paying money will have to be proved before they take an action. 

//Cue in: “During inspection of… 

   

Cue out: …from these people.”// 

Isaac Kisoghulo, the chairman Nursery Bed operators Kasese District, says that their business has gone down since the officer's transfer to the district two years ago. He accuses the officer of giving supply orders selectively yet his office has records of all person having beds.

//Cue in: “Since Moses Alinda…   

Cue out: …in the nursery.”//

Lilian Kaliso Masika from Kihondo Sub County who joined the businesses in 2016 said her efforts to renew her bedding certificate has been frustrated since 2019 without explained reason by UCDA office. Masika said she lost over 35 million shillings because she couldn’t supply her seedlings without being certified by UCDA. 

//Cue in: “My certificate was… 

Cue out: …quick intervention.”//

Joackim Baluku said sometimes the operator is made to pay the money and the inspection is even not done throwing the bed owners into loses. He demands the district filed coordinator to be transferred.