Masaka Farmers Demonstrate over Mismanagment of NAADS

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More than 100 farmers from Bukoto Midwest constituency in Masaka today marched to the Lwengo sub-county headquarters to protest against the failed implementation of the National Agricultural Advisory Services (NAADS) in their constituency.
The farmers particularly expressed dissatisfaction in the work of the Masaka LC5 chairperson, Vincent Sempijja, whom they accused of mismanaging the program. Sempijja is currently on a tour of Masaka to launch community road construction under the Agricultural Infrastructure Improvement Program.
According to the NAADS office in Masaka, 80 million shillings was given to Lwengo sub-county for the distribution of hybrid goats, pigs and chicken. The farmers claimed that none of that money reached them and no single farmer in the sub-county received a goat, chicken or pig from NAADS.
The farmers accused the LC3 chairperson of Lwengo, Davis Kizza and the Masaka NAADS Coordinator, Geoffrey Kiwalabye of diverting the money.
Ahmed Nyindo, one of the protesting farmers, said he spent more than 100,000 shillings building a coop in anticipation of the free chicken from NAADS. He said he has no use for the empty coop and no means or recovering the funds.
Mark Ssekyanzi, chairperson of Luti Parish in Lwengo, said farmers have lost all hope of increasing their household income through NAADS. He said more than 200 farmers built pigsties and goat pens hoping to reap big from NAADS and were left empty-handed.
The Member of Parliament for Bukoto Midwest, Isaac Ssejobba, pledged to investigate the matter. He said those involved in the mismanagement should be brought to book.
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The LC5 chairperson of Masaka, Vincent Sempijja, has ordered the Lwengo sub-county chairperson and the NAADS officials to immediately present their accountability to him.
Davis Kizza, the Lwengo LC3 chairperson, denied the claims of mismanagement of NAADS funds. He said NAADS donated more than 5,000 chicks to the farmers, but the chicks died from lack of proper care. He said he had documentary evidence to prove his innocence.