Police Investigates Luweero Youths Group Leaders Over Mismanagement of Funds

Sserunjogi says however after investigations they found out that the grain mill which they claimed they bought belonged to Amudan Muliika who later withdrew it and they just used it to hoodwink the town council to get the funds.
Police in Luweero are investigating the leaders of Katwe Youths Groundnuts Grinding Produce group over alleged mismanagement of 3.75 million shillings disbursed to them under Youths Livelihood Programme.

Isma Lubega, the chairperson, and Paul Kaliba, the treasurer of the group, are accused of pocketing the money and hoodwinking Luweero town council officials.

On 14th October 2014, the Ministry of Gender,Labour and Social Development through Luweero town council community Development office handed over a cheque of 3.75 million shillings to the group.

The group comprising of 15 members had applied for funds to set up a grain mill to grind groundnuts for sale in a bid to create employment for themselves.

David Sserunjogi, the Assistant Community Development Officer for Luweero town, says the group lied to town council officials that they already had a supplier for the grain mill called Mustapha Lubega.

Sserunjogi says they later learned that the mill they claimed to have bought actually belonged to Amudan Muliika who took possession of it. 

On being asked to account for the funds they had received, Sserunjogi says they failed to. This prompted him to report a mismanagement of government funds to Luweero Central Police station.

The Luweero Chief Administrative Officer Eustace Gakwandi says that when district workers went to supervise the group, there was no sign of grain mill. 

Gakwandi says that he is also compiling a list of other groups which have allegedly mismanaged the funds allocated to them and will forward it to police to investigate and open charges against them.

Paul Kaliba the treasurer of the group has already recorded the statement at Luweero Central Police station.

Amos Obina the Luweero district acting Criminal Investigations Department boss says that investigations are still ongoing to establish whether the group used the money for intended project or other purposes.

Paul Kaliba, the treasurer of the group, insists the group bought the grain mill but have failed to maintain it because they did not receive enough funds for rent and power charges.

Kaliba turns the accusation on its head and claims that Assistant Community Development Officer David Sserunjogi is vindictive because they refused to pay him a 600, 000 shillings bribe to process their documents. 

He also accuses Sserunjogi of withholding a balance of one million shillings which they could have used to cater for operational costs. Kaliba says they complained to Martha Mutono, the District Focal Person for Youths Livelihood Project but she also refused to take any action against the official.

The program is the latest government initiative to address the challenge of unemployment in Uganda. With an initial budget of Shs 256 billion over the next five years, the program sought to equip youth between 18-30 years with skills and start-up capital to enable them effectively participate in national development and improve their quality of life.

However recently a survey carried out by this URN Reporter in Luweero indicated that though the district disbursed  432 million shillings to 67 selected youths groups, corruption, poor planning and abuse of funds were threatening the success of the Youth Livelihood project.