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Why Museveni carried money in a sack

President Yoweri Museveni last Saturday made good on some of the pledges he made to various youth projects in Busoga sub- region during the campaigns. While at the launch of Busoga Youth Forum in Kaliro district, the president gave the cash [Shs 250 m] donation packaged in a sack.

In order to give the initiative good publicity and transparency demanded by the youth at this ceremony, the sack of cash was used to raise the attention of all the youth that the fund has been made available, launched and the pledge fulfilled.

This is because the youth always complained that they never get to know when the money is sent and that it is sometimes stolen by unscrupulous people. The money, which is part of the presidential donations to Ugandans in this region, was packed in envelopes, marked and sealed before putting it in the sack for this ceremony.

The beneficiaries of this money are Iganga Unique group (Mini bus), Namayingo Boda Boda SACCO (Shs 20m), Buyende Youth (Truck), Kamuli Youth (Hatchery, poultry inputs worth 10m), Ntafungilwa Boda Boda Group in Mayuge (Shs 20m); Mayuge-Iguluibi Youth SACCO Wailasa sub county (Shs 10m), Nakavule Roundabout Iganga Town Youth (15 boda bodas), Iganga NRM women’s league (Shs 30m), Matumu Kamuli youth (Pick-up truck to be delivered), Bulange Road Boda Boda Association Namutumba (Shs 10m), Mbale Road Boda Boda Association Namutumba (Shs 10m), Namutumba Boda Boda Association (Shs 10m), Iganga Road Boda Association Namutumba (Shs 10m), Ivukula Road Boda Boda Association Namutumba (Shs 10m), Namutumba Lorries and Mechanical SACCO (Shs 10m), Namutumba disabled peoples’ group (Shs 10m), Namutumba women’s group (Shs 10m), Iganga municipality lead SACCO, Genesis (Shs 30m), Kaliro youth for small scale industries (Shs 30m), Nawantumbi Bamusamba (Shs 10m), Entandikwa for youth (Shs 10m).

The donations that were already fulfilled by the president to Busoga include Namunana Dorothy (Shs 10m), Nakabango Youth (Hatchery Chicks and feeds), Kamuli youth (15 acres of land and Shs 52.5m), Bugiri Boda Boda Riders (Shs 20m), Buyende Youth (Shs 10.5m), Mpaulo Silage (Mark II vehicle), Art Base SACCO Iganga (Shs 60m), Iganga Rural Development Association (Shs 40m), Namutumba Youth Brigade (Shs 6m), Busoga Youth Gardens (Shs 49.3m).

Pending donations include those of Namayingo youth groups at Sigulu and Lugala Islands (which include two new boat engines), Iganga youth (electrical kiln and extruder for charcoal brickets – still pending quotation), Matuumu Kamuli Youth Technical Association (a water pump––technical assessment has been done and will be installed soon and a feed mixer).

Also Shs 5m to each sub-county youth SACCO to be dispersed pending sensitization and training of youths and opening of individual SACCO accounts. This comes to 99 sub counties totalling Shs 495m. The last pending donation is that to Mr Johnson Basangwa (a feeds mill).

Many times, the president fulfils his pledges but the recipients don’t get to know. The packaging this time may be different but it is not strange. When the president made a donation of Shs 150m to the Uganda Journalists Association (UJA), it was delivered in a briefcase and there was no protest.

The corporate world always uses dummy cheques, but institutions like State House don’t issue cheques because they don’t hold accounts. There are many Ugandans across at all levels who have benefited from these donations some of whom directly pick the money from State House.

The donations are, therefore, in form of real cash, inputs, materials, services etc and they are tracked, monitored and accounted for. The money that has now raised eyebrows was handed to the leader of Busoga Youth Forum, Samson Bwire Nadela, and after the ceremony it was dispersed to the various groups which are listed above for accountability.

The same process was followed earlier when the Kampala Youth Fund was launched. Transparency encourages the youth to organise themselves into productive groups, go through entrepreneurship training, and apply officially from their SACCOs because they have the proof that the money is available.

The president has always been inundated with complaints of unfulfilled pledges especially in the Busoga sub-region because the pledges delivered are not well-publicised. The sack of money as a tool for publicity has been so successful and proves that the president delivers on pledges of donations made to Ugandans.

The author is deputy press secretary to the president

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