Kisoro CAO Under fire over Tea Growing Money

3639 Views Kisoro, Western Region, Uganda

In short
However, residents and their leaders say that they have never seen any extension worker, adding that the nursery bed operators have neither been trained nor received any support from the district.

The chief administrative officer Kisoro district has come under fire from residents and local leaders over 130 million shillings meant for mobilizing and sensitizing residents for tea growing.
In 2011, Ministry of Agriculture set aside 530 million shillings to kick start tea growing in Kisoro district. Part of the money was meant for hiring extension workers, Training Local Nursery Bed Operators, Mobilizing and sensitizing farmers in Bufumbira North Constituency.

However, residents and their leaders say that they have never seen any extension worker, adding that the nursery bed operators have neither been trained nor received any support from the district. Praxida Ayebare, a resident of Nyabwishenya Sub County explains that they the district authorities have been promising to sensitize the residents on tea growing on various occasions but nothing has been done.
She says that the most disturbing thing is that the district authorities have started distributing tea seedlings to residents, without ascertaining whether or not they are ready to plant them. Didas Muntuki, the LC 3 chairperson of Busanza Sub County says that they were informed by Tress Buchanayandi, the agriculture that the ministry had released money for sensitizing farmers to the district.
Muntuki says that their attempts to follow-up with the district to mobilize and sensitize the residents before the seedlings are distributed have not yielded any results. He says that the decision by the district to distribute the seedlings without sensitizing the farmers is dangerous because many farmers lack the basic knowledge on tea growing.
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Gerevasio Tumwesigye, the chairperson of Nkuringo Community conservation development foundation, which operates in Kirundo, Nyabwishenya and Busanza says that they only received 1.6 million shillings for sensitizing farmers 65 farmers. He faults the district for following to send them extension workers, which has forced them to engage private service providers.
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John Kamara, the Bufumbira East MP says he investigated the complaints by residents and discovered that they were neither mobilized nor sensitized on tea growing.
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The MP says that he was shocked when he received a copy of the letter addressed to the NAADS secretariat by the CAO Amis Masereka Asuman showing that 130 million shillings was spent on mobilizing and training nursery bed operators. Kamara says that the district must account for the money since no sensitization was done.
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Boniface Nzambonimba, the Kisoro District production secretary says that he is not aware why the sensitization was not carried out. Amis Asuman Masereka, the Kisoro Chief Administrative Officer declined to comment on the matter when he was contacted by URN.


About the author

Anthony Kushaba
For Anthony Kushaba, journalism is not just a job; it is a calling. Kushaba believes journalism is one of the few platforms where the views of the oppressed and margainalised can be heard. This is what his journalism aims to do: bring to light untold stories.

Kushaba is the Mbarara region URN bureau chief. Mitooma, Ntungamo, Bushenyi, Sheema, Isingiro, and Kiruhura districts fall under his docket. Kushaba has been a URN staff member since 2012.

Kushaba is a journalism graduate from Uganda Christian University Study Centre at Bishop Barham College in Kabale. Before joining URN, Kushaba worked with Voice of Kigezi (2008), Bushenyi FM (2010) and later on to Voice of Muhabura.

Kushaba's journalism interests centre on conflict, peace and electoral reporting. Kushaba occasionally writes on tourism, health, religion and education. He describes himself as highly driven and will pursue a tip until it yields a story.