Lira Leaders Distribute OWC Heifers Amongst Themselves

1478 Views Lira, Uganda

In short
The Operation Wealth Creation-OWC secretariat has launched investigations into circumstances under which a section of Lira district leaders reportedly shared heifers among themselves.

The Operation Wealth Creation-OWC secretariat has launched investigations into circumstances under which a section of Lira district leaders reportedly shared heifers among themselves.

Among the leaders and civil servants who received the cows include, Lira district Chairperson Alex Oremo, Richard Omara Awio, the chairperson council production committee and Milly Opio a member of production committee.
Others are district Police commander Ezra Tugume, acting Resident District Commissioner Emmanuel Mwaka Lutukumoi, Santa Angela, the district secretary for health and education and Charles Okwel Orech, the district secretary for community services.
Also on the list are Moses Dalili, the deputy chief administrative officer; Anthony Ojuka, secretary for production; Jefferson Obalim, secretary finance and administration and Dr. Patrick Butchan Ocen, the District Health officer among others.
A report obtained from the OWC secretariat indicates that the officials each got one heifer, part of the 84 heifers sent to Lira district in July this year to be distributed to farmers in the district.
Col. Bosco Omure, the coordinator OWC-Lango Sub region reluctantly confirmed the distribution of heifers to the officials but declined to give further information insisting they followed the guidelines.
Acting RDC Emmanuel Mwaka Lutukumoi confirmed receiving the cow and says he will use it to fight poverty.
"Leaders including LC 5 chairperson received it in the first lot. We all got but I hear people are complaining on why leaders were given cows. Are leaders made out of rock, or cut from branch of a tree," asked RDC Lutukumoi.
Lutukumoi says as monitors of government programmes they should also be benefit from it.
He explained that rural farmers cannot afford heifers.
"There are certain things which everybody cannot have, if you get a heifer and take it to the village, every month you have to spend 200,000/= buying feeds. Which villager will really raise 200,000/= yet he cannot afford ten thousand shillings?"

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But Maj. Gen. Julius Oketta, the deputy OWC commander wants the leaders investigated on how they got the heifers.
"OWC is specifically for the poor people not the rich. It's the community who are supposed to select the beneficiaries to avoid repetition and corruption of one person benefiting several times. The people select among themselves the beneficiaries," Gen. Oketta said.
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Many of these officials have refused to comment on the report indicating they received the cows.
Yuventino Ogweng, a farmer in Amach Sub-county wondered why progressive farmers are not being given cows. He decried late supply of planting materials under OWC in the district.
Concy Amule 67, a farmer from Aromo Sub-county also complained that the project seems to have targeted cadres and supporters of National Resistance Movement party - NRM party. Amule says every time they demand for cows, pigs and poultry under OWC, they are told to wait.
This is the second time cows under OWC are being given to officials in Lira district.
Late last year, over 80 heifers were distributed only to NRM party cadres and sub county leaders.
Government allocated 361 billion shillings for the Operation Wealth Creation activities in the country during 2016/2017 financial year.


About the author

Ronald Odongo
Ronald Odongo is the URN Bureau Chief Lira, Northern Uganda.A multimedia Journalist, Media trainer and investigative enthusiast. Lira,Apac,Dokolo,Oyam, Kwania, Otuke, Amolatar,and Alebtong districts fall under his docket. Odongo has been a URN staff member since 2012 though he had been a contributor since 2006.

Odongo started out as a bicycle reporter for Radio Unity in 2004. He was Radio Rhino FM's senior reporter, Luo news anchor and station producer between 2006 and 2011. Odongo started out as a freelance writer for Uganda Radio Network in 2006.

Odongo is particularly interested in reporting on community health, and education concerns. Good governance and human rights beats are dear to Odongo as a former Lord’s Resistance Army rebels captive 1996-1998.