Minister Orders Lira Leaders to Return OWC Heifers

3180 Views Lira, Uganda

In short
Esther Mbayo, who is in Lango sub region for a fact-finding visit of the government initiated programmes, says she has reports that some leaders recently received heifers under the programme in a manner she described unscrupulous.

Presidency minister Esther Mbayo has ordered all the leaders in Lira district who received heifers under the Operation Wealth Creation programme to return the animals immediately.

Mbayo, who is in Lango sub region for a fact-finding visit of the government initiated programmes, says she has reports that some leaders recently received heifers under the programme in a manner she described unscrupulous.

The Minister explained that all the money that government is injecting into the Operation Wealth Creation (OWC) is meant to go to the 68 percent of Ugandans who are living below the poverty level.

Mbayo argues that most of the government interventions through development programmes like Youth Livelihood Programme and Operation Wealth Creation among others, are targeting those living below the poverty line.

She described the Lira district leaders who received the heifers as corrupt officials and must bring back these animals so that they are given to the most vulnerable members.

//Cue in: ''Those are corrupt…
Cue out: …to the wanainchi.''//

On August 19th, two youth leaders were arrested in Lira after they openly opposed the distribution of the heifers to the key district officials.

James Omara Elem, the Lira district youth councillor and Bosco Odongo, the Municipality NRM party chairperson, were arrested after they protested the manner in which heifers under OWC ended up in the hands of some district leaders.

They were charged for spreading information prejudicial to security and inciting violence but were later granted police bond.

The duo was arrested after they petitioned the OWC Director, General Salim Saleh, over the alleged mismanagement of the 64 heifers disbursed to the district under the programme.

In their petition they claim the heifers were given to Emmanuel Mwaka Lutukumoi, the Deputy RDC who has been transferred to Kitgum in the latest reshuffle.

Other leaders include Lira district chairpersom Alex Oremo Alot, Ezra Tugume, the District Police Commander who was transferred from Lira last week, and Moses Dalili, the Deputy Chief Administrative Officer. Also on the list are councillors Richard Omara Awio, Anthony Ojuka and Santa Angela Among others.

Lutukumoi later confirmed to URN that he indeed received one heifer, saying he will use it to fight poverty.

 

About the author

Denis Olaka
Denis Olaka is the URN bureau chief for Lira, in northern Uganda. Apac and Otuke fall under his docket. Olaka has been a URN staff member since 2011.

Olaka started his journalism career in 2000 as a news reporter, anchor, and then editor for Radio Lira in Lira district. He was subsequently an editor with Lira's Radio Wa in 2004 and Gulu district's Mega FM.

He was also a freelance writer for the Daily Monitor and Red Pepper newspapers.

Olaka's journalism focuses on politics, health, agriculture and education. He does a lot of crime reporting too.