MPs Question Operation Wealth Creation Activities

3682 Views Kampala, Uganda

In short
OWC was established in 2013 by President Yoweri Museveni in a bid to eradicate poverty and facilitate growth of household income through agriculture. And now legislators note that the programme has been riddled with corruption, supply of fake seedlings and non-monitoring of programmes.

Members of Parliament on the Agriculture committee have questioned the implementation of the Operation Wealth Creation (OWC) programme in the districts.

OWC was established in 2013 by President Yoweri Museveni in a bid to eradicate poverty and facilitate growth of household income through agriculture. And now legislators note that the programme has been riddled with corruption, supply of fake seedlings and non-monitoring of programmes.
 
Since its inception, it has been dogged by numerous complaints from several farmers about the poor quality of seedlings and implements, as well as poor animal breeds.
 
Officials from the National Agricultural Advisory Services (NAADS) Operation Wealth Creation, led by Major General Julius Oketta, the Assistant Coordinator had appeared before the committee to give a status update on the programme.
 
Peace Kusasira, Mukono Woman MP, said the officers deployed under OWC programme limit their work to only distribution of seedlings and farming implements, and do not follow up with farmers.
 
//Cue In: "Operation wealth creation...
Cue Out:...have we got."//
 
Godfrey Watenga, Lutseshe County MP in Bududa district also wondered why the programme distributes seedlings to districts without conducting an assessment on what the districts need. He says there could be collusion among the programme officers in a bid to divert items intended for recipients.
 
//Cue In: "The chairman...
Cue Out:...these factors."//
 
Several legislators, including Jalia Bintu, Masindi Woman MP and Buruli County MP, Zerubabel Nyira Mijumbi complained over what they called gross corrupt tendencies of the programme officers in the distribution process, while others use their companies to get contracts to supply seedlings.
 
MPs Okin Ojara and Robert Migadde Ndugwa also demanded to know why the OWC secretariat has not yet released a report to evaluate its impact in the districts.
 
//Cue In: "You have been...
Cue Out:...presidency?"//
 
In response, Oketta told MPs that the secretariat has received several complaints against their officers, which they are handling internally. He says an evaluation of the programme will be done and a report tabled in Parliament.

 

About the author

Olive Eyotaru
Olive Eyotaru is a URN journalist based in Kampala. Eyotaru has been a URN staff member since February 2015.

Eyotaru started practising journalism while still studying at Uganda Christian University. She was a reporter with Ultimate Media Consult Ltd between 2005 and 2007.

In 2009, Eyotaru joined Monitor Publications Limited, under KFM Radio as a parliamentary and business reporter. Consequently, Eyotaru started writing for the Daily Monitor newspaper until January 2015, when she moved to URN.

She is interested in reporting about politics, health, human rights, business and sports.