State Minister for Local Government, Jennifer Byakatonda Namuyangu has pleaded with CAOs, Town Clerks and other accounting officers in local governments to accept changes and resist the temptation to sabotage the new implementation mechanism and model for the Youth Livelihood Program (YLP).
Whereas they had a lot of role to play in the YLP implementation before it was recently reviewed by cabinet and new implementation guidelines issued, the CAOs now have a very limited role. They for instance won’t be involved in the actual disbursement of the funds to the beneficiary youth groups unlike in the past when the Gender Ministry in Kampala would send the money to them to finally pass it on to the youth groups. The center in Kampala will now be sending money directly to the bank accounts of the beneficiary groups and this is something the CAOs and other accounting officers upcountry have naturally not welcomed. Many see it as an attempt by the Gender Ministry technocrats to diminish their clout.
And during their quarterly meeting at Hotel Africana on Friday, the CAOs made their displeasure known in the presence of Namuyangu and her PS Benjamin Kumumanya who didn’t like their pessimism. The CAO for Bukwo district was blunt in his pessimism. He said they were unhappy their district PACs had always put them on the defensive having to explain matters about YLP yet much of the mischief was deliberately being created by technocrats at the Gender ministry in Kampala. “The way I see more problems are going to be created because the new implementation mechanism has increased the influence of the very technocrats who have been creating all the mischief. We would send them proper lists of beneficiaries which they falsify, remove the rightful beneficiaries and introduce ghost names. There are many unscrupulous actors in that ministry and now that everything has been changed in their favor, I can prophesy doom,” he said prompting Namuyangu to later on protest very strongly.
Namuyangu defended the Gender Ministry saying the new implementation mechanism was long overdue adding that it’s something they consulted about widely and the problem was that some of LG bosses who were signatories would withhold some of the money. “This is something I heard in many places; where it’s supposed to be Shs7m, you find the beneficiary group getting on Shs4m and the official pockets the Shs3m.” She said all this happened because the CAOs became complacent and failed to adequately supervise their juniors. She enumerated what she likes about the new changes including beneficiary groups being fewer and free to come from different villages. “All in all these changes are in good faith and let’s see how it works as opposed to planning to sabotage it,” she concluded. (For comments, call, text or whatsapp us on 0703164755 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org).