Tuesday March 4 2014

Acholi leaders sceptic about cattle programme

By Julius Ocungi, Martin Okudi and Sam Lawino.


Leaders in Acholi sub-region have raised fears over the implementation scheme of cattle restocking that is being spearheaded by the Office of the Prime Minister.

The Shs5 billion project that is meant to benefit ex-combatants, orphans, former abductees, child-headed families, child mothers, widows and elderly persons in Acholi sub-region, has raised concern among leaders, arguing that the scheme being will not benefit the intended communities.

While addressing journalist at a one-day training held in Gulu Town organised by Refugee Law Project, LCV Chairperson Gulu District, also chairperson of all the districts in Acholi Sub-region, Mr Martin Ojara Mapenduzi, said as leaders, they were not consulted on the procurement process meant for cattle restocking in their respective districts.
“Following the recent scandals in OPM’s Office, how sure are we that this time round, they will do a good job,” he asked.

The district had not known about any plans that were being undertaken by the OPM to contract a supplier to procure the cattle. “We were surprised to learn that suppliers had already been contracted by the OPM to supply the cattle. This should have been the work of the district to approve a contractor to handle the affair,” Mr Mapenduzi said. He added that the pricing of the cattle in the procurement budget is abnormally high.

“Buying a local breed of cattle has been drafted at a cost of Shs800,000 - Shs900,000, yet under Northern Uganda Social Action Fund, the same programme implemented by OPM, cows were purchased at a price ranging from Shs350,000 - Shs 500,000 each.

In January, the government released more than Shs20 billion for the expanded livestock restocking programme in northern Uganda under the Peace, Recovery and Development Programme. Acholi Sub-region received Shs5 billion out of the total money allocated. Each district is expected to get Shs500 million for this project.