It took the voice of President Museveni, off the handset of State House Comptroller Lucy Nakyobe’s mobile phone to end a dispute between two women groups in Busoga region over the control of Shs495 million.
The groups, Busoga Rural Women Development Agency, which is coordinated by Busia RDC Mariam Doka, and Busoga Women Leaders Association (BUWELA) chaired by Nusula Nabukalu, had for more than three weeks been wrangling over the money, which had been earmarked for distribution to the 99 sub-counties of Busoga.
Under the arrangement, each sub-county had been allocated Shs5 million to be given to 50 women to use for four months before extending it to other women.
The money was being channelled through the Busoga Rural Women Development Agency, but matters came to a head in Luuka District recently, where Ms Nakyobe had gone to hand over Shs40 million meant for women groups in the district.
However, leaders of BUWELA showed up, demanding that the money be released to them. BUWELA had recently been given a car, Shs50 million for setting up offices and Shs550 million for poverty eradication activities and, therefore, were not to benefit from this money.
Efforts to explain to BUWELA leaders fell on deaf ears, prompting Ms Nakyobe to make a phone call to the President. It was only after the women heard Mr Museveni’s voice that tempers cooled.
This is not the first time the President’s donation has caused a stir. Last year, Museveni’s Shs250 million donation to youth groups in the region caused a stir, with some youth citing marginalisation in its distribution.