A concerned citizen has gone to court to challenge President Museveni’s directive to have the army take over the management of the National Agricultural Advisory Services (Naads).
Mr Daniel Byaruhanga filed his complaint before the High Court in Kampala on August 21.
The Attorney General and Naads are the joint respondents in this matter.
According to court documents that this newspaper has seen, Mr Byaruhanga states that he is aggrieved with President Museveni’s directive of June 9 while officiating at the National Heros’ Day celebrations in Mityana District, in which the President said he would deployed soldiers in every constituency to monitor government agricultural programmes.
The President accused Naads coordinators of failing the programme that he said was aimed at improving people’s household incomes through agriculture.
Mr Museveni gave examples of successful stories of Luweero triangle projects that had been supervised by soldiers as the yardstick to restructure Naads under the supervision of soldiers.
Mr Byaruhanga further states that because of the President’s directive, the running contracts of the Naads coordinators are being terminated by their respective district service commissions.
He also says he is aggrieved with the creation of a new position in the Naads programme known as the “agricultural extension workers” which he says is not provided for in Naads programme as the same had not been approved by its board.
Mr Byaruhanga is seeking a court order to nullify the directive President Museveni, Cabinet resolution and that of the minister of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries to incorporate the Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) in the activities of Naads.
He is seeking a “a declaration that the failure by the district service commissions to renew or terminate the running contracts of the agricultural advisory service providers, district and sub-county national agricultural advisory service coordinators on the advice of the minister of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries is unlawful.”
The petitioner through his lawyers of Tumwesigye, Baingana & Co Advocates, claims that already 300 UPDF soldiers have been trained, recruited and appointed and incorporated in the activities of Naads without the approval of the board or standing statutory instrument issued by the Agriculture ministry, making it unlawful.
Byaruhanga wants court to order the Chief of Defense Forces, Commander of Land Forces and the Joint Chief of Staff of UPDF to withdraw all soldiers from the activities of Naads.
He also wants court to issue an order directing all the district service commissioners to pay all the salaries and allowances that have accrued during what he called the illegal termination of contracts of Naads officials and also have them reinstated to their positions.
Directive: On June 9 President said he would deployed soldiers in every constituency to monitor government agricultural programmes. He accused Naads coordinators of failing the programme aimed at improving people’s household incomes through agriculture.
The President had in January made similar complaints about Naads officials in Mayuge District during celebrations to mark the Liberation Day.
Diaappointment: He expressed his disappointment that whereas the government disburses Shs120 billion to districts for Naads activities every year, there is no change in the economic status of the rural beneficiaries.