Namisindwa leaders on the spot over missing relief food

Saturday May 23 2020

A woman carries a bag of maize flour in  Moroto

A woman carries a bag of maize flour in Moroto District on April 21, 2020. Residents and local leaders in Namisindwa District have accused district leaders of misappropriation of relief food meant for hunger-stricken households in the district. FILE PHOTO 

By YAHUDU KITUNZI

Residents and local leaders in Namisindwa District have accused district leaders of misappropriation of relief food meant for hunger-stricken households in the district.

The local leaders allege that the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM), in March sent 30 tonnes of rice and beans to locals affected by landslides last year, but some of the relief food, including beans, was misappropriated by the leaders.

The Bumbo Sub-county chairperson, Mr Bernard Sitati Buyunga, was last month arrested on allegations of diverting part of the 62 bags of rice for Bumbo and Mukuyu sub-counties.

The local leaders have asked authorities to investigate the district leaders and some OPM officials over the Shs200m missing relief food.

“We are starving yet our food was shared by some leaders. We suspects the missing bags of beans could have been deliberately diverted for personal gain,” Ms Juliet Namono, a resident, claimed.

Ms Namono alleged that some families received 2kgs of rice, asking local leaders to follow up the matter.
The Namisindwa Chief Adminstrative officer, Mr Saul Zirimenya Nsubuga, confirmed that only 30 tonnes of rice were delivered to the district.

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“We didn’t receive beans, we only received rice from OPM,” Mr Nsubuga said.
Recently, the OPM asked several residents to relocate after huge cracks were sighted on Mt Elgon, putting them at risk of landslides.

On March 10, the OPM sent relief food for the disaster victims in the district.
A delivery letter signed by the Commissioner in- charge of Disaster at the OPM, Mr Martin Owor, a copy which this reporter has seen, indicates that 30 tonnes of rice and beans were delivered to Namisindwa.

The food was to be distributed to families that were asked to relocate and the host communities.
Each family was supposed to receive 100kgs of rice and 50kgs of beans.

The Namisidwa District National Resistance Movement party youth chairperson, Mr Ashraf Ashaba, said: “I am wondering why the district leadership has not delivered food to many of the affected people yet the OPM sent it.”

Mr Jimmy Wamimbi, a resident, said he had not received any relief food.
However, Mr Nsubuga acknowledged that some relief food was mismanaged in Bumbo Sub-county.

“There was some food which was mismanaged in Bumbo Sub-county and police is handling the matter,” Mr Nsubuga said.

Mr Buyunga said he received 62 bags of rice for Bumbo and Mukuyu sub-counties.

“The Sub-county Chief loaded the rice as I went to meet the Resident District Commissioner in his office and when I returned the chief had left the place with the rice. The following day, we were supposed to distribute the rice, that is when I realised that the chief had not loaded the 10 bags,” Mr Buyunga claimed.

He confirmed his arrest over the missing rice.
The Namisindwa District chairperson, Mr George William Wopuwa, also said the district never received any beans. “We didn’t receive even 1kg of beans. Let it be investigated by authorities,” Mr Wopuwa said.

He said the food was expected to be distributed to more than 500 families in 10 sub-counties.
Ms Mariam Mwiza, an anti-corruption activist, said nobody has explained why the OPM delivered consignments with fewer supplies.

editorial@ug.nationmedia.com

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