Shs200m fish project closed over wrangles

Tuesday April 14 2015

Mr John Robert Engoru at the closed hatchery

Mr John Robert Engoru at the closed hatchery site in Kaberamaido District at the weekend. PHOTO BY SIMON PETER EMWAMU 

By SIMON PETER EMWAMU

Kaberamaido.

Leaders in Kaberamaido District have closed a Shs200 million fish project following wrangles between the custodian and residents over its management and ownership.
The fish ponds and hatcheries projects in Ojama village, Anyara Sub-county, were commissioned by President Museveni in 2012 during his countrywide campaign on poverty eradication.

The residents, who reported the matter to the Resident District Commissioner, Mr Ebil Ssegawa, accuse the custodian, Mr John Robert Engoru, of personalising the project.

Mr Ssegawa said it was unfair for Mr Engoru to claim ownership of the project yet the President invested a lot of money in it to benefit the residents.

He said his office had overhauled the management of the project and new members would be appointed to run it.

Mr Ssegawa said he had tasked the district fisheries officer, Mr Joseph Agaja, and Mr Francis Ochoma, the district production officer, to ensure the sites resume operations under their technical expertise.

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“I have no intentions of witch-hunting anybody, I am here to serve but to the best of my knowledge, the hatcheries belong to the community,” Mr Ssegawa said at the weekend.

However, Mr Engoru, 58, said although Mr Museveni pledged Shs200m towards the project, it was not meant to benefit the entire community as many people, including the district leaders assume, adding that the input was to spur his projects to a commercial level.

Mr Engoru said he had invested more than Shs40 million in the project, adding that the President opted to visit his farm because of his innovation.

He said he would not relinquish the project because it was his vision, dream and effort.

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