Leaders clash over Shs1b oil factory

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By FRED MUZAALE

KAYUNGA. Leaders in Kayunga District have asked President Museveni to investigate circumstances under which a Shs1b soap and edible oil factory that he donated three years ago remains non-operational.
Led by the district NRM spokesperson, Mr Mutwalibu Kizza, the leaders said yesterday the factory that Mr Museveni commissioned in 2013, closed after operating for only one month.
The factory under Kayunga Industrial Development Park is located in Bukolooto Town, a suburb of Kayunga Town.
It is said to have been a donation to the youth in the district to enable them get jobs through making soap and cooking oil using available raw materials.
The youth in Kayunga District under their association, G6 and led by Mr Alex Kasirivu, argued that although the factory was a donation, its management was taken over by the Kayunga District Woman MP, Ms Aidah Nantaba, who also doubles as ICT state minister, a claim she vehemently denied.

Chairman to probe
The President also donated three vehicles that were supposed to be used in transporting final products to the market. Kayunga District chairperson Tom Sserwanga said he was concerned about the collapse of the factory, but declined to apportion blame, saying he was going to investigate the matter.
“I am going to investigate with a view to finding out who is in-charge of that factory and why it is abandoned,” Mr Sserwanga said.
Kayunga District NRM chairperson Moses Karangwa asked President Museveni to intervene and investigate how the factory was ruined and taxpayers’ money lost.
“Ms Nantaba mismanaged the factory as she recruited only her relatives as workers at the factory,” Mr Karangwa alleged.
When contacted, Ms Nantaba refused to comment on the matter. But in an earlier interview with this reporter, the minister said the factory was closed after it lacked raw materials such groundnuts and simsim.
Kayunga is not a groundnuts or simsim growing area and the management had not made any effort to entice farmers to grow the crops.
However, two workers this reporter found at the closed factory who asked not to be named, said the issues surrounding the factory were “sensitive.”
They said the factory was closed after some machines broke down and are awaiting to be fixed.

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