SEMBABULE. The Youth Livelihood Fund programme in Sembabule District continues to face enormous setbacks after one of the group leaders took off with Shs2.5m.
The suspect, who is the chairperson Kaseza Bee Association, is reported to have fled the country early this month.
According to Mr David Kabanda, the youth chairperson, Sembabule District, they learnt about the misappropriation of the funds after the group’s leader had already left the country.
“We got information from his relatives that he went to Dubai. We suspect him to have used this money to process his air ticket. We have reported the case to Interpol,” Mr Kabanda said in an interview yesterday.
Mr Kabanda also expressed dismay at the low recovery of the youth funds, which he said has denied other groups a chance to access the funds this financial year.
In December last year, Mr Simon Bimbona, the Sembabule District chief administrative officer, wrote to the Ministry of Gender requesting it to reschedule payment of the youth funds, saying the dry spell had affected the area and recovering the money might turn out to be a nightmare. Many districts in Masaka sub-region are still struggling to recover funds from youth groups and similar complaints of delayed reimbursement of youth funds have been reported in Masaka, Kalungu, Bukomansimbi and Lyantonde and youth leaders like in Kalungu have already been arrested.
A recent report by Ministry of Gender titled: “Status of problematic youth projects,” indicates that about Shs100m has been stolen and about Shs50m recovered in different districts under the Youth Livelihood Programme.
Ever since government started releasing the youth funds in 2011, the project has been shrouded in controversy and at one time, release of the funds was halted following reports that it had been channelled through wrong agencies yet it has to be controlled by the youth themselves.
Although this was changed, proper management of the funds is still a big challenge.