MUKONO- Mr Ofwono Opondo, the government spokesman who had received an in-calf cow under the Operation Wealth Creation (OWC) programme, has returned it following protests by some Mukono District councillors.
The councillors led by Mr Davis Lukyamuzi, a councillor representing Nagojje Sub- county, on Monday attacked officials in charge of OWC, accusing them of giving cows to financially stable individuals in the district like Mr Opondo, yet the project was designed to lift the poor from poverty.
“The cows were given to rich people and influential ones who have the capacity to buy their own animals; leaving out needy people like widows and people with disabilities,” Mr Lukyamuzi said.
According to the distribution list, Mr Opondo, Hajj Haruna Semakula, the Mukono District National Resistance Movement vice chairperson, Mr David Kironde Kibugujju, the Mukono District Veterans chairperson and other politicians benefited from the 42 in-calf cows that were distributed in the area, on Monday.
Mr Opondo, said on Wednesday that it was his wife who applied for the cow, but since councillors had raised a lot of ‘noise,’ he chose to return the cow.
“Although this cow was requested by my wife, I have decided to return it following a lot of hullaballoo from the public and councillors, after all she already has two cows she is taking care of,” Mr Opondo said while handing over the animal to a one Ms Florence Nakachwa, a resident of Ntawo Village in Mukono Municipality and Mr Robert Ssempebwa, a Mukono Town agent, at Mukono District headquarters. OWC officials were absent.
Dr Fred Mukulu, the district production officer said the cows were given to people who have the capacity to look after them “very well.”
Many people in different parts of the country have previously complained about the method used to distribute cows under OWC programme.
They say, only “wealthy” people and politicians are given the animals leaving the primary target-poor people – sharing seeds of various cereals like maize and seedlings of various plants like oranges and mangoes.
Ms Sarah Kagingo, the OWC spokesperson, recently clarified that all people regardless of their social or political status in community are eligible to receive cows provided they are vetted by district leaders.