The Speaker of Parliament, Ms Rebecca Kadaga, has warned community development officers (CDOs) against swindling funds meant for women's economic empowerment, saying culprits will be arrested and prosecuted.
Speaking at Buyengo Primary School in Jinja District last week, Ms Kadaga, who is also the Kamuli District Woman Member of Parliament, said it is not a secret that corruption is rife in government programmes such as the Youth Livelihood Programme (YLP) and the Women Entrepreneurship Fund.
According to Ms Kadaga, most of the funds under the YLP were swindled by CDOs.
"I was in Kamuli and the minster for Gender gave me a list, indicating the amount of money that was allegedly given to every youth group. But after reading the list, I realised that most of the beneficiaries, especially the youth, received less than what was indicated," Ms Kadaga said.
It emerged that instead of receiving Shs12m per group, the youth and women groups each received Shs8m.
Ms Kadaga made the comments in response to complaints by the Jinja District chairperson, Mr Titus Kisambira, who said it is not correct to accuse the youth of swindling funds allocated to them yet the money was misappropriated by government officials.
He urged women who are to benefit from the Women Entrepreneurship Fund to demand the full amount of money they are entitled to.
"Women, make sure you receive the amount of money you applied for and not any less. Report to us those who want to offer you less money and we will deal with them," Mr Kisambira said.
Mr Kisambira said the district will initially receive Shs129m for the Women Entrepreneurship Fund to be channelled through the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development.
the issues at hand
Amount. Mr Kisambira said the district will initially receive Shs129m for the Women Entrepreneurship Fund to be channelled through the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development.
Use. The project will support women in the micro, small and medium enterprise sub-sector through provision of interest-free credit, technical advice for appropriate technologies, value addition and market information.
Beneficiaries. The funds will be accessed through the women groups with 10 to 15 members and emphasis will be put on unemployed women as well as vulnerable groups such as single mothers, widows, the disabled, women living with HIV/Aids and those in slums.