Kagadi district Youth Vice Chairman Horeb Turyamwesimira has implicated officials handling Youth Livelihood program funds over corruption tendencies while issuing out this to the selected youth groups in the district.
Horeb who assumed youth office on Friday, said that officers charge an amount ranging between 50,000 and 500,000 each youth group before they append their signatures in order for the youth to have access to these funds.
Horeb relates this to the increased youth unemployment in the district something that increased the number of youth on streets in the country.
Horeb further said that officials have gone ahead to facilitate ghost groups in order for them to get “Kintu kidogo”
“By the way other groups are ghost groups being owned by individual youth and others by technical staff at different levels and when it comes to selection, those individual owned groups take a lions share hence leaving out the genuine groups that would benefit the common youth” Said Horeb.
“We have been interacting with several youth groups in the district but they have been grappling with repaying back because they faced a deficit while accessing these funds which money they gave to the officials in order for them to sign. We want government to give us authority of being principal signatories to these youths” Horeb told the media.
The Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development injected 1.93 billion shillings in the Youth Livelihood Program- YLP.
Frank Tumwebaze Minister of Labor Gender and social development said that since the inception of the project, 37 billion Shillings has been paid back and Shillings 9.8 billion already re-ploughed back.
Tumwebaze said since its inception, 24,445 youths organized under 2,361 youth groups have benefited from the fund that targets poor youths across the country.
Last year, Paul Onapa, the national programme manager Youth Livelihood Programme in the Gender, Labour and Social Development Ministry said that funding for YLP will no longer go through the local government accounts to beneficiary groups.
The funds will now go directly from the Gender, Labour and Social Development Ministry to the accounts of the beneficiary groups to eliminate delays in disbursement of funds and implementation.
Previously, funds were channeled through the district accounts to the beneficiaries with the chairperson of the group, the district sub accountant and the sub-county chief as signatories.
In June, the government unveiled plans to write off loans to a tune of 108 billion Shillings that were given out under the program. This follows a failure by the recipients to reimburse the money especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The YLP has in the past faced several challenges which include interference of politicians, late disbursement of funds to beneficiaries, low recovery rate among others.
In the 2018 Auditor General’s report, it was noted that more than 28.4 billion shillings may never be recovered as almost 64% of the sampled YLP projects were non-existent. The report also indicates that a total of Shillings 38.8 billion that was disbursed to 5,505 groups in the financial years 2013/14 and 2014/15, only 26.7% was recovered from the youth countrywide.
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