By Moses Okoed
The re-stocking exercise in Teso kicked off few months ago and the community has expressed gratitude to President Yoweri Museveni for fulfilling one of his pledges.
The Government initiative has come indeed at a time when the region is faced with overwhelming poverty to give hope to the people, who have been in one way or the other dis-empowered by the Karamojong raiders, the LRA intrusion in 2003 that left many families displaced and now trying to cope up with life.
Nonetheless, the programme has been reported to be facing some sabotage by politicians, who have also been manipulating the programme and become key beneficiaries and their spouses are also included in the programme, who is now taking lead in the benefiting from the program.
In June 2014, for example, during a community based monitoring visit conducted by Uganda Debt Network in the sub counties of Obalanga and Morungatuny in Amuria district, it was noted that the selection of the programme beneficiaries has been interfered and not done in favour of the genuine beneficiaries.
The beneficiaries are supposed to the elderly, people living with disabilities, people living with HIV/AIDS and the marginalised. This, for example, is making the common person that is intended to benefit from the programme think that, they are just used by those in leadership for their own interests.
The distribution points of the cattle are inaccessible for the vulnerable persons because of the distance walked (30km) for example Alito to Amuchu distribution point.
It has also been noted that, there has been no value for money spent in the procurement of the cattle. This was realised the service providers allege and hike the prices of the cows supplied to a tune of sh1m which the community beneficiaries have not appreciated because it shows lack of transparency in the programme.
There is, therefore, now need for the Government through the office of the Resident District Commissioners, the District Internal Security Office, District Police officers and the District Chairperson to carry out massive sensitisation about the programme benefits and should also to put in place stringent measures in ensuring that the monitoring is strengthened in the distribution and verify the beneficiaries to avoid the intruders from taking change if the programme has to yield better results.
The writer works with Uganda Debt Network
Restocking Teso cattle