Parliamentarians have been given at least a fortnight to investigate how the Emyooga funds were utilized in their respective constituencies.
A Parliament recess beginning August 5th to 17th 2021, was announced by Deputy Speaker, Anita Among yesterday August 3, 2021, to allow members time to retreat to their respective constituencies and ascertain how Emyooga funds are being distributed and utilized.
The move is Parliament’s second attempt at evaluating the efficiency of the multimillion poverty alleviation project before implementation of the Parish Development Model (PDM) is rolled out.
“We have decided that we shall give members a short recess from 5th to 17th August 2021, we expect all MPs to go back to their constituencies and find out if the money reached the districts. We must take Parliament to the People to appreciate what we are doing,” said Amongi.
She claimed that whereas the 10th Parliament allowed the Ministry of Finance to disburse to different districts the Emyooga funds, “it is unfortunate that the money has not been put to the right use.”
Amongi explained that the MPs findings on the effective use of Emyooga would inform implementation of the PDM that was approved by Parliament on May 8, 2021.
“We cannot implement the Parish Model before knowing what the Emyooga funds have done. That will be a continuous waste of money, which presents the government as not doing anything,” she added.
The Emyooga programme is a presidential initiative on wealth and job creation. The programme targets Ugandans, especially in the informal sector, that come together in form of savings and credit co-operative societies.
Emyooga programme is for all active Ugandans above 18 years. These include bodaboda riders, taxi drivers, restaurants owners,welders, market vendors, women entrepreneurs, youth, people with disabilities, journalists, performing artistes, veterans, fishermen and elected leaders.
The project estimate is sh260b and each of the first 17 Emyooga-specific SACCOS was supposed to receive sh30m per constituency per SACCOS as seed capital, while the elected local leaders’ constituency SACCOS will receive sh50m per constituency per SACCOS.
Additionally, the private schools teachers’ SACCOS were to receive sh60m per constituency per SACCOS.
The Parish Development Model (PDM) is a strategy for organizing and delivering public and private sector interventions for wealth creation and employment generation at the parish level as the lowest economic planning unit. Uganda has 10,594 parishes.
Amongi also asked the Minister of Finance to avail MPs with a breakdown of how much was disbursed to each district but also tasked the MPs to establish, how much money was given to their respective constituencies.
“Ministry of Finance will avail some information but we expect you to do some work as well for instance establish the criteria used for disbursing the money to the beneficiaries. Find out if the beneficiaries were genuine or ghost and whether there are businesses established by beneficiaries using this money,” said Among.
She further noted that each subregion will be expected to present a report to Parliament on their findings and the way forward and called upon the MPs to assist the government in service delivery.
“We will expect subregional reports on what your findings are as enshrined in Article 90 of doing the oversight role. And remember you have all the power when you are in the constituency. You can get any document you need to ascertain the accountability of the money,” said Among.