MP, women fight over community project


Sheema- A group of 500 women in Sheema District has accused their Member of Parliament, Ms Jacklet Atuhaire, of trying to hijack their development project.

The women under Sheema Women Development Forum (SWODEF) said Ms Atuhaire is sabotaging the construction of a Shs300 million resource centre where they intend to establish an office, a nutrition centre, and a Sacco.
SWODEF was formed in 2012 with the support of then Woman MP Rosemary Nyakikongoro to improve nutrition, promote savings and skills development.

SWODEF chairperson Margaret Sanyu on Monday said the MP is organising a fundraising to raise money for completion of the resource centre yet she did not consult them as members. The building, now at beam level, will also have a hall and canteen.

Daily Monitor has seen invitation letters said to have been authored by Ms Atuhaire, inviting people to the fundraising function scheduled for later this month. The letters with a Parliament of Uganda header are addressed to the local leaders and high profile people, including MPs.
Some invitation letters bear Ms Atuhaire’s signature, telephone contacts and email while others have no signature.

One of the letters dated August 22 inviting Mr Richard Mare, the chairperson of Nyamufumura in Nyarweshama Ward Sheema Municipality does not indicate the venue for the fundraising.

Ms Sanyu, however, said they have been informed the function will be at the district headquarters.

“We have not failed to build our resource centre and so we have not started fundraising for the construction of our building,” she said.
Ms Janet Museveni laid a foundation stone for the building in 2015.

Ms Sanyu said their organisation does not have any political, religious and cultural affiliations and that nobody should use its name to fundraise money without their knowledge.

Ms Nyakikongoro, the SWODEF director, said Ms Atuhaire should have consulted them before organising the fundraising. She wondered how money collected will be accounted for since the leaders of the women group are not part of the drive.

“Who is going to account for that money that will be collected? We do not want in future to be blamed that locals were forced to contribute chicken and other things; we do not want any contributions from any member at this particular time as SWODEF. If we want contributions, we shall write to the willing members who want to contribute but SWODEF women cannot accept this impersonation,” she said.

Ms Nyakikongoro lost to Ms Atuhaire in the NRM primaries in 2016. She again lost on Independent ticket.

Ms Atuhaire did not pick our repeated calls on Monday. When we sent her message via WhatsApp, she replied ‘No comment’. Ms Atuhaire did not confirm or deny authoring the fundraising invitation letter when we shared it with her.

The district chairman, Mr David Kabigumira, said he is aware of the fundraising for completion of the resource centre

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