MUBENDE. Residents of Kibalinga Sub-county, Mubende District, were stunned when officials manning the Operation Wealth Creation (OWC) programme dropped coffee seedlings which they had not requested for at their doorsteps.
Some residents have left the seedlings to wither in their compounds, saying since they were not expecting to receive them, they never prepared where to plant them.
In Kibalinga Parish alone, a total of 20,000 seedlings valued at Shs7m have been dumped at residents’ doorsteps in the past one week. Each seedling is valued at Shs350.
Mr Francis Munyiribangi, the Kyakajanku Village chairperson, said he was surprised when he returned home last Thursday and found more than 1,000 coffee seedlings placed under a pawpaw tree at his home.
“When I asked my neighbour, he also complained about the same thing,” he said during an interview on Tuesday
“We never requested for coffee seedlings in our village because we do not need them. Government should always consult farmers before dispatching such items because we now have nowhere to plant them,” he added.
Ms Evelyn Tinkamarirwe Kizza, the Mubende Resident District Commissioner, who has since visited households in the sub-county, wondered why OWC officials do not make a needs assessment surveys before dispatching items to targeted beneficiaries.
“Dumping coffee seedlings at people’s homes is inacceptable, we condemn it and we are going to follow it up with the suppliers. It seems some of those people [OWC officials], are bent on sabotaging government programmes. This is a wastage of resources. How can you supply items which were not ordered for?” she wondered.
Ms Kizza said if her office discovers that the seedlings were delivered to residents’ homes simply to make accountability, the supplier will be arrested and asked to refund the money.
“It seems some people forge lists of beneficiaries to access the money and when they are pressed to deliver, they simply dump the seedlings at residents’ homes and run away,” she said.
Col Moses Lutaaya, the coordinator of OWC in Mubende District, promised that his office was going to investigate the matter.
Ms Flavia Turyatemba, who supplied the seedlings to residents in Kibalinga Parish, said the seedlings were delivered to people’ homes to enable them cut transport costs. She denied habouring any intention of sabotaging government programmes.
Many residents in the districts of Bukomansimbi and Kole have also in the past refused to take seedlings which government supplied and they dried up at sub-county headquarters, saying the seedlings were not the ones they needed. They demanded that government replaces the seedlings with seeds such as maize, beans and soya beans, which are more needed by residents in the district.