Uganda: Busia Youth Accuse MP of Swindling Shs27 Million

Busia — The Youth leaders in Busia District have accused the Member of Parliament (MP) for Busia Municipality, Mr Geoffrey Macho, of allegedly misappropriating Shs27 million he received from President Museveni on their behalf.

The money was meant for the purchase of a milling plant in fulfilment of President Museveni's earlier promise to the youth.

The youth led by Mr Edrine Ebenezer, the Busia District National Resistance Movement (NRM) youth chairperson, said during a peaceful protest in Busia town on Saturday that the MP received the money meant for the purchase of their milling plant on November 4, 2017 without their knowledge and misused it.

The youth leaders were from the 16 sub-counties that make up the district.

They first assembled on Majanji Road before marching to the office of the deputy Resident District Commissioner (RDC), Mr Paul Kalikwani, to present their grievances.

They informed the RDC during a brief meeting at his office that the president had promised to give them Shs280 million for the milling plant but the MP secretly went ahead and lobbied for Shs27 million for his own personal reasons.

Mr Ronald OKambo, the Busia District youth chairperson, said it's unfortunate that it's one of their own legislators, who is fighting their initiatives to end rampant unemployment eating up the youth in their communities.

He said Mr Macho should refund the money or else they organise a procession to State House to meet the president over the matter.

"We want him to refund it to the president in a period of a week or else we protest seriously," he said.

Some youth also demanded for the arrest of the MP, saying this would send a strong warning to other leaders who misuse money meant for development.

However, Mr Macho confirmed to have received the money from the State House Comptroller, Ms Lucy Nakyobe but said he had given it to Mr John Oketcho, who is in charge of assembling the milling plant.

"I did not want to give the youth the money because I feared they would just share it like it has been in previous cases," he said.

Assembling the machine

However, the youth rubbished the MP's argument, saying the kind of machine they want can be assembled locally.

"We want a milling plant with capacity to sort and mill flour for export to Kenya and not the type of machine the MP claims is being assembled. Those are lies," Mr Yusuf Rajab, another youth leader, said.

Mr Oketcho, whom the MP said is assembling the milling plant when contacted at his workshop located on Jinja Road in Busia town first accepted that he was assembling the plant but later said he had not entered any contract with the MP to provide a milling plant for the district.

"I am fed up with people who are coming here asking about the milling plant, I do not have any contract with the MP to fix any grinding mill," he said.

Mr Kalikwani, however, urged the youth to stay calm and promised to follow up the matter.

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