Forgeries plague youth livelihood funds

The Public Accounts Committee (Local Government) is facing challenges of scrutinising and recovering funds disbursed in 2014 and 2015 for the Youth Livelihood Programme (YLP) because of forgeries and the misrepresentation that they were donations from the central government.

According to the committee chairperson, Judith Franka Akello, this has made Focal Point Persons reluctant to collect the funds, which are meant to revolve among different groups.

She made the observation during a field activity by her committee to the Office of the Auditor General – Hoima Regional Office. The committee has been interacting with the Accounting Officers for Kibaale, Kasese, Kabarole, Hoima, Bunyangabo, Kyenjojo, Masindi, Buliisa and Kiryandongo districts, including the respective municipalities and sub counties from 18to 21June 2019.

“The Youth Livelihood Programme is a revolving fund and failure to repay in a timely manner implies that other eligible groups are unable to access funding,” she said.

The Kibaale Chief Administrative Officer (CAO), Mr Christopher Sande told the committee that there were countrywide issues with the funds disbursed in the Financial Year 2014/2015 with many of the youth assuming that the funds were campaign tools.

Hon. Emmanuel Ongiertho (Jonam County, Nebbi) argued that the district staff, especially the Focal Point Persons for the Youth Livelihood Programme took advantage and made money off each of the groups by making them sign for more money and yet in reality they had received less.

Members of the committee poked holes in the district officials’ explanations and

noted that the district officials thought that since it was campaign time, no one would follow up the funds.

“Most of the Focal Point Persons for Youth Livelihood programme countrywide did not sensitise the people, which led to misuse,” said committee vice chairperson, Hon. Gilbert Olanya (Kilak South County, Amuru).