By Micheal Atwakiire
Sheema: Women in Bugongi town council, Sheema district are pleading with Lt. Col. Edith Nakalema, of the State House Anti-corruption Taskforce, to investigate their Female LC V Councilor, whom they allege pocketed their Uganda Women Entrepreneurship Programme (UWEP) money and practices nepotism.
Agatha Kyankaaga, the Bugongi town council women Chairperson, said that their LC V Councilor Oliver Ssemanda, should be thoroughly investigated by Lt. Col. Nakalema, whom they hope that she (Ssemanda) can’t compromise.
Kyankaaga and others allege that on top of misappropriating their UWEP money, the Councilor also favours only her relatives whereby they are the only ones she wants to benfit from government projects which are supposed to help all the women in the Bugongi town council.
Kyankaaga said that; “We were supposed to get our money from UWEP several months ago; but after seeing that the money delayed, I contacted one officer in Kampala from the UWEP office. She told me that they wired our money to the district account.
When I went to the district offices, they told me to go to Stanbic Bank and withdraw money, when I reached Stanbic Bank, they sent me back to the district.”
She added that; “When I returned to the district office which had sent me to Stanbic Bank, the officer told me that may be our money had been returned to the Ministry of Finance. But what shocked me was being told that out of our group of 15 members, 10 had been eliminated without being informed and didn’t get money.
Instead it was only 5 who shared the money worth Shs10M, whereby all those 5 who got are Ssemanda’s relatives.”
Kyankaaga further explained that she is ready to stand for the truth because Ssemanda has milked them for a long time instead of them milking her, because most women in Bugongi town council have not gained anything from her regime.
She revealed that Ssemanda not only misappropriated UWEP money but also messed up the Operation Wealth Creation (OWC) in the area, whereby she got a cow which she later alleged had been stolen, her sister-in-law got pigs which disappeared, the brother-in-law also got a cow yet they are all well off.
However, when this reporter talked to Ssemanda, she refuted all the allegations, saying that the groups which didn’t get money will soon get.
She said that; “The money which was received at the district wasn’t enough so we decided to divide it equally by balancing all 15 Sub-counties in the district. Each group which qualifies to get money from UWEP, is approved by Bugongi town council Women Council under Agatha Kyankaaga.”
She accepted that it’s true she got a cow from Operation Wealth Creation but that she went through the right procedures by applying for it.
Ssemanda thus urged fellow women in Bugongi town council to always be patient with government programmes because government can’t concentrate on only Bugongi town council.
At the time of filing this story a group of women from Bugongi town council had gathered at Benon Mukundane’s home, pleading with his wife Florence Atusasiire Mukundane, to contest against Ssemanda in the 2021 elections, such that she represents them in the Sheema District Council.
Atusasiire, who is the former Bugongi Sub-county Lady Councilor, also condemned the acts of their leaders, saying that ladies and People With Disabilities (PWDs) in Bugongi town council have been neglected and that some leaders think that they own the whole of Bugongi town council.