‘Greedy’ Bukedea boss forced to return OWC cow
By David Oduut
BUKEDEA—Bukedea District chairperson Tuesday bowed to pressure and returned the Operation Wealth Creation heifer he controversially received last month.
Moses Olemukan turned in the cow to Walugembe, the Resident District Commissioner, who in turn handed it over was thereafter handed over to Rashid Etuko a resident of Kaloko village in Bukedea Sub County.
Olemukan was forced to surrender the heifer following a directive from Fr Simon Lokodo, the state minister for ethics and integrity, who recently visited the district and discovered that the chairperson had gifted himself with a cow meant to benefit Bukedea Sub County.
Recently, the OWC gave 31 high breed heifer cows to Bukedea district, however, there was reported political interference in the distribution of these cows, with the LC5 chairperson coming on the spot for allegedly influencing the list to profit his family members and close political associates.
The cow that he returned Tuesday was given to his daughter Loyce Akiror after he influenced the process.
This raised dust among Bukedea Sub County leaders with LC3 Johnson Emong Otinga raising a spirited fight for the return of the cow.
Speaking to this Website, Otinga said that the return of the cow is a positive gesture on the fight against corruption and greed among local leaders in the district.
“This is Kisanja Hakuna Muchenzo so we shall not tolerate leaders to profit from helpless locals,” Otinga said.
Otinga’s statement comes just a few weeks after he had written to the office of the district commissioner complaining of how the heifer meant for his sub-county was mishandled.
Max Opolot, a resident of Kamon, said that the chairperson earns enough money to but himself cows and would have left peasants to uplift themselves with the dairy cow.
While Jesica Apio another Bukedea resident was happy that the LC5 chairperson was humiliated before his people so that junior leaders can completely stay away from corrupt tendencies.
But Olemukan has denied any wrongdoing noting that the laws of the country do not bar leaders from benefiting from government programs. He sights politics and intrigue in the matter.
Meanwhile, RDC Ramathan Walugembe has described the act of the LC5 chairperson as a manifestation of greed among leaders in Bukedea district.
Hajji Walugembe hinted that his office has taken on investigating other reports that other leaders in the district have also been benefiting from other heifer projects under NAADS, NUSAF among others at the expense of expected beneficiaries.
Greed among public officials?
In July last year, government spokesperson Ofwono Opondo was forced to return a cow he had received under similar circumstances.
Mukono councillors led by Davis Lukyamuzi, for Nagojje Sub-county, at the time had attacked officials in charge of OWC, accusing them of giving cows to financially stable individuals in the district, including senior public officials like Opondo, yet the project was designed to lift the poor from poverty.
“The cows were given to rich people and influential ones who have the capacity to buy their own animals; leaving out needy people like widows and people with disabilities,” Lukyamuzi said then.
According to the distribution list, Opondo, Hajj Haruna Semakula, the Mukono District National Resistance Movement vice chairperson, David Kironde Kibugujju, the Mukono District Veterans chairperson and other politicians benefited from the 42 in-calf cows that were distributed in the area, on Monday.
Returning the cow, Opondo was quoted by Daily Monitor newspaper as saying that it was his wife who applied for the cow, but since councillors had raised a lot of ‘noise,’ he chose to return the cow.
“Although this cow was requested by my wife, I have decided to return it following a lot of hullaballoo from the public and councillors, after all she already has two cows she is taking care of,” Mr Opondo said while handing over the animal to a one Ms Florence Nakachwa, a resident of Ntawo Village in Mukono Municipality and Mr Robert Ssempebwa, a Mukono Town agent, at Mukono District headquarters. OWC officials were absent.