23 Oct 2018

Curbing Misappropriations in Local Government; is the Community Monitoring Group the tool of choice?

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In Oyam District: A GLOFORD staff interacts with members of a Community Monitoring Group (CMG). The CMGs confess it has been tough like nails trying to make NUSAF3 yield desired outcome….

Curbing Misappropriations in Local Government; is the Community Monitoring Group  the tool of choice?

By Abet Tonny

When we talk about misappropriations in Uganda, we can not cease to remember; Chogm 2007 where over 230b UGX was lost, we never forget the Global Fund 2008 scandal where over 98b went to drain, …………read more>>>NINE CORRUPTIONS SCANDALS IN UGANDA OF ALL TIME 

In the legal world, misappropriation refers to intentional and illegal use of property or funds; it can particularly refer to when done by a public official.

NUSAF3 Project  2018/2021 was instated by the government of Uganda to restore and improve the life of the people of Northern Uganda primarily targeting the abled poor. NUSAF stands for Northern Uganda Social Action Fund and this is the third phase of the well-intended project funded by the World Bank and Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) of Uganda, and monitored by the Inspectorate General of Government (IGG).

Several districts are benefiting from the project, Oyam District is one of the beneficiaries where eight (8) sub-counties with a number of groups in different water shades destined to benefit.  This particular post shares the experience that GLOFORD Monitoring encountered in Oyam, Northern Uganda.

GLOFORD has been sub-contracted to provide the Community Training servicers for the Community Monitoring Groups (CMGs) and provide the general monitoring oversight for the progress of the project in Oyam district.

The Oxen, Ox-ploughs and Seeds like sunflower, soya, maize, etc., community access roads and grinding mills have formed part of the deliverable to the beneficiaries of the project. A number of beneficiaries are embracing the project deliveries and using them optimally. Bigger pieces of land can now be ploughed and maize milling services are now available in the local communities.

However, the monitoring team from GLOFORD has discovered a number of pitfalls, for instance;

  • A number of beneficiaries sold off the oxen which were given to them under this project or used them for bride price. This has brought a lot of tension amongst the group members. The bulls were given to people who are in pairs but those whom their friends/partners sold/misappropriated the animals are so frustrated.
  • Some technical officials from the district were using the project to mint millions of shillings from the locals in the name of helping them get the animals or manage the animals better yet these services were fully paid for, by project design.
  • The contracted suppliers of seeds for the beneficiaries have always chosen to supply seeds to these beneficiaries at least when planting season has passed.
  • The maize seeds were given, the fall armyworm coupled with hard drought destroyed them all.
  • Despite the salaries paid to them, the district NUSAF facilitators are often hardly available on-ground to support the work of CMGs.
  • The sub-county officials have strategized in jeopardizing the work of the CMGs and these two are so parallel. The CMGs are narrowing the chance for corruption.
  • The necessary support and compensation to be given to the CMGs are always either too low or delayed. This is according to the CMGs.

The Community Monitoring Groups (CMGs) have worked effectively with the monitoring team from GLOFORD Uganda to recover sold animals, follow up and bring to book the technical people who were conning money from the locals in the name of NUSAF3 project, remove seed suppliers who specialized in providing fake seeds though were legally contracted.

The CMGs have proven very effective in handling the corruption issues at local government level. The corruption at the central and local government has continued to cripple the service delivery in Uganda. These CMGs should be further equipped for better and more effectiveness in responding to misappropriations in different local government service delivery beyond the NUSAF3 project.

Fighting corruption starts from the head, but cutting the tail of a snake will eventually kill it in its hiding over time.

GLOFORD Uganda continues to pursue a Uganda free from corruption!