The former Minister for Gender, Labour and Social Development, Janat Mukwaya receiving some of the harvests from the gardens of Okwegatta ge maanyi Youth Group at Nakawala village in Naggojje sub-county.

Leaders Seek Security to Track YLP, UWEP Defaulting Groups

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Mukono Municipal Council authorities have resorted to security to recover the funds disbursed under the Youth Livelihood Project (YLP) and Uganda Women Empowerment Programme (UWEP). The Municipal Council received over sh1.3bn, which was distributed to different beneficiary groups as part of these projects.

However, the Auditor General’s Report for the Financial Year ending June 30, 2022, revealed that only a fraction of the disbursed funds had been recovered.   The report indicated that out of the disbursed funds, only sh96m had been recovered from the youth groups under YLP, and around sh200m from UWEP.

Menisa Namukose, the Mukono Municipal Principal Community Development Officer, says that to address this issue, Mukono Municipal Council has decided to involve security including the police and the office of the Resident District Commissioner, to track down the defaulters.

The strategies also involve the participation of various local officials, including Town Clerks, Community Development Officers, Youth Chairpersons, and politicians, who will visit each group and enforce the recoveries. The goal is to ensure that the funds are recovered as intended and contribute to the empowerment of youth and women in the area.

Despite the challenges in recovering the funds, the Municipal Council remains committed to its efforts, as confirmed by the Town Clerk, Francis Byabagambi.

Gilbert Olanya, the Chairperson of the Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee on Local Government, emphasized the committee’s commitment to monitoring the situation closely to ensure the money is fully recovered.

The Youth Livelihood Project (YLP) and Uganda Women Empowerment Program (UWEP) were instituted by the Government to uplift the economic status of Ugandan youth and women. These programs are designed to eradicate poverty and foster employment opportunities by providing targeted financial support to beneficiary groups.

Despite challenges encountered, the Ministry of Gender, Labour, and Social Development has proposed several strategic measures to enhance the recovery process. These include sensitizing district leaders and establishing a comprehensive database of defaulting groups for further investigation and follow-up, with the aim of fostering compliance and effective fund recovery.

The comprehensive review of the recovery progress of various Local Governments by the Auditor General, as of June 30, 2022, underscored a nationwide disparity in recovery rates. The YLP exhibited a recovery rate of only 23%, while UWEP demonstrated a comparatively higher recovery rate of 71%.

Notably, there were variations among Local Governments, with some performing exceptionally well in recoveries and others encountering challenges in meeting the expected targets. To fortify the recovery performance, the Ministry of Gender, Labour, and Social Development’s recommendations highlight the imperative of sensitization initiatives targeting district leaders.

Additionally, the establishment of a robust database to identify defaulting groups and facilitate investigative processes is emphasized. These measures collectively aim to expedite fund recovery and foster a sustainable revolving mechanism, aligning with the original intentions of the programs.

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