SOROTI CITY: President Yoweri Museveni has launched the livestock compensation payments for claimants and beneficiaries from Acholi, Lango and Teso sub-regions with a strong call on them to use the money for wealth creation at house hold levels by engaging in modern commercial and calculated agriculture.
“If you get compensated use the funds for modern commercial and calculated agriculture. The only way to get out of poverty is through modern agriculture,” he emphasized.
The ceremony took place yesterday at Soroti University where government, political, religious and cultural leaders from the three regions gathered to witness the launching of the program.
A total of 25,000 claimants in the first group from the 29 districts in the three regions will receive their payments as each district will have funds for its beneficiaries.
President Museveni attributed the delay of the compensation exercise to dishonest people who were giving false information to the verification and validation teams about the animals lost.
He however assured the remaining beneficiaries that they will be paid gradually in the subsequent financial years.
President Museveni strongly encouraged the beneficiaries of the compensation to properly utilize the money for eradication of poverty. He stressed the importance of following the NRM counsel of embracing modern commercial and calculated agriculture according to the 4 acre model.
The President reminded the people of the three regions to concentrate on intensive farming with enterprises that have high returns and leave extensive agriculture to farmers with huge chunks of land. He reminded the people of the region to grow on one acre of land fruits then coffee for those who can grow the crop, then on the third acre grow pasture for zero grazing and on the 4th acre food crops like cassava.
President Museveni particularly advised the people of Teso and Lango sub-regions to use the edges of swamps to open up ponds for fish farming instead of growing rice that destroys the water bodies.
On the issue of cattle rustlers from Karamoja sub-region President Museveni assured the people affected by the vice to remain calm as the government is soon going to resolve that problem.
He however expressed his sympathies and condolence to families who lost their loved ones to the rustlers.
“I am very sorry about the people who have died because of these avoidable problems,” he said.
The Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs Hon. Muruli Mukasa thanked President Museveni and all the stakeholders for making the exercise a success.
The Deputy Attorney General Jackson Karugaba Kafuuzi said an Inter-Ministerial Verification Committee was constituted to verify, evaluate and confirm claims of genuine livestock claimants/beneficiaries from the affected Sub-Regions.
He said the Committee, in conjunction with the local government authorities, conducted a verification exercise in 2016 and a report was submitted to the office of H.E the President.
“The report submitted had claimants/beneficiaries from the three Sub-Regions including Acholi Sub-Region 16,946, Lango Sub-Region 42,042 and Teso Sub-Region 33,664 totaling to 92,652 beneficiaries,” he said.
In the FY 2021/22, MOJCA budgeted for and received UGX Shs 50billion in respect of compensation for the war debt claimants from the Sub-Regions of Acholi, Lango and Teso. The Sub-Regions comprise of 29 districts.
A total number of the submissions from the districts received to date by the Ministry stands at over 25,000 claimants/beneficiaries.
Kafuuzi further thanked the Vice President Hon. Jessica Alupo as well as the Speaker of Parliament the Rt. Hon. Anita Among and other stakeholders for supporting the program.
The Minister of State for Teso Affairs Hon. Kenneth Obote Ongalo described the day as a big one for the people of the three sub-regions as the long awaited exercise of compensation was finally kick started by President Museveni.
He thanked President Museveni for supporting the people of Teso when they lost their Cultural Leader Papa Emorimor Augustine Osuban.
President Museveni later handed out dummy cheques to the first beneficiaries one each from the three sub-regions of Acholi, Lango and Teso.