Tea Nursery Bed Operators Grill NAADS Officials Over Non Payment

3317 Views Kabale, Western Region, Uganda

In short
Frank Byaruhanga, the Chairperson South Western Region Tea Nursery Bed Operators, said they have already resolved to walk to State house to express their anger over the nonpayment of their money.

The Agro- business Development Officer under National Agricultural Advisory Services-NAADS, Everest Mulumba has come under fire from tea nursery bed operators over non-payment. Tea nursery bed operators from Ankole and Kigezi regions claim that government owes them up to Shillings 100 billion for the tea seedlings supplied over the past three years.

The tea nursery bed operators expressed their concerns at a meeting convened at Cephas Inn in Kabale municipality on Tuesday. During the meeting, some of the tea nursery bed operators said they have abandoned their homes for fear of being arrested over failure to service bank loans while many others have lost their property to money lenders.

Frank Byaruhanga, the Chairperson South Western Region Tea Nursery Bed Operators, said they have already resolved to walk to State house to express their anger over the nonpayment of their money. 

Byaruhanga notes that although tea production was introduced in south western Uganda as one of the ways of eradicating poverty, nothing is being achieved due to some selfish leaders in NAADS.

//Cue in: "kushanga ori omuntu …
Cue out: …bonka abagyeyitiire."//
Rev. Fr. Gaetano Batanyenda, the Kitanga Parish Catholic Priest in Kabale diocese agrees. Batanyenda regretted why he joined the business since he is not reaping from multiplying the tea seedlings as expected. He demanded the sacking of NAADS officials who are sabotaging the payment of Tea nursery bed operators.

//Cue in: "konka naaba nyine…
Cue out: …orya nawe."//

The Lwengo District Chairman who is also doubles as the Uganda Local Government's Association-ULGA president, George Mutaabazi also accused the NAADS and Operation Wealth Creation officials for failure to carry out verification of the Tea nursery bed operators so that they are operated.

//Cue in: "the delays caused…
Cue out: …come here."//
Kasirivu Atwooki, the State Minister for Economic Monitoring tasked  Mulumba who is also the National contact Manager for the Tea program under NAADS to explain why his office has failed to respond to the farmer's complaints.

He said it's unfortunate to find that the tea nursery bed operators have already developed a negative attitude about the tea project because of the delayed payment and now curse President Yoweri Museveni for introducing it.

The Minister promised to hold another meeting with the representatives of the tea nursery bed operator, top NAADS officials and other stakeholders on March 09th, 2018 to set a date for the payment.

//Cue in: "hati eki nkubasaba …
Cue out: …and why."//

In his response, Mulumba said the NAADS secretariat is working hard to ensure the nursery bed operators are paid. He faulted the district authorities for failing to submit authorization letters for payment of the farmers in time.
//Cue in: "when you are …
Cue out: …submitted fully."//

Only Kabale, Kanungu, Mitooma and Mityana districts have submitted the authorisation letters to the secretariat.


About the author

Samuel Amanya
Samuel Amanya is the Kigezi Region URN bureau chief. Kabale, Kisoro, Kanungu and Rukungiri districts fall under his docket. Samuel Amanya has been a Uganda Radio Network reporter since August 2016. Before becoming a URN staff reporter, Amanya had written for the network for several years as a freelancer.

Amanya was also a Voice of Kigezi reporter from 2011 to 2016.

A journalism graduate from African College of Commerce Kabale, Amanya values his independence. Amanya says URN is a home for his talent because it lets him explore his journalistic interests without limits.

Amanya is fascinated by the crime beat and some of his best stories have come out of that interest. Amanya says he aims to be all round beat reporter.