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Locusts Budget Raises Eyebrows As LDUs Cry Foul Over Nonpayment

By Elite Reporter

The amount of money that the government of Uganda is using to fight locusts which invaded the country on Sunday has already started raising  eyebrows on how it is being spent, by whom, on who and on what.

It should be noted that the government recently released Shs15Bn to help the ministry fight the locust invasion.

However, economic analysts reveal that this is the so far the highest amount of money to be released by government in response of a natural catastrophe.

It is actually more than the money that was released by government to fight Ebola outbreak or during the rescue of several people who were affected by the mudslides in Buduuda and Bulambuli districts in the recent past.

LDU operatives armed with hand sprays to fight locusts

Although the Office of the Prime Minister is yet to release the official expenditure budget for the fight against locusts, some shrewd fellows have laid down a purported breakdown of the budget to combat locusts as follows;

Procurement of Spraying Chemical  at Shs4Bn

Out of Pocket for UPDF Personnel Shs1.2Bn

Hire of Drone Shs2.3Bn

Hire of Planes from Kenya  Shs2.5Bn

Facilitation for Pilots Shs970m

Procurement of stones for scaring away locusts Shs100m

Procurement of Drums from Masai Shs300m

Hiring stone throwers Shs2.250m

Per Diem for Staff from Kampala  Shs780m

Facilitation for Media Team Shs460M

Radio Talkshows in Local Radio Shs700m

Fuel For Local Government Leaders Shs700m

Sub Total is Shs20,160,000,000.

However, apart from the Office of the Prime Minister remaining tight-lipped about the budget,  we have also learnt that although the money was released, many Local Defence Unit (LDU) and Uganda Peoples Forces (UPDF) soldiers who were deployed to fight and or chase the locusts are complaining of not being paid.

The purported Budget Breakdown for fighting locusts

“Alo man, we are working day and night as they promise us that the money is coming but we are not seeing it,” said an operative with the LDU who preferred anonymity.

He added that “If the situation continues, we shall have to choose between chasing after the money or the locusts.”

Besides that, the drones, planes and pilots  that were purportedly to be hired from Kenya have not been seen to do the work for which they were meant to be hired. Instead of seeing planes carrying out aerial sprays UPDF soldiers are blowing whistles to chase away the locusts, while LDUs were armed with hand pumps to spray the pests.

The drones were deployed but are very few in number for the job at hand

It is because of the above and  many other issues surrounding the fight against locusts and the way concerned government officials are spending  the money released by government that pundits have started punching holes in #Operation Fight Locusts.

Watch this space for details.

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