By Fred Kiva
Operation Wealth Creation (OWC) has described as false, media reports attributed to OWC Coordinator Gen Salim Saleh that UPDF soldiers have messed up the Program.
In a May 15 statement, OWC Public Relations Officer Maj Tabaro Kiconco instead commended the soldiers for doing their best amidst challenges.
“Though there have been some challenges in the implementation of OWC such as late delivery of inputs, drought and misallocation of inputs etc, UPDF officers have indeed done their best under the circumstances to ensure more Ugandans are lifted out of poverty,” Maj. Kiconco said.
He clarified, ”whereas it is true that the Chief Coordinator of Operation Wealth Creation, Gen Salim Saleh, was indeed in Gulu District and attended a stakeholder workshop on value chains of vegetable oil crops organized by the International Institute of Rural Reconstruction, the statements attributed to him during the meeting are false.”
Major Kiconco added that officers and other personnel working under OWC are focused, patriotic citizens and committed to the mandate they have been given of preaching the gospel of wealth creation.
“OWC, like any other living and breathing institution, experiences a staff turnover that is not necessarily due to poor performance. It is therefore not true that the 54 officers were fired; they were moved on for various reasons,” Major Kiconco explained.
Major Kiconco’s response was prompted by the Daily Monitor Newspaper story of May 14, 2018 titled; ‘Soldiers messed up OWC, says Gen Saleh’.
The Newspaper quoted the Operation Wealth Creation (OWC) Coordinator as telling a multi-stakeholders review meeting on value chains of vegetable oil crops in Gulu District that the government program was messed up at its initiation when the soldiers implementing it applied military methods to handle civilians.
However, Maj. Kiconco says; “We therefore take issue with the fact that the Daily Monitor decided to pedal such a negative and unfounded angle to disseminate information concerning the efforts and commitment of Gen Saleh in leading the fight against poverty in the country.”
Operation Wealth Creation is a government Program aimed at improved household incomes for poverty eradication, wealth creation and overall prosperity of Ugandans through facilitation of sustainable commercial agricultural production. OWC’s overall goal is to enhance household participation in commercial agricultural production through community mobilization, equitable and timely distribution of agricultural inputs, and facilitation of agricultural production chains.