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Silkworm project (Courtesy photo)

Sheema District Leaders on the spot over ghost silk project

Sheema District leaders have been tasked to explain why the Rubaare Sericulture production factory remains non-functional despite the billions of shillings invested by government to facilitate its take off.

The task was made by Jessica Ababiku, the Adjuman district Woman Member of Parliament, who doubles as the chairperson of the presidential affairs committee.

A delegation of MPs led by Ababiku visited the multi-billion project located in Rubaare Cell, Nyarwenshama ward, Sheema Central division in Sheema municipality, to ascertain it’s non operationalization for production of Silk materials.

In 2017, Sheema District local government signed a memorandum of understanding with Uganda National Council of science and technology (UNCST) to rent about 26 hectares of the district farm land for ten years to establish sericulture and apiculture project but since then it has not been operational due to inadequate funding from the government.

The project aims to increase the production of silk by raising silkworms for industrial use. About 2,230 acres of mulberry have since been established across the country and three factories have been established in Mukono, Kween, and Sheema districts.

It is said that the ministry of science technology and innovation last financial year halted UGX 40billion that was requested by Tropical Institute of development Innovations (TRIDI) to support the operationalization of the project.

During the visit to Sheema, MPs observed that the facility has not been operational for two years and that the workers have not been paid for 5 months.

Jemimah Buhanda, the LC V chairperson Sheema district told the committee that TRIDI was expected to start the process of production, but they did not continue after procuring old machinery that could not support the production process.

Steven Kangwagye, the Bukanga County Member of Parliament, questioned why the machinery had been lying idle outside the factory and were being exposed to sunshine and rain.

“This is total corruption. How do you leave the whole of this machinery which costs the government a lot of money to be destroyed by sunshine” said Kangwagye.

 “I want to tell you that the president supports innovations, but he does not want this kind of corruption and unseriousness. Therefore, you should expose all those who want to put this project down,” added Kangwagye.

 The committee promised to make a report to Parliament on their findings to come up with a way forward.

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