magic-goatAlmost a decade ago, Uganda’s president Yoweri Museveni personally instituted a poverty reduction program involving goats and costing $3.6 million. Some 3,000 goats were purchased in 2004-2005, and their offspring were to be exported for the benefit of numerous poor farmers. An adult female goat typically gives birth twice each 13 months, and there is a high ratio of twins, so over a period of five years the goats were expected to give birth to 30,000 kids.

The original goats seem to have been accounted for, but their 30,000 offspring seem to have gone missing in mysterious circumstances. This fact was noted in a newspaper in April 2011, giving rise to an investigation by the Public Accounts Committee. The accounts reveal that a private firm entered a contract to supply 150 male and 200 female exotic breed goats using its own funds, and 54,000 Mubende goats using government funding.

During the financial year 2004-2005, the government allocated $3.3 million to the Presidential Goats Project to cover infrastructure development and the purchase of the first lot of goats, but only 3,023 Mubende goats were purchased, and they were not distributed to farmers as intended because of a lack of funds. The government subsequently released another $3.7 million, and a further 5,040 Mubende goats were purchased and distributed to farmers together with the original 3,023, some five years later.

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