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Operation Wealth Creation denies giving artistes cash

The Operation Wealth Creation (OWC) programme has dismissed allegations that it is dishing out billions of shillings to some artistes it handpicked for special Covid-19 relief support.

The information, which is circulating on social media, indicates that the money is being given out by Gen Salim Saleh, the chief coordinator of OWC.

“The government through OWC national coordinator, Gen Salim Saleh, has been giving billions of shillings as compensation to promoters and artistes for what they lost during lockdown. For me, that is inciting the public,” Mr John Bosco Sserwadda, one of the complainants, wrote on Facebook three days ago. He didn’t specify the artistes.

Reacting to the allegations yesterday, OWC said in a statement that although it is currently engaging artistes, money is not being given out to them.

“We have not released any money as OWC, and if we are to carry out any operations requiring resource mobilisation and disbursement, we do so within a very clearly defined processes and protocols as spelt out in the Public Finance Management Act,” Maj Kiconco Tabaro, the public relations officer at OWC, said in the statement.

“As an institution whose mandate and centre of gravity is that demographic, we have found it appropriate that we engage our colleagues in the entertainment industry to deal with this crisis that we are all facing as a nation and also to forge ways to prevent such vulnerability in the future,” he added.

Interventions

OWC explained in the statement that due to the Covid-19 crisis, it has intervened by carrying out and providing mindset change educational training and workshops designed to empower artistes and build their capacity  to earn a living in the future.

“Gen Saleh has been engaging with different stakeholders and actors from various sectors in the economy, among them, stakeholders in the creative and performing arts industry to consult and explore ways in which OWC can be a vehicle for facilitating different kinds of support and other strategies to help the country deal with the harsh effects of the coronavirus pandemic on the economy,” the statement reads.

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