Bududa Resettlement Report accuses Ministers Onek, Ecweru of costing country billions

Joseph Sabiiti

Joseph Sabiiti

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A report of the presidential affairs committee places political responsibility for financial losses in billions on ministers Hillary Onek and Musa Ecweru who the committee faults for failure to ensure due diligence in the transactions surrounding procurement of land for relocation of the Bududa landslide victims to Bulambuli.

The report was finally tabled before parliament after over two years recommending for action against not just the ministers but scores of technocrats in the office of the prime minister and the lands registry.

Minister Hillary Onek

In its report the committee wants the transaction involving contract number opm/spls/13-14/00100be cancelled and the permanent secretary in the office of the prime minister Getrude Gatuwade Kintu held responsible for causing financial losses to the government and untold suffering to the affected people

Others the committee want held liable include Rose Nakabugo who was the acting commissioner for refugees at the time of the transaction and members of the contracts committee

The committee is however recommending criminal proceedings for fraud against Elgon county MP Mudimiwamakuyu and his wife Gimono Beatrice for what they call dubious actions

Speaking to the Nile Post from parliament Mudimi however dismissed the report as bogus and based on heresay dismissing it as speculative and lacking in force of law.

Disaster preparedness minister Musa Ecweru

Committee chairperson Ababiku however says their investigations found out that the mp abused the trust his people put in him to execute the transaction on their behalf pointing to a number of locals not paid what Is due to them, what she says has caused untold suffering to the affected

Mudimi dismisses the report insisting the mps simply acted on ignorance dismissing the report as wanting

“Between the ministers and the technocrats ,there was action contrary to public interest since they were in custody of an earlier odwee report that warned against certain procurements latter executed by the OPM” committee chairperson Ababiku argued

government chief whip Ruth Nanakbairwa however says the government position on the matter will be communicated next week after the cabinet studies and debates the report

she however says they have so far failed to see why the ministers should should be held culpable insisting the transactions were done in the interests of the affected persons

she defends the decision to procure water logged land insisting people cannot be relocated to a place without water adding that the government has plans for the water the committee however questions the logic behind procuring a swamp insisting the bududa residents could be moved from a disaster area to amore messy one.

A boy at the scene of the the landslide of Bududa about 250km east of Uganda capital Kampala, Tuesday, June 26, 2012. Massive landslides induced by torrential rains destroyed three villages in the mountainous district of Bududa in eastern Uganda Monday, killing scores of people but possibly hundreds, officials said. (AP Photo / Stephen Wandera)

Manjiya county law maker John Baptist Nambeshe says it was clear from the word go that this deal was dubious as he reiterates his earlier claims that between the OPM officials , mp mudimi and the ministers ,a dubious deal was hatched to defraud the government

He now wants the death of those who perished during the recent landslides placed squarely on these individuals

“if the money released was properly used we would have avoided the death of our people “ Nambeshe argues

while appearing on the frontline an nbs television political show disaster preparedness minister musa Ecweru dismissed Nambeshe as confused and siscussing national matters like he was at  a malwa joint

The two would get into an altercation on live Television only for the committee report to agree with Nambeshe’s claims of fraud.

ATTEMPT TO KILL REPORT ?

Members of the committee however say there have been numerous attempts to murder the report with the two years delay attributed to attempts to ensure the report does not see the light of day

Before the report was tabled, MPs were summoned to the office of the prime minister a meeting that was skipped by the chairperson and MPs standing by their report

Jessica Ababiku says though she missed the meeting because of ill health ,she was left wondering why the meeting was necessary at such a suspicious time

Makindye east mp Ibrahim Kasozi says the meeting aimed to arm twist MPs to change the report though government chief whip Nankabriwa says anyone found culpable will face the law

Kasozi says there have been numerous attempts to force MPs to disown the report on the floor so that its credibility is dented.

Our sources in the committee confirm that changes were effected at the secretariat to ensure the report is produced after some of the technocrats were bribed to kill the report

The committee would latter work with a new team to deliver the report

Speaker Rebecca Kadaga while inviting the chairperson to table the report mentioned fierce attempts to kill the report

Ababiku implores her colleagues in the NRM to stand tall in the fight against corruption asking them to appreciate the fact that they are a government of the people whose interests must be protected

She says it’s not necessary for the president to be toiling around looking for votes when they can effectively campaign for him by ensuring effective service delivery and a spirited fight against corruption

CHAIRPERSON ON THE WAY OUT?

Sources in the committee also reveal that the chairperson is contemplating resigning from the committee after expressing disappointment to the fact that some of the top brass in the party have been behind the move to have her change the report

When asked however she insisted she is incorruptible and will stand firm in executing her task to her country, parliament and party the NRM.

Manjiya county MP John Baptist Nambeshe says the chairperson has been under immense pressure from her party and is only able to produce the report because she is steadfast

“I want to applaud the incorruptible nature of the chairperson that has delivered justice for the people of Bududa, and I want to let her know that the people of Bududa will treasure that sacrifice “ Nambeshe added

Makindye east MP Ibrahim Kasozi a member of the presidential affairs committee says the chairperson and members of the committee have been under immense pressure from leaders who should be at the centre of condemning wrongs and fighting corruption.

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