Africa Land Grab: Uganda Legislator Claims He Was "Bribed" As Museveni Government Seeks Deal For Madhvani, Investor Opposed By Land Owners
Bigombe attempts to shut down MP Olanya who accused former legislators of being sellouts. Photo: James Onono Ojok
Former legislators Michael Ocula and David Openy Penytoo were caught up in skirmishes in Kololo on Saturday when they were accused by local residents of receiving millions of shillings from State House in exchange for the land desired by the Madhvani Group companies.
Ocula, the former MP for Kilak and Penytoo former MP for Gulu Municipality were accompanied by their lawyers Judith Oroma and Okello Oryem; they said that they were in the area to solicit opinion as part of the Betty Bigombe led land committee, initiated by President Yoweri Museveni to negotiate with the government matters relating to the 40,000 hectares of land wanted by the Madhvanis.
The two legislators are part of a group that jointly filed a case with two elders, Zacheo Uma and Jack Obalim in 2008 asking court to restrain Amuru Sugar Works, a project by Madhvani, from being established on the land.
The current member for Kilak County Hon. Gilbert Olanya who made a surprise visit during the consultation after completing a hot radio talk show on Mega Fm on Amuru land opened a can of worms when he publicly told residents that many leaders from Amuru district had been given millions of shillings by State House to convince them to give away their ancestral land. He displayed money which he said was given to him as bribe as part of the project to win leaders over Amuru land.
"I want to confess to you that even me I was in Kampala, they gave me 500,000 shillings bribe that it was for fuel here, but parliament pays me to visit my constituency and I am giving this money as evidence here before you, to develop Kololo, Ibanda and Lakang P7 school which is grass-thatched and has not even a single chalk," Olanya said, while giving out the money to the headteacher of the school.
"I want to warn you before this people that next time leave me out of State House dubious negotiation team's budget deal," Olanya challenged Ocula and Penytoo, sending the crowd into a frenzy.
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