UGANDA: DISTRICT COMISSIONER FIGHTS NRM CADRES OVER MESS IN AMURU SUGAR WORKS LAND COMPENSATION SAGA

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Ms. Auma Linda addressing the media on land compensation saga

“I am advising some NRM cadres in Amuru to learn to have a job which can sustain their lives instead of gambling with life for survival thereby fighting good people. They are the ones fighting among themselves. None of them is in opposition. Some of them want food in a silver plate”

“It will be hard for NRM structures to campaign for General Museveni in 2021 because those sent by government to pay people their money for their land are profiteering from the project instead of the actual land owners”

GULU-UGANDA: The Resident District Commissioner (RDC) of Amuru district in northern Uganda, Ms. Auma Linda Agnes, has advised some National Resistance Movement (NRM) cadres in Amuru to look for jobs to earn sustainable income for survival instead of gambling with life.

“I am advising some NRM cadres in Amuru to learn to have a job which can sustain their lives instead of gambling with life for survival thereby fighting good people. They are the ones fighting among themselves. None of them is in opposition. Some of them want food in a silver plate”, says the RDC.

She made these remarks on Wednesday June 26, 2019 from the Northern Uganda Media Club (NUMEC) while responding to allegations made by some NRM cadres the day before, that her driver, Mr. Patrick Okeng, received bribe of UGX 30 million shillings (about US$ 8100) on behalf of the RDC.

The driver reportedly told the land owner the RDC wanted the money to enable her to go to the bank and release the money to the land owner’s account which was blocked by the bank.

This is part of money which came from government to compensate 114 land owners who are supposed to vacate their land located in a ten thousand hectares piece of land and relocate elsewhere because government wants it for a Sugar Factory and cane plantation in partnership with Madhvani group of companies.

RDCs are appointed by the President from among his most loyal cadres to be his eyes and ears in all districts. They head security committees and monitor government programs in their districts of jurisdictions.

During a press conference at the same facility on Tuesday, Amuru district NRM Youth League chairman, Mr. Ochira Geoffrey led a team of cadres and claimed that it will be hard for them to solicit for votes for General Yoweri Museveni come 2021 because the issue of compensation of land owners in the project area has been messed up by leaders sent by government.

“It will be hard for NRM structures to campaign for General Museveni in 2021 because those sent by government to pay people their money for their land are profiteering from the project instead of the actual land owners”, he alleged.

Another cadre, Mr. Kilama Geoffrey, who claims he owns 152 acres of land in the project area and was due to be compensated with UGX 93 million shillings (about US$ 25100), claims he paid the RDC through her driver UGX 30 million shillings (about US$ 8100) to facilitate the unblocking of his account.

However Ms. Auma told the press that Kilama has neither registered any formal complaint to her office for redress nor to any police station to file a case against her for a criminal case, but she was getting the information on social media.

“Kilama has never come to me or to the police. There is no clear information. He is a troublesome person who after getting the first butch of compensation began buttering his wife without sharing the money with his wife who has six children and married another woman. This is family issue,” says Ms. Auma.

RDC Auma praised the media in Gulu for exhibiting professionalism by allowing her side of the story to be told too, hence balanced reporting and it has enabled her to clear her name.

She gave to the press lists of names of NRM cadres who fraudulently acquired land in the project area which has deprived some genuine land owners from receiving their money and as a result the affected have  not left the project area.

“I am warning those people who don’t come from Amuru to leave the issue of Amuru to the people of Amuru. I am going to follow up with the people accusing me in courts of law. You should report to police if you have evidence otherwise I will register a case of defamation against you in courts of law. You ask the people of Lango; I am claiming some 3.8 billion (about US$ 1million) from some renown lawyer Lira for defaming me”, she warned.

According to Amuru LC V chairman, Mr. Lakony Michael, the lead government surveyor who surveyed the land in the project area, Mr. Kyoko Robert is claiming UGX 1.8 billion shillings (US$ 486,487) as compensation for his land yet he does not own an acre of land there.

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