There was one lawyer doing this here, because he had been stuck with unconcluded case, he opted to dance to the tune of AG’s team.
Lira – 14, December 2021: Members of Parliament from the three sub regions where government cattle compensation program is being implemented are dissatisfied and concerned about the irregularities surrounding the exercise.
It is reported that the majority of genuine beneficiaries have been excluded from the final list of those due for payment before end of this financial year.
A source privy to the program revealed that the entire verification exercise conducted by the office of the Attorney General to generate final list of beneficiaries from Lango, Teso, and Acholi was marred with irregularities that saw non claimants considered for possible payment.
In Lango sub region specifically, MPs under their umbrella, Lango Parliamentary Group [LPG] have questioned circumstances under which the team from Attorney General led by Commissioner Phillips Mwaka reduced the number of verified beneficiaries from the first announced; 42,000 to only 18,000 people.
LPG says they have established that even the list of 18,000 people presented by the Attorney General is dominated by “ghost beneficiaries” with majority not being on the ground.
The MPs further questioned the motive of AG’s team to also trash the genuine list of beneficiaries obtained from court.
According to the legislators, government risk paying ghosts, most of whom enlisted for payment by a certain lawyer from Lango whom they suspect to have been compromised by some officials from the AG behind the inclusion of ghost claimants.
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“At first, Attorney General told us (MPs) that, a total of 42,000 beneficiaries from Lango had been verified and approved for payment but we were shocked to realize that the list was again reduced to only 18,000. We have since held several meetings with the team from Attorney General led by Commissioner Mwaka but never gave us satisfying explanations,” a media statement by Lango Parliamentary Group reads in part.
The legislators further revealed that a team from one law firm from Lango was cited in Kampala enlisting people of their interests to be considered for payment at the expense of genuine claimants.
“We wonder whether the compensation desk for Lango was in Kampala. There was one lawyer doing this here, because he had been stuck with unconcluded case, he opted to dance to the tune of AG’s team. Imagine they have reduced claims of people. Majority of claimants from the three sub regions shall be receiving payment for less than 4 cows and less than 50 people shall get payment for more than 20 (Lango). This is another cattle rustling in Lango by AG and his team,” the MPs argued.
The MPs have since embarked on a move to present to Parliament fresh documents obtained from court detailing the genuine names of beneficiaries from the two civil suits whose judgement were delivered by the High Court in 2014.
“We don’t know whether they are the enemies of People of Lango or enemies of NRM because this has been a political issue from day one. We urged AG team to be very honest, the cry of the people can cause curse on them, and we shall not relent until all our genuine complainants are fully compensated.”
AG Kiryowa Kiwanuka has maintained that government is set to roll out payment to verified complainants and confirmed further verification of more beneficiaries.
The two civil suits in Lango received judgment in 2014, but the claimants have never been compensated by the government despite repeated commitment by President Museveni.