Fred Mwesigye, the Nyabusozi county MP wants parliament to exonerate him of any wrong doing in the bogus compensation of Dura Cement Limited. Mwesigye was the managing director of the National Enterprise Corporation, when Dura Cement limited acquired a mining lease in Kamwenge district from the corporation which was later cancelled.
Dura Cement limited protested the cancellation of their lease citing loss of business and was compensated 45 billion shillings by government under unclear circumstances. Mwesigye was implicated in the Public Accounts Committee report for his role in the entire deal.The report recommends that Mwesigye be held responsible for introducing Rawal Rajesh Kumar, the Managing Director of Dura Cement to President Museveni with the view of securing the transfer of a mining lease from NEC to Dura Cement.
He denies ever introducing Kumar to the president saying that he could have interacted with government at Hima Cement where he worked for three years. He says that by recognizing that the ministry of defense, ministry of Energy and ministry of tourism also took part in the negotiations and approved the viability of the project, PAC shouldn’t hold him accountable as an individual. Mwesigye told parliament on Wednesday afternoon that NEC’s involvement in the project was later suspended and it was directed that all mining concession rights be given to the department of minerals.
Despite his pleas, MPs insist that Mwesigye is answerable for transferring the mining lease without tendering and at no fee. Fred Mubanda, the Masaka woman MP says it has become a pattern to award contracts, cancel and pay billions of shillings at the expense of tax payers. She says that whoever is involved in causing financial loss of money to government should be held to account. Alex Ruhunda, the Fort Portal municipality says no one should be spared, adding that the compensations are not accidental but deliberate.
Wilfred Niwagaba, Ndorwa East MP also says that the reason why government has failed to fight corruption is that the implicated people are exonerated. He says that most of the implicated individuals go scot free because the problem comes from the top with the president issuing directions. Niwagaba wonders how a company can be given 14 million dollars in compensation when its contract is terminated only three months after without putting any investment in place.
Theodore Sekikubo, the Lwemiyaga MP says Mwesigye and everyone else who was involved in the loss of those funds must own up and take responsibility. Other implicated officials include High court Judge Billy Kainamura, Tullow oil company president Elly Karuhanga, and former Attorney general Khiddu Makubuya. The committee cautioned president Museveni against ignoring technical advice and acting on unofficial briefs.