By Our Reporter
Members of Parliament from the three sub regions where the 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 the end of this financial year.
A source privy to the program revealed that the entire verification exercise conducted by the office 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 of Lango Parliamentary Group have questioned circumstances under which a team from the Attorney General office led by Commissioner Phillips Mwaka reduced the number of verified beneficiaries from the first announced 42000 to only 18000 people.
LPG says they have established that even the list of 18000 people presented by the Attorney General is dominated by ghost beneficiaries with majority not being on the ground and questioned the motive of AG’s team to also trash the genuine list of beneficiaries obtained from Court.
According to the legislators, the government risks 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.
“At first, the Attorney General told us (MPs) that a total of 42000 beneficiaries from Lango had been verified and approved for payment but we were shocked to realize that the list was again reduced to only 18000. We have since held several meetings with the team from the 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 an 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 the 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,”they asked.
AG Kiryowa Kiwanuka has maintained that the government is set to roll out payment to verified complainants and confirmed further verifications of more beneficiaries.
The two civil suits in Lango received judgement in 2014, but the claimants have never been compensated by the government despite repeated commitment by President Museveni.