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Uganda: FDC demands arrest of OPM officials in Shs8b scam

Kampala. The Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) party has questioned government why it has not yet arrested officials from the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) allegedly accused of misappropriating Shs8b meant for buying land to resettle residents living in mudslide-prone areas in Bududa District.

The demand follows landslides that swept across five villages in Bukalasi Sub-county in the district last week, leaving more than 40 dead and several missing.

Addressing journalists at their party headquarters in Najjanankumbi, Kampala, yesterday, the FDC deputy secretary general, Mr Harold Kaija, blamed government for the disaster because it failed to follow up on the relocation plan.

“Ugandans do not die because God has called them but they die because their leaders want them dead. What turned out is that a politician, at a level called honourable, an MP, forged a land title of acres of land belonging to a clan and pocketed Shs8b. This is so absurd,” Mr Kaija said.

He accused OPM officials of failing to do due diligence to establish whether the land title was genuine.
Mr Kaija urged Ugandans to get interested in climate change across the country rather than only looking at Bududa, saying in some areas, trees have been cut down.

Efforts to reach the government spokesperson, Mr Ofwono Opondo, and his deputy Shaban Bantariza were futile since they did not answer our calls by press time.

Background

Early this year, Daily Monitor broke a story about the OPM where top government officials were accused of buying a wetland with a forged land title at Shs8b.

The contested wetland was part of 2,880 acres, which OPM officials bought from a company linked to a local MP to resettle between 5,000 and 8,000 people.

The land in question is labelled Plot 10 and 93 in Bunambutye, Bulambuli District. The wetland is deemed unfit for human settlement. Although the land, according to the district land office, is customarily owned by 300 families, OPM officials reportedly struck a deal with then Elgon County MP Nyasio Mudiimi Wamakuyu.

Mr Wamakuyu is accused of fraudulently obtaining the land title in the name of his family company, Simu Oil (U) Ltd. However, he denied the allegations, saying the land title in question was issued to Bamasaba Cooperative Union by the Uganda Land Commission in 1971.

By Daily Monitor

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