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Former MP grilled over Shs88 billion claim for Isimba Dam land

Works continue to stall as compensation legal battle take course (FILE PHOTO)

The Commission of Inquiry into land matters on Tuesday tasked the former Member of Parliament for Ntengyeru County in Kayunga District, Mr Tom Kazibwe, to explain why he is demanding an extra Shs88 billion in compensation for his land on where Isimba Dam construction is ongoing.

Mr Kazibwe last year sued government, seeking the extra pay for a rock that was beneath the 60 acre-land  for which he was paid Shs754 million in 2015 to pave way for the construction of the 183MW dam

Lady Justice Catherine Bamugemereire (FILE PHOTO)

The probe team led by Justice Catherine Bamugemereire tasked the former MP to show cause why he should be paid all that amount of money for the land he had already sold to government.

However, Mr Kazibwe defended his claim, arguing that the ministry of Energy officials had conducted a poor geological survey. He also said Kagga and Partners, an engineering consultancy firm that carried out valuations and assessment for the compensation of project-affected persons for the Isimba Hydro Power project did not do their work well.

chairperson of the Ishimba Dam Project Steering Committee, Eng Badru Kiggundu

“The consultant did shoddy job because they wanted to get more profits from the contract. They surveyed and valued my property without my consent and participation. The process was done steal fully and not openly as required by law,” he said.

“The problem is using private valuers of Kagga and Partners who are not effectively executing their work. The speed at which they did the valuation was not accurate,” he added.

Last week, the chairperson of the Isimba Dam Project Steering Committee, Eng Badru Kiggundu, warned that a standoff over a Shs600 billion compensation claim by different persons is set to stall the construction of the power dam project.

According to Eng Kiggundu, although government compensated most of the claimants, a group of 13 people rejected compensation and dragged government and the contractor, China International Water and Electric Corporation, to court, seeking more money, claiming they discovered there was rock and sand underground on their 28.5 acres of land.

He added that the nine bibanja holders in the names of Disson Nsubuga, Berenado Ssajjabi, John Apoogo, John Wafula, Okuni Owori, Adiliano Okuni, Ali Kagoda, Celina Etapu and Rose Achieng are demanding for Shs203 billion for rocks that they were discovered beneath their land.

He also said customary land holders former Ntenjeru County MP Tom Kazibwe and Mr Charles Magumba are claiming for Shs132 billion. He listed other claimants as Ruth Sebadduka and Charles Matovu.

On Monday, Mr Magumba, who was quizzed over his Shs44 billion, claim for the rock testified that failure of the government to consider his claim for the rock would amount to depriving of his future interest in the land

Eng Kiggundu said the interim court order putting a freeze on the contractor’s bank accounts is currently on, frustrating the progress of the project.

“To me as chairperson of steering committee that is supposed to oversee the successful implementation of these projects, I am deeply concerned because the contractor is constrained and has no operational funds to meet the day to day expenses. The contractor has notified all of us that they are not in position to continue operating and therefore the construction had to be suspended until they have access to their accounts,” he added.

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