The Mbale Resident District Commissioner (RDC) Barrasa Oggajjo has warned district authorities against tolerating corruption and abuse of office.
Oggajjo said today that land grabbing, facilitated by district leaders at different levels, was the biggest vice in the district.
“I will use North Road Primary School as an example. As we were still in the meeting on the ground, a councilor called another RDC of a certain district we are yet to know and told him that ‘your fellow RDC is wasting time here’,” he Oggajjo said angrily.
He added that corruption in the district was almost at the apex.
“I want to send a warning to anybody in Mbale. We shall not tolerate this and we are going to hold anyone who is responsible and we shall hold you as a person,” he said.
He said that land grabbers use the festive seasons to construct structures at night.
“The land you grab is not yours. In Mbale there is no empty space that is left. This issue of misusing offices must stop,” Oggajjo said.
What happened at North Road P/S
On 8th January 2018 Kumi Road Market Vendors, under their umbrella, the Kumi Road Market Vendors Association, wrote a letter to the school management of North Road Primary School, acompanied with 49 signatures, requesting the school to give them part of the school land that is adjacent to the school so that they construct on it lockups.
Before the school could respond, it again received another letter from Abdul Namonyesa, the Chairman LC1 of the area, forwarded by the LC2 chairperson, requesting the school to take action.
According to Oggajjo, the issue reached the flow of the Mbale Municipal Council which discussed it and passed a resolution to give away the land without consulting the concerned parties.
Judith Nabujere, the head teacher of the school, wrote a letter to the RDC and other relevant authorities seeking for their direct intervention in the matter.
In a meeting, Muhammad Balamya, the chairman of the Kumi Road Market Vendors Association, denied all the allegations and said that he had never written any such letter. He also denied all the 49 signatures of the said merchants.
As evidence, Balamya presented to the meeting a letter which he had written the RDC and other relevant authorities denying all this.
In defending himself, the LC1 chairman said that he advocated for the construction of the lockups because the area was being used as a hideout for thieves.
Asked whether he had ever reported any insecurity case to police, he failed to answer.
The police are now investigating who was behind the move to grab the school’s land.