14 February 2013

Uganda: MPs Want Tough Action Against Dura Suspects

Parliament has ordered further investigations into the $16.5m (sh43.8b) compensation to Dura Cement Limited (DCL) and prosecution of those implicated.

This is one of the recommendations contained in the report of the public accounts committee (PAC) on government compensation to DCL in 2009/2010. The recommendations were approved by Parliament on Tuesday and yesterday.

The MPs, however, rejected a report by PAC on another dubious compensation to Basil-Read Bouygues over a deal to rehabilitate the Jinja-Bugiri road. They referred the report back to the committee for it to make concrete recommendations as to who was culpable for compensation so that they are brought to book.

The MPs approved the recommendation that Kampala Associated Advocates (KAA) be blacklisted from all government contracts for "defrauding the country under dubious dealings with the Attorney General's Office."

Many associates of KAA, MPs noted, are former employees of the Attorney General's office, PAC chairman Kassiano Wadri told the legislators.

The Government of Uganda paid DCL $16.4m (about sh40b) after cancelling its mining lease to establish a third cement factory in Kamwenge.

PAC vice-chairperson Paul Mwiru said the $16.4m included $2m as lawyers' fees.

The report implicates the then managing director of the National Enterprises Corporation, Fred Mwesigye, which was in charge of the mine. It also faults former acting Solicitor General now Justice Billy Kainamura for leaking a draft report to Elly Karuhanga of KAA, who used it to mislead the President as to the amount recommended by KPMG to compensate Dura.

Others implicated include former Attorney General Khiddu Makubuya. MPs, mainly from the opposition, demanded that President Yoweri Museveni be held responsible for disregarding technical advice from organs of the Government and listening to other informants in compensation matters.

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