IGANGA, UGANDA: The Minister for local government, Hon Raphael Magyezi has ordered the arrest of Iganga Central division Speaker, Paul Muwereza for failing to satisfy him with proof on claims surrounding the alleged lack of qualification and incompetence of leaders in Iganga Municipality.
Muwereza petitioned local government Ministry citing that some technical staff of Iganga Municipality are corrupt and not qualified where he among others quoted the town clerk, Mr Ayub Alikwani Kisubi and the Municipality treasurer, Ms Yotaliwa Eunice.
Minister Magyezi was on Thursday, November 4, in Iganga district to assess the alleged claims surrounding the construction of Iganga modern market where Mr Muwereza was among others implicated for standing against market construction when he cited incumbrances on the market land and petitioned local government to intervene.
Minister was shortly in the district last week but later promised to meet all Leaders, stakeholders and some Market vendors on Thursday to establish issues raised against the market.
The Minister who started his visit by touring Iganga Central market, was later led to Iganga district council hall to meet all stakeholders and Leaders to assess the hindrances to market construction.
Speaking during the meeting, Iganga Municipality town clerk Mr Kisubi, refuted claims which earlier rose worries among some people on whether the market will be constructed or not. He presented the land tittle of the market and also reported to Minister that they agreed with people having lockups on market land to halt their operation period and will resume immediately when the market is done with construction. The said market land was earlier cited among the sold land by the technical staff of Iganga Municipality.
”The land tittle of the market was secured and here it is Hon Minister. We have engaged and still engaging people with lockups on the market land to have their leases paused and will resume immediately after construction of the Market,” Mr Kisubi said before assuring Hon Minister Magyezi that there is no incumbrances on the market land as Paul Muwereza alleged earlier.
The Chairperson LC 3 Iganga Central division, Kasimba Abubakar said that Muwereza has at all times tried to get money from technical staff and leaders through raising false accusations.
”Hon Minister, Paul Muwereza is well known for raising false accusations against people with intent to get money from them,” Kasimba said.
Paul Muwereza has also been accusing Mayor Iganga Municipality, Bamu Lulenzi for trying to plot ownership of many stalls in the market and act as the landlord.
Hon Minister Magyezi through the RDC Iganga, Ms Deborah Mwesigwa Mugerwa gave opportunity to Mr Muwereza on the said allegations that he is against modern market construction.
Speaking in the meeting on Thursday, Muwereza openly said that his petition doesn’t state anywhere that he is against the market but said that his concern was about leaders and technical staff whom he quoted as incompetent and corrupt. He says that the duo have furiously turned against him after exposing them and opted to blackmailing his name that he is against market construction.
”Hon Minister, when the town boss and the chief executive (town Clerk) is looking for plots of public land even measuring one by one feet for disposal, how do you go ahead and entrust him with 2 acres of land to construct a market? This is defeating our understanding,” Muwereza said after accusing the technical staff for selling off public land to private developers.
However, Minister Magyezi in his speech wanted Mr Muwereza to prove his allegations as stated in the petition among others pointing out some technicals as unqualified for their jobs. Hon Minister called on the Municipality treasurer, Ms Eunice Yotaliwa who assured the meeting that he went through recognized institutions like Uganda Christian University (UCU) Mukono and graduated with a degree among others qualifications.
”Hon Minister, as you have asked, the academic documents I am using are mine and not for anybody else as Muwereza puts it,” Ms Yotaliwa said.
Hon Magyezi discovered that Muwereza forget signature for Councillors which were appended on his petition, after calling on the Councillors to comment about the petition and they all disassociated themselves with the said petition.
This caused Minister Magyezi to order Iganga District Police Commander (DPC), Muhairwe Kenneth to go with Muwereza and record a Statement about his allegations. He was immediately arrested and taken to Iganga Central Police Station, pending thorough investigations.
Meanwhile, Hon Magyezi told Daily Express after the meeting that they had received information that there was no land to construct a market but eventually found out that the land is available with a land tittle.
”We received information that there is no land where to construct the market but we discovered that it’s there with a land tittle, we sat here the whole day and resolved everything. Some lockup owners were worried that they even brought in their Lawyers but we agreed that they will prepare an agreement such that their leases can be halted during Market construction and will resume when the project is completed,” Hon Magyezi said.
”We also discussed the issue of Hon Muwereza mostly selling off public land by some Municipality administrators, I shall send a committee to investigate this and we shall charge anyone who will be found guilty. But even people pinned him (Muwereza) in various unlawful issues and I have handed him to police to make a statement,” Hon Minister said before commending people of Iganga for Unity in welcoming government projects citing that the current Iganga market is in a sorry state and poorly hygienic.
The meeting attracted the State Minister for fisheries who doubles as Kigulu North MP, Hon Bwino Fred Kyakulaga, area Member of Parliament (MP), Hon Mugema Peter alias Panadol, Woman MP Iganga district, Hon Kauma Sauda Alibaawo, Kigulu South MP, Hon Milton Muwuma, Iganga district chairperson, Mr Gabula Ezera, RDC Iganga Deborah Mwesigwa Mugerwa and her deputy Ms Namagogwe Hajjira, among others.