[LL Dip. (First Class)–LDC; Cert. Oil & Gas–Mak; LLB (Hons)–Mak; Dip. LP Candidate–LDC]
A few weeks ago, we students at the Law Development Centre (LDC), lost a colleague, army Lieutenant Komunda Robert of Firm D. May his soul rest in eternal peace. Following his death, some students decided to pay a post-humous visit to the family of the Late in Mitooma village, Bushenyi district. A total of 30 students registered for this trip that was had on Saturday, 16 February, 2013. Now, in the afternoon of Monday, 18 February, 2013, while in class, Mr. Wagaba Ismail sent me a note stating as follows: “Get to me for a top story about misallocation of funds by the G. President & Speaker. This came after the LDC provided for the money per diem of 5000 sh X 30 individuals who had to go to Bushenyi. Only 16 students turned up for the journey and nobody received any money from our entitlement. On top of this they picked passengers on the way but the only account for the money was buying themselves bunches of matooke along the road – only a bottle of mineral water was served (from passenger fees). We demand for accountability. (Wagaba)” I have reproduced the note verbatim here to allow Mr. Wagaba an opportunity to speak directly to you and I hope his message is clear enough. The “G. President” referred to is the Guild President of the LDC Students’ Guild, Mr. Romeo K Mabandha while the Speaker is Mr. Byekitinisa Franklin. After class, I got in touch with Mr. Wagaba and together we embarked on investigating the matter further.
We duly established from the LDC Accounts Department that on Friday, 15 February, 2013, the Director of LDC, authorised the release of Shillings 1,070,000 (Shillings one million seventy thousand only) to facilitate the entire Bushenyi trip, using the LDC coaster/bus/van. Of this amount, Shs 850,000 was for fuel; Shs 70,000 was the driver’s per diem for one day; and Shs 150,000 was for refreshments of 30 people, Shs 5000 per person. We were informed that the Shs 150,000 was paid to Mr. Mabandha. But as the story goes, none of the entitled beneficiaries ever received any of that money! We have talked to many people including, Mr. Mabandha and Mr. Byekitinisa and we are satisfied that Messers Mabandha and Byekitinisa should be tasked to account for and explain the whereabouts of the students’ per diem of Shs 150,000. I also learnt that the bus stopped on several fuelling centres to refuel and I wonder how this was possible yet fuel was well catered for. Ordinarily, it should have set off from Kampala with a full tank. The driver should explain this. Mr. Wagaba, who himself went for the trip, also stated that there were private passengers loaded on the bus along the way. From our investigations, this is true. The Chief Co-ordinator/conductor was Mr. Agaba Simon, whom we also talked to as with Messers Mabandha and Byekitinisa. Mr. Agaba informed us that a total of Shs 50,000 was collected from the private passengers. He revealed that this “deal” was consented to by the bus driver, Mr. Mabandha and Mr. Byekitinisa. According to him, the money was shared as follows: Franklin–Shs 20,000; Romeo–Shs 15,000; driver–Shs 5000; clients’ broker at Masaka–Shs 5000; and himself–Shs 5000. We consider that this is money properly due to LDC and that its recipients are mere constructive trustees of the Centre, who should refund it forthwith.
We consider it our civic duty to play our humble part in the fight against the vermin of corruption in this country. Our generation should be better and different. We are therefore, contemplating taking remedial steps including, petitioning the Director to intervene in this matter; moving a vote and motion of censure and impeachment against the corrupt leaders. We welcome other good ideas, though.