Maracha – Maracha District Chairperson tasks lower Local Government councillors to apologise to him, for launching on him, what he refers to as “political virus attack”.
Mr. Adiga Lawrence Ozubia alleged that the councillors stormed his office, last year, over their unpaid honoraria, accusing him of having “eaten” their cash, money which in fact, had not yet been remitted to the district account.
“Am very happy to inform the entire population of Maracha district, particularly, the lower local councillors in the 7 sub-counties and a town council about a big political incident which had emerged up last year” Adiga starts his narration of the past event to Red Pepper.
The district boss says, despite his innocence, the councilors, he asserts were politically engineered, stormed his office to wage an attack and crucified over missing of their honoraria.
“We are all aware that Maracha district didn’t receive a sufficient amount of money required for payment of honoraria to the lower local councillors. The ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development made a mistake of sending UGX6.8M, instead of UGX29.8M which mistake was acknowledged in writing by the Minister, Hon. Kasaija Mathias.
Much as we tried to explain to the beneficiaries, the councillors, what had happened, they could not understand and turned the matter into the political virus to attack my leadership to the extend of uttering that my government had eaten their money” the district boss recounts.
Since the money has now been remitted to the district account, Adiga wants those who waged viral attacks on him and others who politically crucified him to retrieve their statements and ask for forgiveness.
“Am now happy that, as we are ending this financial year, the ministry of Finance has acknowledged that there was an error made, they have now transferred the money to the account of Maracha district. What we have received is totalling to Ugx. 58M meant for honoraria for the lower councillors for two financial years of 2018-2019 and 2019-2020” Adiga explains.
He notes injuries inflicted on his political career need healing through an apology from those responsible.
According to the district boss, opportunists were quick to seize the situation, to manipulate it for their ill intentions against him.
“This had become political issue engineered by some politicians, more especially my enemies. They thought it was a golden opportunity to blackmail me, but am Happy that the ministry of finance has rectified it. Am particularly grateful to the minister because of rectifying the two nasty incidences that took place last year” Adiga comments in relief.
He recalls in one of the incidents, he had to abandon a meeting to console the aggrieved councilors.
“One incident happened when I was chairing a meeting in which the Chief Administrative Officer (CAO), my secretary for finance, Mr Batia James were present and these people stormed my office. Though we tried to explain, they couldn’t understand. I sent my finance secretary to meet them, still they objected listening to steps he had proposed to be taken and demanded meeting me in person as Chairman. I had to suspend the meeting, tried to explain to them that it was a technical error and they should be calm but this all in vain. They made some reckless utterances. I can recall a reckless statement by a councillor from Lamila in Kijomoro Sub County” Adiga recounts his ordeals with the councillors.
He notes that the first encounter was followed by yet another lot with Mr. Aniku Jackson, councilor for elderly persons in Oluffee sub county, as their chairperson.
“The second scenario was when a team was led by Mr. Aniku Jackson, who claimed to be their chairperson but I don’t know who elected him. They almost refused to leave my office, saying, they needed their money” recounts Maracha district political chief.
Besides the minister for finance, planing and economic development, Hon. Kasaija Mathis, Adiga views Hon. Gabriel Aridru, the state minister for finance and general duties, also, Vura constituency Member of Parliament as another individual who saved him from the wrath of the councilors.
“Particularly, am grateful to Dr. Gabriel Aridru and his brother for their quick action in presenting our concerns to Finance Minister, Hon. Kasaija Mathias, to take a quick response to rectify the matter. They played a big role and saved me from a dangerous political virus which had attacked Maracha district”the once devastated expresses his gratitude.
Adiga lectures the adamant politicians to know that once a mistake is made in financial transactions, it doesn’t only take a fortnight to correct it.
“This is what I want the councilors to know. There are so many steps to follow and so many people involved but not the way the councilors perceive things to be done, that we are not doing anything at all” advises.
As a district chairperson, Adiga warns politicians against depending on allowances. He notes political dependency leads one to desperate situation like such the lower councilors found themselves under.
“My second advise is that once you become political figure like me or in the lower councils, don’t relay on allowances. Don’t think your survival depends on political money. You should look for alternative means for a living. For me, though a district Chairperson, I pick my hoe and go to dig every weekend” Adiga consoles his political nemeses.
Adiga also warns his attackers to beware of extravagance, once they receive the long awaited cash, lest they spend it recklessly on none essentials like drinking.
“Lastly, they are going to get this money for two financial years but I want to warn them not to use this money on none productive issues but on productive activities” he stresses.
In authoritative manner, the district boss warns against use of uncivilised means to resolve issues that could be handled through table talks.
“I also warn that if such issues reoccur in future, it’s better, we sit down and discuss in civilised way than making sarcastic statements, blackmailing others and failing to build team spirit of belonging to Maracha” he sounds.
In an express, Adiga urges politicians to avoid dancing a tune of some one who pushes you into music you are not conversant with, lest you land into trouble.
” I know these people rushed on to crucify me politically because of external influences and they didn’t know what was going on in the district. They do not know that my office doesn’t handle finances. The officer responsible, sent by the ministry of local government to handle technical issues in the district is the Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) but I know there was an error in communication” Adiga says.
Adiga demands his crucifies apologise to pave a way for reconciliation.
Likening accusation levied upon him despite his innocence to the nailing of on the cross, Adiga says an apology must precede reconciliation.
“Our saviour Jesus Christ was crucified Innocently, that why he has resurrected. I have forgiven them, we say the devil is ashamed. Let them learn a lesson. I don’t have any problem with them and am ready to work with them but they must apologise” he states.
Adiga equates under development in Maracha district to disunity among the leaders. He calls for collective need to reconcile and unity the people to realise progress in the district.
“All leaders in Maracha district, irrespective of positions, political affiliation, religious difference and tribes, what I would have loved our common objective at various levels is to join hands on how we can develop Maracha but I see a danger where we don’t cooperate. We sow seeds of our political differences which is a very big risk to the district, meaning for us to develop Maracha, for us to lobby for resources for Maracha, let’s put behind our political and religious differences” the chairperson preaches.
He says, whether one is NRM, UPC, DP, FDC and any other party or an independent like him, the major issue should be teaming up to lobby for Maracha district.
But Adiga’s top nemeses who commanded a team that stormed the district headquarters to demand for their dim, turns down the call for an apology.
Mr. Aniku Jackson, a senior citizen and councilor for the elderly persons in Oluffee Sub County council of Maracha district turns more critical on the call for apology.
He says they were advocating for their rights and that doesn’t require them to apology to anybody.
” We were fighting for our rights. So we can’t apologize without committing any offence. We agreed to be calm until the money comes and forget all about what happened, then, why should we go to apologise?”
Mr. Aniku hits at the district chairman.
The senior citizen points at information gaps from the district which he says should be filled to avoid problems in future.
“There is information gap existing among the district leadership which must cease if we are to expect peace to prevail in Maracha” Mr. Aniku assures the top bosses of the district.
The elderly politician remind Maracha district leaders that the councilors are yet watching since the said money has not reached the intended beneficiaries as per their agreement.
“We are still longing for the money. I have had several councilors calling me about the money because I led them to the district and I’m hopeful that by next week, we shall get this money as agreed” Mr. Aniku stresses.
He recounts that they had agreed the money be send to them through Sub accountants of their respective sub counties.
“We have decided that nobody goes for the money at the district headquarters but let them channel this money to our respective sub counties through the sub accountants who will be able to pay their councillors at home in peace” the chairperson of the disgruntled councilors states.
Information from the office of the Chief Finance (CFO) indicates that a total amounting to Ugx. 52.3 M/- has been remitted to the district account as ex-gratia for lower local councillors.
The money caters for about 130 councillors who are expected to receive an amount of UGX228,000 per a councillor.