By James Otti
Gulu District has sold off 25 percent of Kidere hill to China International Corporation Construction Company, a Chinese Construction firm for upgrading roads in Gulu under USMID program.
Kidere is one of the few hilly natural resources in the District yet the quarry activities in the area has gone on for long without due approval from the national environmental management authority.
GULU-UGANDA: According to Patrick Kinyera, the Secretary Works and technical services for Gulu, the 1 billion shillings is part of the swap deal between the District and the Chinese construction firm reached at in the last two years.
The money is meant to improve on the various roads within the Municipality and the District and also to renovate the colonial district council hall whose budget alone he says is at 300 million.
However, though he didn’t account on the budgetary allocation on other technical works of the funding but revealed that the renovation of the district council hall is expected to be completed in the next two months.
The deal had since then sparked of criticism on the District top leadership whom they accused of selling off the natural resources of the District for personal gain and the question of accountability has yet remained mystery.
Additional report by Oyeng Yeng News
The Chinese International Construction Company (CICCO) IN 2016 bought a quarter of Kidere Hill cultural site of the Pageya clan at UGX 1 buillion, but the chairman of Bar Olam says the Hill was sold by his late father Lot at UGX 200 million, in a negotiation mediated by Martin Ojara Mapenduzi.
Gulu District took over Kidere Hill claiming that it is belong to Government.
Who own the story building on Dr.Coti Lucil road, according to Opiyo Atiker the Councilor for Awach Sub County, Gulu district says the building belong to Gulu District Chairman Martin Ojara, who sold Kidere Hill at UGX 1 billion when he grabbed it from community, he allegedly said.
The saying that in “every thing there is silver lining” Gulu Local Government Chairman Martin Ojara Mapenduzi voted the second best performing district Chairperson is being accused by Unyama Sub County community for grabbing the community rock.
Okot Grivin, Chairman of Kidere rock says in 2016 he was approached by Ojara for the sale of Kidere hill which cultural site for the Pageya clan, but he refused to sell on grounds that the hill has significant roles on environment and cultural, but when he felt sick, the chairman took advantages and approached his late father Muzee Lot who agreed to sell the rock at UGX 200 million.
However, when he raise the complain later to Gulu district local government, his plea was not heard. Later Ojara, came back to them saying Kidere hill is a natural resource belonged to the government, so the issues that the hill belongs to community cannot be accommodated.
Okot who refured information that his late father got UGX 1 billion, but says the family only got little money of which they pay tax of UGX 70 million to Gulu district and UGX 40 million was given to community who were using the rock as beneficiary and UGX 90 million was for his family..
In 2016, the Chinese International Construction Company (CICCO) entered into agreement to buy Kidere Hill at UGX 200 million in two years contract that ended in 2019”. Okot urged.
Kilama John, a brother to Okot who is currently overseeing the management at Kidere Hill says the quarry work under CICCO is now being sold to private company in DR Congo under the control of Chairman Ojara and the Chief Administrative Officer.
He argues that the matter of Kidere Hill is very controversial, referring Oyeng Yeng News to meet the Bar Olam community who has the say in the contract with Gulu District, and also demanded that Chairman Ojara Mapenduzi be present since he is the one in-charge of the project together with CICCO.
“Gulu District Chairman paid me UGX 25 million in January 2020, and this machines you are seeing here crushing aggregates in the quarry it is still under CICCO, of lately”. Kalama confirmed that
Okello Mark, a local vendor in Gulu Main Market alleged that Ojara Martin own three story building opposite Gulu Regional Referral Hospital. The land was bough at UGX 200 million from a lady who she cannot name for security fear. He alleges that the District Chairman used a third party to buy the land, and even the title deed is in the names of the girlfriend of the Director of CICCO, Okello revealed.
The attempted to confirm the allegation from Gulu District Chairman, Martin Ojara Mapenduzi was futile, when the management contacted him through phone; he hunged-up his call. Even when the messages were sent to him through his usual known telephone number. He didn’t response to the information to clear his name.
Okot family member who work in Kampala who asked not to be named says by the time Kidere Hill was sold off, some of the family member were not aware.
“When I came and tried to intervene on the issues, I found that the matter is out of hand, there is nothing I could do.” He urged.
Lalam Lamara one of the beneficiary confirmed that she received UGX 500,000 from the sales of Kidrere Hill, but wonders whether the hill was taken over by Gulu District.
Co peke Picor.