Nsambya Carpenters fight over Sh 427m relocation money

Nsambya Carpenters

Some of the furniture that is being transported to the government faciulity from Nsambya road reserve. (photo: New Vision)

There is a bitter row among the members of Nsambya Carpentry and Joinery Training Association (NSACAJA )over the Sh427 million disbursed by the Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) for their relocation.

UNRA released Sh427 million in February this year to facilitate the relocation of close to 2000 carpenters from the Nsambya-Ggaba road reserve to pave way for the construction of the flyover.

In 2016, President, Yoweri Kaguta Museveni promised to construct a permanent home for the carpenters who were operating in the road reserve for more than 20 years.

For this project, the statehouse has invested more than Sh 3 billion including buying land in Kigo, machines, and constructing workshops.

Under the same project, the government plans to establish a state-of-the-art carpentry and joinery village with training facilities, workshops, showrooms, and other necessary facilities.

The carpenters have since failed to agree on how to utilize the money disbursed by UNRA for their relocation.

Saddam Moses Muleme, the former chairperson of the Nsambya Carpentry and Joinery Training Association (NSACAJA), says that problems started when people learned that UNRA had deposited money on their account and each wanted to take off their share.

“Many individuals have arm-twisted me to share the Sh 427 million from UNRA mong the over 1,500 carpenters yet it was facilitation for relocation, not compensation as these people wanted,” Muleme says

He also accuses one Major Emmanuel Kuteesa of fueling divisions among the carpenters and wonders where he gets his powers to undermine an established leadership, which the president even respected.

According to Muleme, the Statehouse Anti-corruption Unit exonerated him of all the allegations of financial impropriety and allowed him to continue with the resettlement program.

Some of the carpenters told URN that they are yet to move to Kigo because of transport challenges.

Brian Mawanda, one of the carpenters says that daily transport expense is discouraging them to move to Kigo since most of them reside within Nsambya, adding that this explains why most of them have opted for other places around the city.

Latimah Mutesasira, says people have refused to go there in protest against Muleme’s administration, which he accuses of stealing their relocation grant from UNRA.

Doreen Kagabi Keita, the Deputy Resident City Commissioner in charge of the Makindye division who has been overseeing the relocation process, says that everything is moving on very well, adding that the carpenters now have their own home as the president promised them.

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