Mafabi: officials pocketing funds as people die in floods  

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A boy at the scene of the the landslide of Bududa about 250km east of Uganda capital Kampala, Tuesday, June 26, 2012. Massive landslides induced by torrential rains destroyed three villages in the mountainous district of Bududa in eastern Uganda (AP Photo / Stephen Wandera)

Opposition Forum for Democratic Change [FDC] secretary general, Hon Nandala Mafabi, has lashed at government for being negligent and failing to care for people who are now perishing in floods and mudslides.

Mafabi was Thursday appearing on NBS TV “morning breeze” programme to assess government readiness to tackle disaster alongside Hon. Musa Ecweru, State for Relief and Disaster Preparedness and Refugees.

According to Mafabi, contingency fund takes 3% of the budget and no one should claim that there is no money.

“I want to tell Pamela Ankunda [Uganda Communications Commission public relations officer] that a bad economy causes insecurity. A poor person is the most dangerous one.”

He added: “If this government was serious, the Minister of Disaster Preparedness would be camping in the mountains during rainy season.”

According to Mafabi, the problem in Uganda is speaking the truth because “85% of people in civil service come from one region”.

Mafabi urged government to investigate where the contingency fund went. “The Auditor General must tell us where this money is.”

Ecweru, on the other hand, said the contingency fund Nandala talked about is in the constitution but for the last two financial years, the ministry hasn’t received it.

He said the challenge in Mt. Elgon region is accessibility.

“We are using rudimentary tools because we can’t take equipment there. The terrain in Mount Elgon affects the search and rescue operations unlike other affected places like Elegu.”

The discussion comes at a time ten people are reported missing following the mudslides that occurred on Monday evening in Rusave village in Bufupa parish in Masaba Sub County in Sironko district.

The mudslides claimed the life of 45-year-old Teopista Wanyenze, a resident of Rusave village.

Suwed Manshur, the Elgon Region Police Spokesperson, told Uganda Radio Network the mudslides also buried one home and destroyed four others.

He says 22 other houses are at high risk because of cracks on the mountains.

Ivan Wazemba, Sam Woyega, Cedrick Wodeya, Michael Wodiango and Jane Namono, all minors and 55-year-old Oliver Nabuzzale, Mike Walyango, Akim Fungo and Edwin Woniala are still missing.

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