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PAC orders Uganda Virus Research Institute to evict retired staff

FILE PHOTO: PAC chairperson Nandala Mafabi

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The Public Accounts Committee has ordered the Uganda Virus Research Institute – UVRI to evict retired staff from its staff quarters.

Nandala Mafabi, the committee’s chairperson made the directive after the UVRI director Pontiano Kaleebu and his delegation appeared to respond to audit queries on untitled land in the 2016/2017 financial year raised by the Auditor General.

The Auditor General’s report noted that the Institute owns a total of 73.25 acres along Nakiwogo road, but adds that the land has no titles registered in the name of the institute which makes it prone to encroachment. So far squatters had encroached on six plots of the institute’s land in Wakiso district.

Kaleebu told the committee that his management team had initiated the process of securing the land titles with surveying already concluded. He said that the institute has asked Wakiso district Land Board to cancel titles on its land until the dispute over ownership has been resolved.

Kaleebu said that all staff except one former staff vacated the staff houses that sit on the 73.250 -acre piece of land. There are 30 staff houses on the said land. He says that former staff were evicted from the 29 housing units last year except for one retired staff member who refused to vacate the staff house.

The Principal Assistant Secretary, Rachel  Birungi Asiimwe told the committee that the Institute had faced difficulty in evicting one of its former staff, a one Kajumba Nadiope from its staff houses. Instead of vacating, Nadiope, who has been in retirement for over 20 years, presented a letter from President Yoweri Museveni staying her eviction.

Nandala directed that the committee clerk writes to Nadiope and Office of the President that she should vacate the staff house with immediate effect.  He added that Lt. Col. Edith Nakalema, the Head of the State House Anti-Corruption Unit should take interest in the matter to find out the various interests involved.

The committee members led by Nandala and Bunyole West MP, James Waluswaka asked UVRI staff to submit the said letter from President Yoweri Museveni to substantiate Nadiope’s claim.

Nandala says that the staff house is on institutional land and therefore President Museveni should consider giving her land elsewhere.

Kaleebu asked the committee for more time to produce letters from the President and State House regarding the eviction of Nadiope. He will report on Friday with the documents as well as details of Nadiope’s role in the institution before her retirement.

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