By Our Reporter
Mudslide victims in Bududa district have accused the local authorities of misappropriating some of the relief aid that was donated to them.
Speaking during the handover of relief items donated by the Forum for Democratic Change-FDC party on Sunday at Bukalasi Sub county headquarters, Godfrey Wanasolo, one of the victims, said most of the items like food, blankets, cooking oil, mattress ,saucepans and cups didn’t reach the intended beneficiaries.
He explained that since the relief items are first given to the District Disaster Management Committee to deliver to them, they disappear before getting to the victims.
Matiya Namaleya and Annet Wekoya, both mudslide victims, said they have evidence showing that most of the items are sold off by the local leaders to traders in the neighboring Bududa town council. They want donors and government to deliver the relief items directly to the mudslide victims.
FDC delivered a truckload of relief items including flour, beans, blankets, cups, among others. The truck was first intercepted by police at Buwangani town council in Manafwa district and held for close to six hour.
Esther Adeke, the Bududa District Police Commander, said they intercepted the truck because the FDC leaders refused to hand over the items to the District Disaster Management Committee for clearance before taking it to the victims for distribution.
It took the intervention of the Dr. Kizza Besigye, the former Forum for Democratic Change president, Patrick Amuriat Oboi , the incumbent party president and Secretary General, Nathan Nandala Mafabi to secure the release of the relief truck.
The items were later handed over to the leaders of the mudslide victims for distribution. Dr. Besigye explained that they donated the relief on humanitarian and not political grounds.
Wilson Watira, the Bududa District LC V Chairperson accused the FDC leaders for exporting the defiance campaign to the district when they refused to follow the channels for relief distribution.
He explained that the purpose of taking items to the District Disaster Management Committee is to record and check the items before they are handed to the victims.
He also refuted claims by the mudslide victims the local leaders are selling the relief items, saying whoever has evidence should present it to his office for investigations. Watira is the head of the District Disaster Management Committee.
Hundreds of people were displaced in Bududa district about two weeks ago when River Sume broke its banks triggering flooding, which led to mudslides. At least 56 people are confirmed to have died in the mudslides.