Farmers from southwestern Uganda under their network Mbarara Network of Farmer’s Voice Limited have demanded for apology from Vincent Bamulangaki Ssempijja,the Cabinet Minister of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries whom they have warned to back off interdiction of the National Animal Genetic Resources Centre and Data Bank (NAGRC&DB) Executive Director (ED),Dr. Charles Lagu.
Following the appointment of Dr. Anthony Ntaate as interim ED, farmers have expressed concern over how Minister Ssempijja is fuelling Lagu’s interdiction.
The Farmers’ Network coordinator Mr. Kabatereine Robert on May 19, 2020 revealed that many farmers have started complaining and are worried as Dr. Lagu who supported their projects in various ways is unable to supervise and guide them.
According to Kabatereine, Lagu had had various mafias against him before his arrest by the State house anti-corruption unit who are grabbing government ranches so President Museveni and other authorities should handle Lagu’s issue with high level of attention.
‘If he had issues, they should leave him in office and investigate,’the concerned Kabatereine said.
On Friday, 8th May 2020, the Anti-Corruption Court Chief Magistrate Pamela Lamunu released Dr. Lagu and three others on a cash bail of sh7m on grounds that their sureties were substantial but deposit in court their passports and a copy of their national identity cards; their sureties were directed to execute a non-cash bail of sh40m and the case returns to court on June 8.
Others accused with Lagu are Philip Ezekiel Mukani, 31, the procurement officer, Olivious Komujuni, 27, the animal husbandry officer, and Emmanuel Kafute Rumanzi, 37, the director Nuruma Holdings Limited.
The offences stem from the fraudulent procurement and supply of chloris gayana from one government farm to another where it is alleged that the grass was procured from Ruhengyere Farm and supplied to Nshaara Ranch and Sanga farms by Nuruma Holdings Limited at the cost of sh54, 400,000.
Aaron Ainomugisha, editorial https://twitter.com/AaronAinomugis3