Kabarole district is feuding with Persons with Disabilities-PWDs over the ownership and accountability of funds generated from the “Kabarole Disabled People’s Union” building found in Fort Portal City Central division. This came up after some of the members of the PWD Union demanded accountability for the premises that were rented out by the union leadership.
The PWDs accuse the PWD representatives in the council of conniving with the PWD Chairperson in Kabarole district, Emex Byaruhanga, whose contract expired long ago, of mismanaging funds generated from the premises and plotting to fraudulently acquire the building. Frank Rwiragira, the PWD representative for the Kabarole district, says that the matter was sent to the district chairman for action, but nothing has been done because the people involved didn’t show up to a meeting.
Rwiragira says that the building was rented out to various business people, but the dividends are not helping the PWDs. He also notes that whereas the building is under the management of the union chairperson, he has not presented any audit report in the last three years. Rwiragira says that their PWD representatives, Rosemary Kaboona and Patrick Tungo, along with the current PWD leadership, are making money off of the building, even though the Kabarole district local government owns it.
In light of this, Frank Rwiragiira, Topista Mugisa, and thirty other PWDs representatives asked the Minister of state for local government to get involved.
Rosemary Kaboona, the Fort Portal City female representative, denied the accusations made against her. She said that she has no role in running the KADIPU building because the union has a good structure with a chairman who is in charge of the building’s operations.
Kaboona says, whereas it’s true she served for eight years as chairperson of the union before joining active politics, she doesn’t know how the building is being run today. She says that some people are trying to ruin her reputation because she stuck to the rules to keep the union structure from being owned by one person or group.
Efforts to reach out to the chairperson of the union byaruhanga were futile as he couldn’t answer our repeated calls. Richard Rwabuhinga, the Kabarole district LC V chairperson, says that he has guided that the matters be referred to the National Union of Disability of Uganda-NUDIPU, which is directly in charge of the PWDs’ affairs at the national level.
Easter Kyoziira, the NUDIPU Chief Executive Officer, could not be reached for comment as her mobile phone could not go through. The contested building was established under the ADP—ACTION DISABILITY PROGRAM in 1999 with funding from the European Union for the sole purpose of establishing a skill training centre for PWDs. The union decided to rent out the building when the donors pulled out to raise money for clearing electricity and water bills and maintenance.