Parliament Orders City Lawyer Katabazi to Return Shs 39Bn Meant for Tea Farmers, Faces Prosecution

KAMPALA – Parliament has today ordered city lawyer Patrick Katabaazi Kiconco to repay the entire sum of Shs 39 Billion acquired from the National Agricultural Advisory Services (NAADS) meant for tea farmers in western Uganda within six months.

Additionally, Parliament also ordered Katabazi to be prosecuted for misappropriating public funds, as stated in the report from Parliament’s Committee of Commissions, Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises (COSASE).

“Lawyer Katabaazi should be prosecuted for failure to fully remit money meant for tea nursery bed operators. Mr. Katabaazi should pay all the amounts due to the beneficiaries within six months from the date of adoption of this report,” read in part report from Parliament’s Committee of Commissions, Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises (COSASE) – Parliament Watch Twitted.

The report also warns against government agencies making payments through lawyers in the future, emphasizing direct payments to beneficiaries.

“Parliament also warned Gov’t agencies from ever making payment to beneficiaries through lawyers in order to avoid such scenarios in future, “Going forward, Government should make all pending payments directly to the beneficiaries,” as noted in COSASE report – Parliament Watch twitted.

The Auditor General’s 2021/2022 report revealed that NAADS provided Sh39bn to Katabazi’s law firm to settle a lawsuit by tea farmers against the government.

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However, during a recent consultation with farmers in Kigezi Sub-region, some claimed non-receipt of payments from Katabazi, alleging that they only received 37% of the owed amount.

Farmers demand the remaining 63%, citing expenses and debts incurred.

In response, Katabazi cited COVID-19 lockdown disruptions as a factor affecting the resolution of their matters.

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