Greater Kabale Tea Nursery Bed Operators Demand Accountability from Lawyer Kiconco

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KABALE – Tea nursery bed operators in Greater Kabale have demanded accountability from City lawyer Patrick Kiconco Katabazi of Pathway Advocates regarding funds intended for their payments from National Agriculture Advisory Services (NAADS).

In the 2021/2022 Auditor General’s report, it was revealed that NAADs had allocated Sh39 billion to Kiconco’s law firm to compensate tea farmers who had previously sued the government due to its failure to purchase their tea seedlings, resulting in significant losses. Subsequently, the matter was resolved out of court, with the government agreeing to provide compensation to the affected farmers.

However, some of these farmers have raised concerns, asserting that they have not received their rightful payments from Counsel Kiconco, whom they had retained to advocate on their behalf.

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A meeting convened on Tuesday, September 19, 2023, at the Kabale District Rukiiko Hall brought together Tea Nursery bed operators, district authorities, and their legal representation from three districts of Rukiga, Kabale, and Rubanda.

Notable attendees included Denis Nzeirwe, Fere Mpirirwe, Can. Enock Kazoba, Moses Kakuru, Biryomumeisho Peace Kirasha, Niwagaba Saul, Monica Muhumuza, among others. The primary agenda of the meeting was to demand transparency and accountability from Lawyer Katabazi, with the aim of ascertaining the exact amount they should be claiming from the government.

Farmers contend that they have only received 37% of the money owed to them, leaving them with an outstanding 63%. This discrepancy has resulted in financial hardships for many, with some still burdened by debts incurred during the course of their actions.

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During a heated discussion, the nursery bed operators emphatically urged Lawyer Kiconco not to underestimate their understanding and warned him to fulfill their compensation or face legal repercussions.

Furthermore, they alleged that Counsel Katabazi had overstepped the agreed terms by taking a larger percentage of their compensation. They also claimed that they were coerced into signing documents without a thorough review, after which Counsel Katabazi ceased responding to their communication.

CUE IN…..TEA GROWERS……RR//

In response to these allegations, Lawyer Patrick Kiconco Katabazi cited the challenges brought about by the COVID-19 lockdown, explaining that it had disrupted their regular communication and the progression of their legal matters.

CUE IN……KICONCO….RR//

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