“Mukura compensation report disputed,” New Vision, 22 May 2011
By Pascal Kwesiga
FORMER Kumi district Woman MP Agnes Akiror has disputed a report by Justice and reconciliation project, a local non-governmental organisation, on the compensation of the 1989 mukura massacre victims.
Akiror described the report as false, saying it was aimed at maligning her name and President Yoweri Museveni who appointed her to deliver the compensation package.
“There should have been an element of truth telling since they are talking of justice and reconciliation. The report depicts the Government as insensitive to the victims,” she said.
The report, which was launched recently alleged that the second compensation last year was mishandled. It said out of the 47 survivors, six were compensated.
President Museveni gave Akiror sh200m as compensation to the victims during his visit to their families in 2010.
The move was part of efforts to heal the wounds left by the incident.
A total of 69 suspected rebels were suffocated to death in a train wagon by the government forces on July 11, 1989 a Mukura sub-county in Ngora district.
“The President has often apologised to us for the incident. When he gave me the money, he said it could not compensate the lost lives, but would help the victims,” Akiror said.
She produced a statement from Stanbic Bank, Kumi branch containing the list of 43 survivors, relatives and widows of the victims who received sh3m each. They received over sh127.5m.
Other documents show that 25 beneficiaries, who refused to be paid through the bank, appended their thumbprints and signatures after receiving the cash. A total of sh72.5m was spent on this category of beneficiaries.
Akiror said 15 people claimed compensation, saying they were traumatised after seeing the victims suffocating to death. They were given sh8.5m.
Five people, she added, received sh100,000 each after they claimed that they were tortured by soldiers during the incident.
Akiror also produced documents indicating that those who claimed to have been traumatised and tortured had been paid.
She attacked the authors of the report for questioning why the President came up with the initiative after several years.