Some scrupulous fellows have duped State House and ran off with millions this came after the Police canceled Bobi Wine’s Kyarenga shows.
Late last year, the Government banned the concerts on grounds that People Power politician Bobi Wine was using the platform to mobilize support ahead of the 2021 presidential election.
Following the ban, music promoters behind the concerts cried foul and claimed huge losses. Several ran to President Yoweri Museveni and asked for a refund of the money they had lost.
President, through his brother and chief co-ordinator of Operation Wealth Creation, Gen. Salim Saleh, to order for them to be compensated.
Through Tonny Ssempijja, the co-ordinator of the Uganda Music Promoters and Venue Owners Network (UMP-Net), a list of companies was compiled and submitted to State House, claiming a total refund of sh1.857b for concerts that were canceled between November 20, 2018, and January 2019.
The companies were asked to compile documents and avail receipts of money spent, but insiders have now revealed that many of these were not genuine. Some companies instead rushed to Nasser Road, where they ordered for a printout of fake receipts, vouchers and appended some signatures, which were submitted as genuine ones.
In an interview with The Kampala Sun a weekly news outlet, Ssempijja said he knew the list submitted included fake claimants and forged receipts, but he hoped that once the deal was sealed, the money would be deposited on the UMP-Net account and the process of verification would follow before the actual payment.
The money was instead deposited on the individual promoters’ accounts. Some of them were not genuine, others had exaggerated the losses, but I was not sure whether we would receive the money, so I had no time to sort them out,” he says.
According to Ssempijja, he had asked the President to deposit the money on the UMP- Net account so that ‘they sort out later who qualified and who would receive how much’.
However, Ssempijja says to his dismay, the claimants whose names he had forwarded were asked to submit their bank details. He says they were paid all the money they claimed, ‘without consulting anyone’.
It is alleged that the money was deposited on the claimants’ accounts in July. The list submitted to State House is dated April 10, 2019. Ssempijja notes that some individuals and companies that incurred losses were left out.
He says there were several other stakeholders, including artistes who had canceled other concerts to perform at the Kyarenga concerts. Others are the bouncers under their umbrella body, the Uganda Bouncers Association, who claimed that they were never paid for all the shows where Bobi Wine was scheduled to perform and were not included on the State House list.