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MPs Pin City Businessman Over Perjury

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Drake Lubega, who owns Tesco Industries Limited, appeared before the Natural Resources committee today to respond to investigations by the MPs that his company has been illegally mining sand in Lwera wetland in Mpigi district.
Drake Lubega (in white shirt) appearing before Natural Resources committee with his lawyer Adam Kirumira

Audio 4

A city businessman was forced to take oath after he made contradicting statements during a parliamentary committee sitting.

Drake Lubega, who owns Tesco Industries Limited, appeared before the Natural Resources committee today to respond to investigations by the MPs that his company has been illegally mining sand in Lwera wetland in Mpigi district.

The committee learnt during its interaction with National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) on Tuesday that a permit it issued to Tesco Industries in 2015 was cancelled after the company was found to have flouted environmental guidelines.

Lubega, who appeared with two lawyers, Adam Kirumira and Wycliffe Drake, explained that NEMA had only asked the company to demolish permanent structures he had built on the 40-hectare piece of land.

He stated that he has never received a letter from NEMA cancelling his permit to excavate sand and insisted that he was setting up a fish farming project on his land.

English

//Cue In: “I was granted a permit...

Cue Out: ...I don't know.”//

Luganda

//Cue In: “Ekitufu kiri nti...

Cue Out: ...tukole kino?”//

Unconvinced by his explanation, legislators reminded him that NEMA's letter to his company showed that they had received it. After making a phone call to NEMA Executive Director, Dr. Tom Okurut, who confirmed sending the letter to Tesco, Lubega was asked to take oath.

//Cue In: “I Francis Drake Lubega...

Cue Out: ...help me God.”//

Shortly after, he was questioned again on whether he had received the permit cancellation notice, to which he responded that he could not remember.

//Cue In: “Drake Lubega...

Cue Out: ...that is not an answer.”//

At some point, Lubega visibly got angry, after the legislators including Simon Oyet and Thomas Tayebwa warned him of arrest for lying before the committee.

//Cue In: “Mr. Lubega...

Cue Out: ...naffe tuli ba investor.”//

The committee directed Lubega to go to NEMA to get official communication regarding his sand mining permit, as well as acquire a fish farming permit and aquaculture certificate to start his fish farming project on the same land.