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MP Odoi Cited in Bogus Compensation

Following the cancelation of the draft contract, Beachside Development Services that had paid US $ 6000 for processing the license went to court seeking compensation and damages for loss of business citing breach of contract.
The Public Accounts Committee wants Fox Odoi, the Budama North MP held liable for his role in the unlawful compensation of Beachside Development Services to the tune of US $ 2 Million. In 2006, Beachside Development Services applied for a management contract to develop an eco-tourism site at Kyewaga central reserve in Entebbe. As a result, the National Forestry Authority asked the company to submit a business plan before a license could be issued to the firm.

NFA issued the company with a draft contract, which was later cancelled because of the conflicts surrounding the proposed site of the eco-tourism center as the authority had earlier on allocated the same land to private tree farmers. Following the cancellation of the draft contract, Beachside Development Services that had paid US $ 6000 for processing the license went to court seeking compensation and damages for loss of business citing breach of contract.Joseph Murangira awarded the company 1.6m dollars in damages with a 6 percent interest rate from the date of the judgment in 2009 till the amount was paid in full.

NFA appealed the ruling in the court of appeal on the advice of the president and attorney general. However, Judges of the Court of Appeal including Amos Twinomujuni, Steven George Engwau and Steven Kavuma upheld the high court ruling and upped the interest rate to 20 percent. As a result, NFA entered into a consent judgment with the company and accepted to pay US $ 1.9 million in damages. However, MPs on the Public Accounts Committee accuse Odoi, who is listed as one of the directors of the company of influence peddling.

They accuse the MPs of using NFA officials to illegally secure the license, which caused government a financial loss. The MPs wants Odoi and his partners to refund the money they received saying Beachside Development Services was not entitled to any form of compensation since the company was not licensed by NFA. The committee has also recommended that Justice Murangira be referred to the Judicial Service Commission for disciplinary action saying that he awarded damages without visiting the site where BDS claimed to have carried out activity and awarded the damages regardless of the fact that there was no license.

They also recommend that NFA administration and the executive director be held liable for not exercising due diligence when the matter went to court.

The committee also wants the then acting Executive director Jones Ruhombe to be held liable for causing financial loss by allowing BDS to carry out the claimed activities without a license. 

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