What you need to know:
- Parliament demanded to know whether the ULC officials had verified payment of premium by all the beneficiaries before land was given to them.
Parliament yesterday grilled and tasked officials of the Uganda Land Commission (ULC) to clearly reveal the exact procedures and decisions that informed the processes under which 57 acres of land belonging to the Uganda Railways Corporation (URC) were sold to private investors.
The decision by the committee on Commissions, Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises (Cosase) chaired by the Nakawa West MP, Mr Joel Ssenyonyi, was premised on the revelations made a fortnight ago by URC, that Shs69.5 billion from the sale of 57 areas was never remitted to its account.
In their submission, the ULC Secretary General, Ms Barbarah Imaryo, who also represented the Land minister, Ms Judith Nabakooba, said the land at Nsambya was bought from URC and thereafter given to the private investors who had been kicked off the Naguru-Nakawa land to pave way for the development of a statelite city by Opec Prime Properties Limited.
Ms Imaryo could not, however, confirm whether funds from the sale of Nsambya land had been transferred to the URC accounts or even traced.
“It is, however, unclear from our records whether the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development brought the quantum of possible compensation which would be due for URC.
And whether the same was approved by the Cabinet in accordance with directive,” Ms Imaryo said.
She added: “However, on November 18, 2013 PSST wrote to the chairperson-ULC that 57.9 acres of the land in [Nsambya] be transferred on an understanding that land to be furnished at a rate of Shs1.2 billion per acre as per chief government valuer assessment which would amount to Shs69.52billion.”
Mr Ssenyonyi demanded to know whether the ULC officials had verified payment of premium by all the beneficiaries before land was given to them.
Ms Imaryo said she received only payment from two investors.
The proprietors of the Kampala International University (KIU) received 14 acres and remitted Shs669 million in terms of premium and annual ground rent. The 14 acres were for the expansion of the university, which includes construction of hostels and university structures.
“Please note that KIU was also allocated part of the land following a presidential directive on September 29, 2020. Therein, the President directed the university be given a total of 20 acres of land for expansion. The university was allocated 14 acres of land as that was the only available land,” Ms Imaryo said.
In a shocking revelation to the committee members, it emerged that some investors were through a directive from Cabinet in 2010 issued land in Nsambya. This was brought to the fore by the Rukiga County MP, Mr Roland Ndyomugyenyi.
In the documents tabled before Cosase, it emerged that the Islamic University in Uganda (IUIU) was meant to be given 7.5 acres and yet in the final documents, a total of 10 acres had been issued.
The Kawempe South legislator, Mr Bashir Kazibwe, demanded to know why the ULC had dished out 72 acres instead of 32 acres as Cabinet had directed.
The ULC officials, however, failed to explain the irregularities and requested the committee to accord them more time to prepare responses. The committee chairperson then directed that ULC officials to return next Tuesday.