Legislators call for disbandment of ULC

ULC chairperson Beatrice Byenkya Nyakaisiki addresses journalists in Kampala on January 4. PHOTO/ISAAC KASAMANI

What you need to know:

  • Ms Beatrice Byenkya Nyakaisiki, the suspended commission chairperson, has been at loggerheads with her commissioners led by Prof Nyeko Pen-Mogi, with accusations of engaging in corruption tendencies and causing financial loss to the government

Members of Parliament on the Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee on Commissions, State Authorities & State Enterprises (COSASE) have called for the disbandment of the Uganda Land Commission (ULC) over corruption and poor management.


The recommendation followed several accusations against some commissioners, who have been accused of being corrupt - leading to loss of millions of  shillings.
Ms Beatrice Byenkya Nyakaisiki, the suspended commission chairperson, has been at loggerheads with her commissioners led by Prof Nyeko Pen-Mogi, with accusations of engaging in corruption tendencies and causing financial loss to the government.

While scrutinising the Auditor  General’s report for FY2020/2021 on ULC, Mr Joel Ssenyonyi, the committee chairperson, told MPs that on January 6, two Rakai residents, Leonard Kizito and Francis Kigonya, wrote to the ULC chairperson requesting a pay out of Shs250m as balance for 950 acres of land at Bugangaizi Block, which they sold to ULC for Shs950 million.
According to the letter, the claimants had already received Shs700m but ULC officials inflated the balance to Shs400m.
Mr Ssenyonyi wondered who inflated the figures, adding that the police CID had summoned the duo to explain the illegal transaction.

“These people were demanding a balance of Shs250 million, however, in the system, by the technical staff of the land commission, and by the commission, they put Shs400million. Somebody from Uganda Land Commission wanted to steal Shs150 million,” he said.
Mr Mpindi Bumali, the National disability representative, said in the same month, Ms Barbara Imaryo, the ULC accounting officer, who is also the secretary, made a hasty compensation of Shs10.6b to six claimants against the recommendation of the Commission. 
According to the Attorney General’s report for FY2020/2021, the money being queried was paid out to six claimants following a land transaction, but without the approval of the ULC.

In December 2020, the Ministry of Lands originated a supplementary budget request of Shs10.6b under the ULC. However, Ms Byenkya rejected it.
She said ULC was not privy to the compensation list before the House and that the then Minister of Lands, now IGG,Ms Beti Kamya, needed to be brought to order.
Some of the beneficiaries on the list include Kasiya Rwabukurukuru, who reportedly owned land at Kiyunga, Sheema (Shs6.43b) and Stephen Peter Nagenda of Kibale, Rwanswa (Shs1.06b).

However, the money was approved and released to the Commission but the commissioner refused to approve the payment, saying the beneficiaries were  ‘ghost’ claimants.
Ms Imaryo was reportedly forced to pay the money to the claimants.  
“If I happen to meet the President even before this report is out, I will advise him to sack all the commissioners because they are a problem to this country,”  Mr Bumali said.
Mr Hashim Sulaiman (Nebbi Municpality) told his colleagues that ULC must be disbanded to restore sanity at the Commission.

“I wonder what these people are really doing at Uganda Land Commission, fighting, disorganising the commission, and not doing the work they are supposed to do. It is disappointing and these people must all be disbanded,” he said.
Meanwhile, Ms Kamya was reportedly taken to hospital with excruciating heart pain a few minutes to the commencement of a parliamentary meeting where she was expected.
Ms Kamya was scheduled to appear before Cosase to answer queries over the Shs10.6b supplementary budget.
Mr Ssenyonyi told MPs that he got information that Ms Kamya was unwell and had been taken to an undisclosed hospital for medical attention.
 

Welcome!

You're all set to enjoy unlimited Prime content.