MPs grill Kamya, Namuganza over giveaway of Naguru land

A photo combo showing Ms Beti Kamya (left), current ombudsman and immediate past Lands minister and Ms Persis Namuganza (right), the State minister for Housing. PHOTOs/ DAVID LUBOWA

What you need to know:

The IGG, a former Lands minister, and the incumbent State minister for Lands alleged allocated prime plots to investors in error.

Legislators on the Parliamentary Ad hoc committee yesterday questioned Ms Beti Kamya, the Inspector General of Government, and Ms Persis Namuganza, the State minister for Lands in charge of Housing, for allegedly using their positions to influence selective allocation of land to investors at Nakawa-Naguru estate, in Nakawa Division, Kampala.

The committee interviewed the two senior government officials in separate sessions and sought to establish the circumstances under which Anil Damani, Seven Hills and Internal Medicines Virginia were allocated land at the Nakawa-Naguru estate.
Ms Kamya was interviewed for the role she played as Minister for Lands at the time.

After her submission, the committee chairperson, Mr Dan Kimosho (Kazo MP), asked: “As a minister [of lands] at that time, did you ever write to ULC instructing them to award an investor land in Naguru?” 
In response, Ms Kamya said she only forwarded all applications that came to her desk to the Uganda Land Commission (ULC) for further handling.
The Tororo Woman MP, Ms Sarah Opendi, referred Ms Kamya to a letter she allegedly authored on May 6, 2020 to the Uganda Land Commission pushing for the allocation of 15 acres of land to Internal Medicine Virginia.

As she read the letter, Ms Opendi indicated that Ms Kamya instructed ULC to expedite the process of allocating land so that the entity could construct a research hospital facility on the land.
However, Ms Kamya said: “The reason it happened that way was because the allocation [of land] to Virginia took too long. The presidential directive allocating this land I think goes beyond when I was Minister for Kampala. I found it there but these people [investors] had been moving up and down until the Cabinet took a definite decision.”
She added: “So that letter was for emphasis to support an applicant to do what the President had directed.”

Namuganza’s turn
After the committee quizzed Ms Kamya, Ms Namuganza was questioned for allegedly pushing for the allocation of the land to Anil Damani and Seven Hills land on the same estate. 
Ms Namuganza, however, distanced herself from the allegation insisting that the documents that Ms Opendi had premised on were new to her and, therefore, false.
Mr Kimosho then tasked her to furnish the committee with all documents detailing the presidential directives that she was implementing.
“You go back and recoup for us all the documents against which you have acted, and then it will help us as a committee to know which direction to corroborate information in this investigation,” Mr Kimosho instructed.

On Friday, the committee chairperson disclosed that his team intends to expedite the investigations into the issue this week and thereafter make a report which will be tabled in Parliament.