What you need to know:
- The committee, while further probing the parameters that Mr Yasiin Swad Bogezi, a senior government valuer, used to centre on the Shs2.3b value that was paid to ‘ghost’ claimants, learnt that proper due diligence was not done in the process.
Lawmakers on the Committee on Commissions, Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises (Cosase) have called for the cancellation of the title for the 516-hectare piece of land in Kagadi District reportedly belonging to 79-year-old Natalie Namuli.
The committee, while further probing the parameters that Mr Yasiin Swad Bogezi, a senior government valuer, used to centre on the Shs2.3b value that was paid to ‘ghost’ claimants, learnt that proper due diligence was not done in the process.
Mr Baker Mugaino, the acting commissioner for land registration at the Ministry of Lands and Housing, was yesterday instructed by the committee chairperson, Mr Joel Ssenyonyi (Nakawa West MP), to start the process of cancelling the said title as he updates the committee at every step - considering that the process has some legal implications.
Mr Bogezi, while appearing before the committee, could not properly explain how he arrived at the Shs4.5 million for each hectare of the 516.
Mr Bogezi said his colleague, Mr Dennis Kidduse, a senior assistant valuer at the lands ministry, went on ground with the guidance of the boundary opening report and did the valuing in October 2019 with the help of the area local chairperson and brokers.
The explanation, however, irked the lawmakers who then accused the officials of possibly undervaluing the land.
“How do you rely on brokers to value the land? I thought as a valuer you would know better,” Mr Richard Ssebamala, the Bukoto Central MP, wondered.
“I only valued the land, not the buildings because the residents there were very angry, you risk being lynched if you’re seen with a tape measure or even a camera. So you go there knowing that you may or may not return,” Mr Bogezi said to a seemingly unconvinced committee.
“I am sure the survey was not done properly because you were fearing for your life, everything was approximate. You just assumed the value and price,” Ms Lucy Akello, the committee vice chairperson (Amuru Woman ), said.
However, Mr Bogezi was insistent that proper due diligence was done where the location, terrain, economic activities of the land and the occupancy rate, among others, were considered.
The committee faulted Mr Mugaino for failing on his supervisory role as it emerged that the letters of administration of the said land were forged and not verified by the lands officials as admitted by his subordinate, Mr Denis Kahabura, a senior registrar of titles.
Mr Kahabura shocked the committee when he said he had written to Masindi Court on Tuesday (this week) to verify the letters of administration of the said land. He, however, did not carry a copy of the said letter before the committee.
“ So you mean just wrote the letter after receiving our summons?” Mr Ssenyonyi wondered.
Mr Kahabura admitted that they processed the land title without verifying the letters of administration. He said as long as the documents submitted to them are certified, they would just go ahead to process a title. Mr Kahabura was handed over to Parliament’s Police to record a statement that would aid the committee in its probe.