Kampala, Uganda | JULIUS BUSINGE | The seven member commission of inquiry into land matters headed by Lady Justice Catherine Bamugemereire will next week not conduct any public hearings until it submits an interim report about its journey so far to the appointing authority, President Museveni.
“We are due to hand in our interim report; we need time and therefore we most likely may not have any hearings next week,” Bamugemereire said while closing the case hearing week on Aug. 04 at the commission’s Wandegeya office.
This will be the second break the commission will be going into after the recently two week lack of funds technical break.
Bamugemereire said this latest break will last a few days.
During the week (from Aug. 31-Aug.04), the commission continued to hear responses from witnesses of the illegal giveaway of the Jinja government property located on plot 60-62 Alidina Road. Among those that testified for this case during the week included, Baguma Isoke, the Chairman of Uganda Land Commission and Justice and Constitutional Affairs Minister Kahinda Otafiire among others.
The other big case handled was one about the conflict over the estate of the late Yokobo Lukwago and businessman, Hajji Swaibu Mukasa. The family and relatives of late Lukwago accuse Mukasa of illegally grabbing over 1000 acres of their estate in Nakaseke district. Several witnesses including Denis Kahabura, the registrar of titles at the Ministry of Lands, the Assistant Administrator General, Jacqueline Mazinga, family of late Lukwago among others testified in this case.
Meanwhile, earlier in the day, one Gastone Kamugisha was arrested while addressing the audience in the hearing hall in a manna that the commission of inquiry officials said was undermining its work. Kamugisha, who is said to be connected to Hajji Swaibu Mukasa was whisked away by police attached to the commission pending investigations into this matter.
Instituted by President Museveni in September last year, the commission’s mandate was informed by rampant land evictions, complaints relating to land grabbing, delayed transactions in land issues, unfair treatment of genuine land owners, tenants and other problems related to land acquisition, administration and management and titling.
The commission that began its six months task is left with less than three months to hit the finish line and submit the full report with recommendations to the president for action.