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Land Commission fails to account for land compensation for the past 18 months

The Chairperson Uganda Land Commission Beatrice Byenkya. File Photo

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The Uganda Land Commission-ULC is unable to give an account of people they have compensated for the last 18 months.

This is after the Adhoc committee investigating land compensation tasked the Land Commission to provide a detailed list of the people they compensated overtime. However, the commission says that the list is inaccurate, with a lot of mishaps but also requires a lot of time to trace the files.

Members of the commission led by the chairperson Beatrice Byenkya, on Tuesday appeared before the Adhoc Committee appointed by Parliament to probe the controversy in the supplementary budget of 19.7 billion shillings which was processed by the Ministry of Lands in March, but objected by the commission. The commission distanced itself from the supplementary request saying they never participated in generating it and yet it is their mandate.

According to the allocation, at least 7.65 billion Shillings would go to Ephraim Enterprises in lieu of the Ndeeba land and Medard Kiconco, for the Lusanja land. The rest would be shared by six other landlords. These include Kosiya Rwabukurukuru who is demanding 6.4 billion Shillings, Stephen Nagenda with 1.6 Billion Shillings, Julius Busululwa who is demanding 2.2 billion Shillings, Natalia Namuli who is demanding 1.6 billion, Yisaka Lwakana who was demanding 1.17 billion Shillings and Geoffrey Mugisha who demands 1.5 billion Shillings.

However, ULC members told the committee that they have never participated in generating the supplementary budget and the land to be paid off has never been verified by the commission.

According to Rukiika Bujara, a member of the commission, it was so unfair for ministers to pick out six claimants out of the over 200 for compensation and allocate them 12 Billion Shillings without following the criteria of “first come first serve”.

They claim that the commission is stuck with older claims which have not been paid due to lack of funds.

Veronica Eragu Bichetero, the committee chairperson asked the commission members to avail a three-year compensation list, but the commission pleaded to say they have none and searching for the files was difficult.

The secretary of the Uganda Land Commission, Barbara Imaryo however said that they are working on digitizing the list.

Elijah Okupa, the Kasilo County MP said that the committee is not looking at digitizing, but rather details of people that have been compensated.

According to Byenkya, they will not be able to bring the list for the past 18 months stating that the process of looking for it is problematic and some of those files have been missing over time.

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