UGANDA, Kampala | Real Muloodi News | Lands Minister Ms Judith Nabakooba has suspended the leadership at Uganda Land Commission (ULC). This development comes after a recent investigation at the commission pinned the top bosses over increased corruption and bribery. The suspended leaders include Chairperson Beatrice Byenkya Nyakaisiki.
On October 12, Ms Nabakooba wrote to President Museveni informing him of the matter. The minister explained to the president that corruption and bickering over deals in the ULC office have resulted in a standoff between the Chairperson and other commissioners.
After fruitless attempts to reconcile ULC bosses, Ms Nabakooba suspended all commissioners. Her decision is per Section 55 of the Land Act, which gives her mandate to give policy direction to ULC on any matter.
The Minister therefore took over as the interim Head of the Commission as investigations continue.
“To restore normality in the short term, I have taken the following steps; I decided to temporarily assume the duties of managing the Commission as we establish the true genesis of the problems,” said Nabakooba in a letter to the President.
The Commission Chairperson, Beatrice Byenkya Nyakaisiki recently wrote to Ms Grace Akullo, CID Director, requesting an investigation into her staff over alleged corruption and bribery.
Police responded by arresting and detaining four senior officials at the Commission accused of corruption and bribery. These officials are the Accounting Officer Barbarah Imaryo, Chris Otim, a junior accountant, Denis Musinguzi, a Lands Officer, and Nowa Hasashya the Auditor.
In her letter, Minister Nabakooba also requested that the Auditor General carry out a forensic audit of all key transactions by the Commission, and submit a report as soon as possible.
“I have asked the Auditor General to carry out a forensic audit of all key land transactions by the Commission and submit a report quickly. Further, I have requested the IGG to investigate alleged cases of abuse and misuse of Commission resources,” the letter read.
Minister Nabakooba said that the findings of the report will guide restoring order and normal functioning of the ULC.
Uganda Land Commission is a semi-autonomous body established by the 1995 Constitution Act 238. The mandate of the commission is to hold and manage any land owned by the government under the Constitution.
The commission also issues leases on public land and manages the Land Fund. It also handles the allocation of public land to the private sector for investment and maintains records of leases on state land.
Without the commission, senior officials at the Lands ministry have advised Minister Nabakooba to halt all transactions on public land.
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