• Mon. May 23rd, 2022

UGANDA, Kampala | Real Muloodi NewsThe suspended Uganda Land Commission (ULC) chairperson, Hon Beatrice Byenkya Nyakaisiki, has revealed to the Parliament’s Adhoc Committee that the directors of the Internal Medicine Virginia PC, who were allocated 15 acres on Nakawa-Naguru Land as per the President Museveni’s directive, are to date unknown to the Commission.

The revelation was made on Tuesday last week during the meeting chaired by Kazo County MP Dan Kimosho, as part of the Adhoc Committee of Parliament’s reviewing the procedure of distributing 82.05 acres of Nakawa-Naguru land to various investors.

In January 2022, the Commission revised the previous Nakawa-Naguru land allocations and distributed 15 acres to Internal Medicine of Virginia, 10 acres to Uganda Heart Institute, 3.09 acres to KCCA Nakawa Division offices, 1 acre to Naguru Infant Primary School, 1.05 acres to St. Peters Church of Uganda, and 2 acres to Ntinda Whole Sellers, among others. This amounted to 25 acres.

Anil Damani received three acres, Arab Oil Supplies and Exploration Limited received four acres, Dashen (U) Limited received three acres, Dembe Enterprises Limited received three acres, Dominion Partners Limited received one acre, EACOM International Limited received one acre, and others received one acre.

Byenkya acknowledged the allocations of Nakawa-Naguru land but stated that she is unfamiliar with the directors of the Internal Medicine Virginia PC. The company’s purported address is 1179 Courthouse Rd Suite 1 Stafford, VA 22554 United States.

“We interfaced with everybody but Virginia, for one reason or the other, they were not coming up for the meeting. But it is a presidential directive,” said Byenkya in part.

How is the President Allegedly Involved?

The Adhoc Committee Chairperson, Dan Kimosho, queried the relationship between the Uganda Land Commission (ULC) and the Internal Medicine of Virginia.

According to Byenkya, there is a presidential directive between ULC and the Internal Medicine of Virginia to provide the developer land.

Byenkya informed the MPs that she notified the President when she could not verify the directors, but he urged her to follow his instructions.

Jonathan Ebwalu, MP for Soroti West, challenged the Commission on whether it grants land whenever ordered to do so. According to Byenkya, they were following the Presidential directive, however while ULC surveyed the 15 acres of land intended for Virginia, they withheld the papers owing to the non-existent directors and the Commission still has the documentation.

Sarah Opendi, Tororo Woman MP, inquired whether ULC knows the address of the Internal Medicine of Virginia, but Byenkya stated that they only had a contact named Faruk.

Byenkya also revealed that as part of their due diligence as a ULC chairperson, they stipulated a physical meeting with the company’s directors, but no one stepped forward.

She alleged that the firm’s directors played hide and seek until the COVID-19 outbreak, which gave them a great reason not to show up.

Byenkya added that the directors told ULC they were unable to attend any meetings in person due to travel restrictions enforced as part of the worldwide Coronavirus response.

Byenkya stated that even though ULC couldn’t verify the directors of Internal Medicine Virginia PC, ULC couldn’t remove the firm from the list of those that were allocated the land since it was a directive from the President, who periodically followed up with her via letters and phone conversations.

She told the stunned committee members that when ULC failed to verify the company, President Museveni allegedly wrote her another letter advising that the company’s name be changed from Internal Medicine of Virginia PC to Internal Medicine of Virginia (Uganda) Ltd.

Despite the letter, Byenkya stood firm with her request to speak with the directors for clarification and confirmation. However, instead of attending the physical interaction, they continued to avoid the meetings.

Opendi was perplexed as to why ULC was not utilising the data at the Uganda Registration Services Bureau (URSB) to establish the company’s facts. Byenkya stated that they had been unable to establish significant progress in that direction. 

She further stated that the Commission’s efforts to determine the existence of the corporation with URSB were futile as there were no records on the company.

She told the Committee: “Let me stop there on that. Mzee called me and gave me Faruk’s phone number. I rang him (Faruk) and when we told him to come with certain documents, he would say, “But it’s a Presidential directive.”

Byenkya insisted on meeting them in person before carrying out the instruction.

Byenkya says she eventually discovered that Faruk is a gentleman of Arab descent hailing from the Mbarara neighbourhood, albeit he was too secretive to fulfill any demands for a physical encounter.

Dan Kimosho pushed on, holding Byenkya accountable for how the ULC she ran before her suspension could allocate an entire 15 acres of good land to a firm whose directors were unknown.

With this remark, Byenkya defended herself: “It was a Presidential directive and by the way, I wanted to point this out to the President during the presidential elections campaigns of 2021 when he was campaigning in Hoima but he just said you go and honour my directive.” 

Byenkya then agreed with Dan Kimosho’s assertions that there must have been too much political influence in the ULC’s work on the Naguru land allocations before she asked for the departure of the media so that she could reveal who is behind the Nakawa-Naguru land row.

The MPs also asked Byenkya whether the Nakawa-Naguru land allocations are to blame for her clashes with various Ministers in the Ministry of Lands, Housing, and Urban Development, and if they are the reason she is presently on suspension. Byenkya affirmatively agreed.

Byenkya, who is being blamed for causing havoc at ULC, is still suspended, as is her CEO Barbara Imaryo, while the IGG team, led by the unyielding Annie Muhairwe, continues to investigate the Uganda Land Commission.

When MP Opendi inquired whether there were any politicians she might have given land to in Naguru, Byenkya responded yes, however, she would not disclose the information on camera about the subject.

Meanwhile, there is no record of Byenkya attempting to involve the President in this saga. If anything, she aided him by conducting due diligence on the people who were most likely planning to hide behind this firm and defraud the president.

Byenkya is said to have exposed the identities of the politicians involved in the land deal. To the surprise of most committee members, Byenkya initially requested the committee chairman to ask the journalists to leave the room so she could divulge the identities of the politicians behind the so-called Internal Medicine of Virginia PC and (Uganda).

Attached Below is a Clip of What Hon. Beatrice Byenkya said, Courtesy of NTV UG

How Investigations Started

In March, the Speaker of Parliament, Anita Among, instructed a nine-member Adhoc committee to investigate the land allocation after the Minister of State for Lands, Sam Mayanja, asked Prime Minister Robinah Nabbanja to intervene in the Nakawa-Naguru land ownership dispute after various companies claimed ownership of sections of land, despite the President’s approval for re-allocation.

Mayanja’s letter to Nabbanja, dated February 23, followed his visit to the disputed area, during which he also blocked any further developments owing to existing issues. Mayanja has previously petitioned the Chairperson of the Uganda Land Commission (ULC) on claims of improper allocation and issuing of numerous titles to different developers.

According to reports, Multi Consults Designs Limited, which was granted 3.3 acres of land under a consent agreement with the Attorney General, accuses ULC of reallocating some plots of the land to other developers who have gone ahead and fenced off the area.

According to reports, plots belonging to Multi Consults Designs Limited were sold to businesses named WASH, GASH, EACOM, Global, and Fakhruddin.

The government repossessed the 80-acre plot of land from Opec Prime developer in 2019 for failing to establish a Satellite City. The land was subsequently assigned to ULC which was entrusted with finding viable investors to develop it.

Mayanja presented a list of 18 developers in November of last year, which the ULC evaluated and authorised for the distribution of 50 acres.

Since 2007, when it was handed to Opec Prime Properties Limited to build a satellite city, the land in issue has been the source of contention. Cabinet decided to cancel the contract with Opec Prime Properties in 2018 because it failed to meet its obligations.

Not the First Time Byenkya Exposes Politicians

All the above follows Byenkya’s clash with Inspector General of Government (IGG) Betty Kamya.

Byenkya’s trouble started on February 10, 2021 when she blocked the UGX12b supplementary budget the then lands minister Kamya had asked parliament to approve, allegedly behind Byenkya’s back.

Kamya claims the money was meant to compensate six landowners in Lusanja and Ndeeba Church landowner Mr. Dodovico. However, by law, the ULC Chairperson is mandated to generate such a list of claimants and then present it to her boss, the land minister or even present it together to parliament since she knows these claimants more than the minister.

It is alleged Byenkya later learned that Kamya wasn’t working alone in the multibillion deal, but rather with ULC senior commissioners in her own office.

When Byenkya blocked the payment and wrote to the Director of the Bank of Uganda and Directorate of Uganda Police citing fraud in payments from the Land Fund, all-hell broke loose in her own commission.

Ever since then she has not had peace with Kamya, who was since promoted to IGG office and ordered Byenkya to be investigated.

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