The commission of inquiry into land matters on Tuesday morning quizzed the State Minister for Cooperatives Frederick Ngobi Gume.
He was questioned about his role in the giveaway of 20 acres of land belonging to Uganda Land Commission in Jinja, while he was still the LC5 chairman Jinja district.
The commission led by Lady Justice Catherine Bamugemereire tasked Gume to explain circumstances under which he received a shs5 million cheque from Favorite Enterprise Limited, an Indian company that had purchased the contentious 20 acres.
In response, the state minister said the money was a debt that was owed to him by David Pande.
Pande is a land surveyor who has been accused of fraud by the same commission.
“I had been giving him (Pande) money to finance his campaigns and on that particular day, he asked me to go to Favourite Enterprises to pick his cheque,”Gume told the commission.
Asked why on the cheque were words ‘Wairaka Land’, Gume denied ever seeing these words.
“I didn’t know the voucher read like that. What I know is that Pande told me to pick my money from Favourite.”
The commissioners asked the then LC5 chairman for Jinja why he never detected that the land in question didn’t belong to Pande, but he said it was the duty of the district land board and surveyors had to verify this matter and not him.
“We had the district land board plus the area land committees that had all signed on the 50 acres title,” he said.
The contentious land was initially 75 acres belonging to Uganda Land Commission but leased to the National Fisheries Research Institute.
However, the land was later surveyor by David Pande, a private surveyor and fraudulently sold off 20 acres to Favourite Enterprises belonging to an Indian at Shs160 million claiming it customarily belonged to him.