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Land Probe: Hearings Resume Monday, Gov’t Commits on Funds

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Members of the commission of inquiry led by Justice Catherine Bamugemereire pose with President Yoweri Museveni after being sworn in at State House Entebbe in February.

The commission of inquiry into land related fraud is set to resume its public hearings two weeks after it went into a technical break as a result of financial constraints.

In a statement released Sunday evening by the Lead Counsel to the Commission, Ebert Byenkya, he said the commission had made progress in securing the required finances to continue with its work.

“We have made progress regarding the obtaining the resources the commission requires to do its work and feel that we are in position to proceed,” Byenkya said in the statement.

He revealed that Finance Minister Matia Kasaija had confirmed to the commission that the money would be disbursed as soon as possible, in line with the agreed plan.

“The commission has cordial and constructive interactions with the Ministry of Finance and other government agencies.”

President Yoweri Museveni in December 2016 appointed a seven person committee led by Justice Catherine Bamugemereire to investigate into the effectiveness of land laws as well as processes of land; acquisition, registration, administration and management.

The inquiry comes at a time when the country is faced with rampant cases of land grabbing including gazetted land like forests and wetlands.

“We thank members of the public for the patience and support for the activities of the commission and assure them of continued dedicated service to the nation,” Byenkya added.

Meanwhile, a total of 160 more land related complaints have been lodged to the commission during the two week break.

This is in addition to the 1,500 complaints that had been received in the 9 week period since the hearings began.

The commission which is supposed to complete its inquiry within six months has also begun to prepare its interim report, according to Sunday’s statement.

As part of its terms of operation, the commission is required to submit this report to the President after three months but Byenkya said the two week break could affect the deadline.

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