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Kadaga orders probe into sh5bn land compensation fund

The money was recently approved by Parliament to compensate landowners, including Dodovico Mwanje, who owns land that housed an Anglican church in Ndeeba, a Kampala suburb (pictured).

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The Speaker of Parliament, Rt. Hon. Rebecca Kadaga has instituted a three-member Adhoc committee to investigate sh5bn compensation for different pieces of land by the Government.

The money was recently approved by Parliament to compensate landowners, including Dodovico Mwanje, who owns land that housed an Anglican church in Ndeeba, a Kampala suburb (pictured).

However, on Wednesday (April 14, 2021), Kadaga told Parliament that she had constituted a team of three MPs to investigate the compensation after receiving complaints from different stakeholders.

“The complaints were related to the size of the land in question, the quantum of the compensation; the beneficiaries in the first payment didn’t receive their payment,” Kadaga said.

To investigate the matter, Kadaga told the MPs that she had selected a team of MPs (an adhoc committee), which will be chaired by Kaberamaido county MP Veronica Eragu.

She will be assisted by Kassanda North MP Patrick  Nsamba and Silas Aogon, the Kumi Municipality MP.

According to Kadaga, the team will investigate alleged irregularities in the funds that were last month approved under supplementary schedule number four to compensate owners in different parts of the country.

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In her terms of reference to the adhoc committee, Kadaga wants the team to find out whether there was proper following of the land laws in the acquisition and compensation for the land.

Last month, Parliament halted the disbursement of sh5b to the lands ministry and the Uganda Land commission, to compensate different owners of land, after receiving a petition that the size of some of the land and the money to be paid to some of the owners had been inflated.

The land includes that of Dodovico Mwanje in Ndeeba which the petitioner said had been inflated by sh2b and that of Geoffrey Mugisha whose size had allegedly been inflated by 256 hectares.

Kadaga gave the committee up to two weeks to finalise the investigations and report back to the House on their findings.

Last month Parliament passed a supplementary budget of over sh292b for different ministries, but before this money was passed, the Uganda Land commission clashed with the lands ministry over its decision to compensate only six people with over sh20b.

Kadaga then told the House that she had received a petition showing an inflation in the size of the land for which its funds had been approved by Parliament and noted that the funds cannot be released without investigations.

The land in question includes the sh3.8b meant to compensate Mwanje for his land in Ndeeba where St. Peter’s church was razed and sh1.4b meant to compensate Geoffrey Mugisha for his land in Buyaga, Kibaale district.

The minister of state for finance, Gabriel Ajedra, presented a motion to amend a resolution of Parliament approving these funds as the petition indicated that the land belonging to Mugisha had been inflated by 256 hectares while that of Mwanje had been inflated by sh2b.

What MPs will probe

According to Kadaga, the team will investigate alleged irregularities in the funds that were last month approved under supplementary schedule number four to compensate owners in different parts of the country.

In her terms of reference to the adhoc committee, Kadaga wants the team to find out whether the land laws were followed in the acquisition and compensation for the land.

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