The clash between the two lands Ministers Beti Kamya, Persis Namuganza and the Uganda Lands Commission boss Beatrice Byenkya Nyakaisiki is likely to continue if their boss President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni does not come out to clarify why he authorized compensation of only six landowners.
A few days ago, the two ministers presented their supplementary budget of Shs12.1bn to pay off landowners whose land is now occupied by people. Those listed include Kasiya Rwabukurukuru with land at Kiyunga, Sheema (Shs6.43 bn), Stephen Peter Nagenda of Kibale, Rwanswa (Shs1.06 bn) and Julius Busuulwa of Buyaga in Kibaale (Shs1.4 bn). Others are Natalia Namuli (Shs1.6 bn), Yisaka Lwakana (Shs125.3 m) and Mugisha Geoffrey (Shs1.49bn), all with land at Buyaga, Kibaale.
However, before the House passing the supplementary budget, Byenkya had earlier sent a letter to the Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga accusing the two ministers of not involving her commission in the matter yet that is her docket.
In the letter, she said that although her commission was responsible for the compensations, it was not aware of the beneficiaries and the processes that led to their compensation.
A matter that forced Kadaga to send the two ministers back to the Parliament’s Budget Committee to settle the matter. However, in the committee meeting on Wednesday, an exchange of hostile words was witnessed between the two sides.
Byenkya accused the duo of undermining her commission as she protested what she described as selective compensation of landowners. She requested that the money should be untagged to allow her commission to come up with another list since they are over 500 claimants who must be compensated.
“Paying only six people without the knowledge of the commission and paying such money to only six people is unacceptable. As the commission we have been always trying to see that everyone gets something. People had their land, they are disadvantaged, they don’t have any economic revenue from it now to give only six people that is something irregular,” she said.
Byenkya went on and accused the Ministers of suppressing the Powers of Uganda Land Commission by undermining its mandate.
“The ministers are supposed to supervise but they want to manage the operations of the Commission. That is why when I saw this request, I ran quickly and blocked the approval. The Political leadership is trying to usurp our powers,” said Byenkya.
However, Minister Namuganza said on Friday that Byenkya must go and ask the one who ordered the payment of the six people.
“Byenkya does not know the boundaries of her powers because when the President commands we go direct to the subject matter, last time we paid Catholic church in Nsambya, the responsible minister just met the minister of finance and they took the supplementary in Parliament. Madam Byenkya to question how we selected the six, it’s like she is questioning the power of the Chief Executive in Uganda’s cabinet or the leader of government business.”
“When President ordered that we pay Nsambya Catholic church why didn’t she ask him why? I hate people who reason low the chief executive of this country, cabinet and government have the authority to select where to start.”
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