But Byenkya objected to the payments saying that most of the said people have either been paid, are exaggerated, and some of them are non-existent. On Thursday, she unpacked files of the said landowners pointing out inconsistencies and irregularities in each of them. Byenkya said that some people have already been paid, others are exaggerating their property rates, while in some cases, the government is paying for hot air.
The Uganda Land Commission (ULC) chairperson Beatrice
Byenkya Nyakaisiki has decried gross corruption and irregularities in land compensation in the country.
Byenkya was on
Thursday appearing before the Adhoc committee of
Parliament investigating compensation in relation to land in Ndeeba on
which a Church structure was razed last year, and the other in Lusanja,
Wakiso district where scores of families had been evicted by one Medard
The Ministry of Lands had sought a
supplementary budget of 12 billion Shillings to compensate these and
more landowners, landowners, without the knowledge of Uganda
Land Commission. According to the Ministry, of the 12 billion Shillings,
at least 7.65 billion Shillings would go to Ephrain Enterprises in lieu
of the Ndeeba land and Medard Kiconco, for the Lusanja land.
rest would be shared by six other landlords. These include Kosiya
Rwabukurukuru who is demanding 6.4 billion Shillings, Stephen Nagenda
billion Shillings, Julius Busululwa who is demanding 2.2
billion Shillings, Natalia Namuli who is demanding 1.6 billion, Yisaka
Lwakana who was demanding 1.17 billion Shillings and Geoffrey Mugisha
who demands 1.5 billion Shillings.
Byenkya objected to the payments saying that most
of the said people have either been paid,
are exaggerated, and some of them are non-existent. On Thursday, she
unpacked files of the said landowners pointing out inconsistencies and
irregularities in each of them. Byenkya said that some people have
already been paid, others are
exaggerating their property rates, while in some cases, the government
is paying for hot
In the case of Natalia Namuli, Byenkya indicated that the acreage is doubtful,
while for Busuluwa Julius, the same property has two files; one in the names Busuluwa Julius and a
another in the names of Busuluwa Julius and Colonel Fenekhansi Mugyenyi. She says that according to their records, this
property has already been paid for fully, yet the owners are now seeking double
On Geoffrey Mugisha’s compensation of 1.5 billion Shillings, she says the claim
is false and the 50 million Shillings which was already advanced to the claimant was paid
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She told the committee that such irregularities in the
compensation are common, with files looking fine on face value yet they are actually
irregular. Byenkya also faulted the former Minister of Lands Betty Amongi for her
role in promoting the irregularities.
claims Amongi put the Land fund under
the Ministry of Lands yet it is supposed to be under the Uganda Land
Commission, a move she says could have been deliberate because when she
objected, the minister threatened
to remove her from the office.
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When contacted, Amongi said that she served the
Ministry without any record of corruption and tasked Byenkya to present
evidence of the same. She adds that she only acted on compensations
which came as presidential directives, decisions from the cabinet, and
genuine claimants whose filed had remained pending for so long.
“ I did my work at the Ministry of Lands without anything to do with
corruption. All I did was to follow a presidential directive” she said
on phone, adding that some of the people who were compensated under her
tenure include a former MP, Mzeei Gureme and the Catholic Church, among
She narrated to the committee that there exists a syndicate in the
commission where staff including assistants have interests in files and
influence whose files for compensation move first. Byenkya has also said the
land compensation has become a syndicate with top officials running to landowners
to crack deals.
She says that there are people whose compensations have been pending
since 2008 because they do not know their way around. She gave an example of Frank Ndondo, from Kabarole who has been
demanding compensation worth 8 billion
Shillings, yet he has never been paid.
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on Parliament to allow them to take
charge of the compensation process and not tag the 12 billion Shillings
six individuals, or even the Church and Lusanja landowner. Byenkya added
that although the Ministry of Lands now led by Beti Kamya requested a
supplementary for compensation, they already had 40 billion Shillings in
their budget for the same.
look at the list, we did not need this money that urgently because I had
already requested for sh40b for compensation through the Commission budget
which the Ministry of Finance later allocated to us, “ she said.
says that although the senior accountant and the Senior Finance Officer
at the commission is supposed to handle the
the land fund, as per
the public service structure this is not happening, and the Secretary of the Uganda land
Commission, has now delegated an account assistant to manage the funds.
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The committee chaired by Veronica Eragu Bichetero tasked the commission to provide the files of
all the six people to be compensated, and the Auditor General’s report for the past
three years, among others.