Justice Catherine Bamugemereire, the chairperson of the Commission of Inquiry says that her team registered six major accomplishments during the duration of its operations and halted the payment of a total one trillion Shillings in irregular payments.
The Commission of Inquiry into
land matters has formally concluded its operations ending more than two years of
probing irregularities in the land sector.
The seven-member team was
appointed on December 8, 2016, by President Yoweri Museveni to inquire into the
Effectiveness of Law, Policies and Processes of Land Acquisition, Land
Administration, Land Management and Land registration.
Justice Catherine Bamugemereire,
the chairperson of the Commission of Inquiry says that her team registered six
major accomplishments during the duration of its operations and halted the payment
of a total one trillion Shillings in irregular payments.
“Examples where the Commission
has saved the government from incurring significant financial loss include 100 million
Shillings in Isimba Hydro Power Project in respect of claims for compensation
for a rock” she stated, adding that another 132 billion Shillings not yet
allocated was also halted and is pending court proceedings.
//Cue in; "We had
Cue out…titles were cancelled."//
The Commission received 7,767
complaints and conducted almost 600 public hearings alongside locus in visits,
with half of the complaints on land grabbing and evictions, corruption and
fraudulent land practices.
Justice Bamugemereire said over
160 titles in Nakivubo, Kinawataka, Namanve and Nambigirwa Wetlands and
Namanve, Mugomba Central Forest Reserves and Gunda local Forest Reserve were
cancelled halting payment of 40 billion Shillings in compensation claims.
According to Justice Catherine
Bamugemereire, inquiries by the Commission discovered numerous irregularities
in payments from the Land fund to a number of persons claiming on behalf of
other applicants. One applicant was found to be involved in questionable claims totalling more than 9.7 billion Shillings.
Some of the accomplishments named
in the statement include cancellation of illegal titles by the Commissioner Land
Registration including titles in Wetlands and forest reserves, and other
fraudulently acquired titles as well as increased public awareness on land
matters, land rights and protection of wetlands and forests.
The others are; exposing fraud in
the lands sector in which the Commission unearthed dirt and corruption, an attack on impunity where ‘untouchables’ were investigated;
and exposure of curious compensation claims for titles in Wetlands, forests and other
similar areas unavailable for individual ownership under the law among
“The Commission exposed shocking cases
of double titling where several persons hold titles over the same parcel of the
land and the weaker party (many times have spent a long time on the land) gets
driven off the land by the stronger party”.
The Commission of Inquiry has
indicated that it is recommending the adoption of the traditional methods of
dispute resolutions in which mediation is prioritized over tedious court
On evictions, Justice
Bamugemereire said Court has adopted a new eviction and practice guideline
issued by Chief Justice Bart Katureebe following some of the exposures by the
Commission and the interaction it had with the judiciary.