Appearing before the Commission of inquiry into land Matters, Robert Opio, the acting Commissioner for land registration says the Administrator General cleared the transaction using a search report generated by unauthorized Principal Land Officer in Wakiso Ministry Zonal Office, Johnson Mukaaga.
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The Ministry of Lands has denied responsibility in the 7.5 billion Shillings Wakiso land scandal.
Last week, Richard Jabo, the Executive Director of the Duty-Free Export Zone Investment Agency, the Uganda Free Zone Authority pinned the Lands Ministry for
clearing a deal in which the government lost money.
He said the authority went ahead to pay for the land after receiving clearance
from the Ministry of Lands that the dealers Engineer Dick Lutaaya and Paul
Bukenya were bonafide purchasers of the land.
Appearing before the Commission of inquiry into land Matters on Monday, Robert
Opio, the acting Commissioner for land registration denied clearing the
transaction. He said the document being termed clearance is not proof
According to Opio, the search report was printed from Wakiso Ministry Zonal
Office by unauthorized Principal Land Officer in Wakiso Ministry
Zonal Office, Johnson Mukaaga for the purpose of helping the Administrator-General
in investigating the ownership of the land.
Opio says the Administrator General instead used the search report to clear the
illegal ownership of Lutaaya and Bukenya as bonafide
land purchasers without investigating their illegal
titles over the contested piece of land located in Busiiro Block 353 – 540
Polt 236 in Buwaya.
Opio said the right document to use should have been a proper ownership investigation
report commissioned by the office of the Commissioner for Land Registration. He explained that the titles were cancelled last
week and Uganda Free Zone Authority must move ahead to recover the money from
those it paid.
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Bukenya and Lutaaya used the powers of attorney of Katende, Ssempebwa and
Company Advocates to bid for the supply of the land which has since been found
to be on Lake Victoria wetland and Kanga government Forest Reserve.
He said declaring Lutaaya and Bukenya as bonafide Purchasers of the land meant
that the interests of Augustine Bukenya and others had to be compensated.
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Opio said the Administrator-General should have used a proper investigation
report to reinstate the historical interest of Alexander Gabunga Ndiwalana, a
former member of the Kabaka’s Marine regiment in the land.
He said “Instead of helping the Ministry of Lands to properly understand the
status of the land and its ownership, the Administrator-General which was in
charge of the Estate asked Lands Ministry officials to carry out a search to
establish bonafide owners”
According to Opio, the search that was done in Wakiso Ministry Zonal Office where
the fraud took place instead vindicated Paul Bukenya and Eng. Lutaaya as
Bonafide proprietors instead of requesting proper investigation into the
ownership from the office of the Commissioner Lands Registration.
The Commission heard that Alexander Gabunga Ndiwalana first registered the land
in 1952. Engineer Dick Lutaaya and Paul Bukenya are accused of fraudulently
securing another title over the same piece of land in 2017 from a group of
Another witness, Andrew Atwine Besigye, a Land Surveyor with Bika Associates
Limited – a Real Estate and Survey firm in Wakiso said they attempted to
prevent government losing money in the transaction in vain.
Atwine told the Land Commission of Inquiry that after failing to win the sale
of the land, they opted to represent eight bibanja holders who had interests on
the said land. At the end, they fetched Shillings One Billion from the deal which
the Attorney General William Byaruhanga says they must refund.