By Paul Kiwuuwa
KAMPALA - Parliament's Public Accounts Committee has directed Uganda Land Commission (ULC) to produce the land title of former Shimon primary school which was given to an investor.
This follows failure by ULC officials on Thursday to reveal the current owner of the land in question.
The land was allocated to M/s Kingdom Hotel investment with a lease offer period of 5 years in 2006.
A letter from chairman ULC to the minister of finance indicated that the investor was unable to proceed with the project at which point the land was reverted to ULC for proper custody.
The query is raised in the Auditor General‘s report 2012. “Apparently construction of a multi- storied building is going on at the site, I have not been provided with information relating to the new developer, the agreed terms and conditions were not followed,” the AG stated.
Appearing before the committee, ULC under Secretary Albert Mugumya and principal land officers Paul Idude and Baker Mugaino denied knowledge of the developer.
“I don’t know the identity of the current developer of the land. Apparently the land is registered in the names of Kingdom Kampala Ltd,” said Mugumya.
The committee was shocked when Mugumya stated “I could not interfere into the governments commitments. USD 2M about (sh5bn) was paid directly to the finance ministry. Government gave a directive to lands registry office give Kampala Kingdom a lease of 99 years.”
The committee chairperson Wadri Kassiano (FDC) asked, “When a hot potato is inserted in your mouth, either you swallow it or spit it out to prevent it from burning you. Who holds the land tittle of the former Shimoni land?”
Mugumya responded, “I don’t know the current developer.”
Yona Musinguzi (Ntungamo municipality (NRM) said, “The role of the Land Commission is to hold and manage any land in Uganda acquired by the government in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution. You are not protecting the land instead you are aiding land grabbers.”
The Auditor general report also queried why the current developer never complied with the conditions.
“The developer had to construct a 5 star Hotel to host guests during the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting in 2007, and construct a new primary school and teacher training college for pupils and teachers at a new site. This was not done.”
Paul Mwiru (Jinja municipality) wondered how the land changed hands from the former developer to the current one.
Principal land officer Idude said the former ULC boss Mayanja Nkangi should be quizzed because he played a bigger role in allocating the land to the developer. The committee directed Nkangi to appear next week to explain his role.