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Land probe in weeklong file review retreat   

By Andante Okanya

Added 14th June 2019 12:12 PM

On December 8, 2016, President Yoweri Museveni appointed a seven-member commission of inquiry chaired by the Court of Appeal Justice Catherine Bamugemereire, to inquire into land matters.

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Justice Catherine Bamugemereire. Photo/File

On December 8, 2016, President Yoweri Museveni appointed a seven-member commission of inquiry chaired by the Court of Appeal Justice Catherine Bamugemereire, to inquire into land matters.

 
KAMPALA - The land probe commission has had a weeklong retreat for file review, which started on Monday.
 
The retreat implies that the public hearings were halted for the entire week. 
 
In a notice to the press on Wednesday, the commission secretary Dr. Douglas Singiza, explained the team’s itinerary.

“For the rest of the remaining days of the week, the commission will continue with the review of files,” says Singiza.
 
However, he did not specify when the commission would reconvene for public hearings.
 
Commission fact file

On December 8, 2016, President Yoweri Museveni appointed a seven-member commission of inquiry chaired by the Court of Appeal Justice Catherine Bamugemereire, to inquire into land matters.
 
This was prompted by several documented instances of public outcry. The team took oath on February 19, 2017, with the mandate to inquire into the effectiveness of the law, policies, and processes of land acquisition, land administration, land management, and land registration.
 
Subsequently, public hearings commenced on May 9, 2017, at National Archives and Records Centre in the city suburb of Nakasero, Kampala.
 
On November 10, 2017, the President extended the probe’s mandate for six months. Last year on May 4, 2018, Museveni endorsed an 18-month extension of the probe.
 
The probe commissioners are Frederick Ruhindi, Dr. Rose Nakayi, Mary Ochan, Robert Ssebunnya, Joyce Habaasa, and George Bagonza.
 
Lead counsel is Ebert Byenkya, deputy lead counsel is John Bosco Suuza, while Andrew Odiit is assistant lead counsel.
 
Dr. Douglas Singiza is the commission secretary, while Daniel Rutiba is the deputy secretary. 
 
The commission has interacted and obtained submissions from various officials working with government agencies, cultural leaders, and civil society, among others.
 
From 2017, it has conducted several public hearings in and outside Kampala as well as unearthing a number of wrongful land evictions and mismanagement. 
 
Field visits have been conducted in the areas of Wakiso, Nakaseke, Luwero, Mukono, Jinja, Hoima, Mubende, Masaka, Gulu and Mbarara, among others.
 
Several officials have been implicated and grilled over a purported land grab, collusion, and mismanagement. 

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