Land Fund in debts of Ugx 157bn, Lands Minister tells Commission
The Commission of Inquiry into Land Matters has heard that despite the fact that the Land Fund is supposed to have a specific account provided for under the Land Act, the Land Minister maintains this account has never been established.
The Minister however discloses to the Commission Chaired by Justice Catherine Bamugemereire, that there are outstanding arrears amounting to 157 billion shillings being demanded by people who gave their land to government.
Now Lead Counsel Ebert Byenkya questioned how these arrears were arrived at when the key purpose of the Land Fund is resettlement of people on Land to get titles.
Byenkya also indicated to the Minister that they have information that money is pouring out of the Land Fund and its being given to people who are impersonating dead people and they end up getting new titles from the District Land Board.
In her response the Minister says there is need to Operationalise the Land Fund as an independent entity, from Uganda Land Commission whose budget is currently supporting it, but that the Ministry also stopped new titles coming from the District Land Board.
When asked how much money has so far been put in the substitute of the Land Fund Project since its inception, the Minister answered in the negative adding that it would be the Secretary Uganda Land Commission in the know.
At this point is when Lead Counsel Ebert Byenkya put it to her that actually alot of payments are being authorised by herself, through a Committee in the Ministry that creates the list of those to be paid, without involving her State Minister Persis Namuganza who claims the Land Fund is actually her sector.