Land Commission officials Quizzed over sh21b compensation to ghost landowners

Land Commission

Four officials from the Uganda Land Commission, who are accused of embezzlement, have denied the charges and instead pinned an ex-employee of fabricating the contentions.

The four officials who include Barbarah Imaryo, the commission’s accounting officer, Chris Otim, the junior accountant, Denis Musinguzi, the Lands officer, and Nowa Hasashya, an auditor, told detectives at the Criminal Investigations Department-CID that they were sure that the whistleblower is the person they suspended a month ago over misconduct.

Barely a fortnight ago, the Criminal Investigations Department raided Uganda Land Commission offices and picked some documents after receiving a complaint from a whistleblower that more than sh21 billion had been spent on compensating people who did not exist.

“I write to you requesting you to urgently probe misuse of taxpayer’s money. There is double payment for land claimants. There is fake land titling at ULC. There are irregularities in the daily handling of taxpayer’s funds given to the entity. Some people are paid without a government evaluator,” the whistleblower alleged in his October 2, petition.

The copy of the allegations was also copied to ULC’s Chairperson, Beatrice Byenkya, who also wrote to the CID Director Grace Akullo, asking her to send a team to probe the accusations.

A detective told Uganda Radio Network (URN ) that the ULC officials claimed that the whistleblower who was their ex-employee first warned them that they would suffer with him if they proceeded with suspending him. 

The quartet added that if there are any double land compensations that happened as alleged by the whistleblower, it probably occurred before they came into office.

“We have been in this office for two years and it is through our efforts that we set up the system of compensating land claimants after government land evaluation. All payments are done electronically and there is no way one would be paid double,” a detective quoted the quartet’s statements.

CID Spokesperson, Charles Twine, said investigations are moving smoothly even though declined to divulge what transpired during the quartet’s interrogation.

 A CID source added that they were to audit all payments paid to close to 100 titles


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