MPs ask Interpol to hunt for Land Commission boss

Members of Parliament have resolved to involve the International Criminal Police Organization –

 (Interpol) to hunt down Barbara Imaryo, the Uganda Land Commission (ULC) Secretary who is wanted to face accountability probe.

Led by their Committee Chairperson, Joel Ssenyonyi, the lawmakers on the Parliamentary Commissions, Statutory Authority and State Enterprise ( COSAS) made the resolution during a sectoral meeting on Thursday.

The decision arose after Imaryo, for the seventh time snubbed the Committee’s summons to appear and answer to queries, among others the irregular compensation payment of Sh 10.6 billion to six claimants, two of whom are non-existent without the Commission’s approval.

Speaking to URN in an interview on Friday, Ssenyonyi disclosed that despite the arrest warrant they issued to the Parliament’s Police Commander to arrest Imaryo on site, the Police have since failed to effect the directive after reports emerged that the suspect is being protected by ‘powerful people’ in Government and may be helped flee the country.

Ssenyonyi said that Imaryo, also the Commission’s Accounting Officer is hiding or believed to have been aided to flee the country by her ‘god fathers’, prompting them to seek audience with the Inspector General of Police to engage Interpol.

Elijah Okupa, the Kasilo County lawmaker observed that the monies that have been unlawfully paid out are huge and hiding from the truth will worsen Imaryo’s situation because her and the ‘god fathers’ will ultimately be exposed.

The MPs also resolved to publish Imaryo’s photo in the national papers to escalate the case and alert the public. 

The Committee also handed over Siraj Isabirye, the former Senior Accountant of the Uganda Land Commission to the Criminal Intelligence Investigations Department (CIID) on Thursday after he failed to corroborate the queried financial transactions he effected.

Meanwhile, in her submissions as a witness before the Committee at the same meeting, Beatrice Byenkya Nyakaisiki, the ULC Chairperson who was early this year jointly suspended with Imaryo on the directive of President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni identified the two ghost land claimants in the 10.6 billion Shillings’’ pay-out as Julius Busuulwa and Natali Namuli.

In an audit report by the Auditor General for FY 2020/2021, Busuulwa was paid Sh 1.4 billion , while Namuli received Sh 1.6 billion  which were all not supported with documents.

In addition, a sum of Sh 1.2 billion was paid for outstanding arrears that related to the previous year but were not recognized in the financial statements as payables. 

Further, a withholding tax of Sh 22 million was not paid to Uganda Revenue Authority – URA. 

While appearing before the MPs, Siraj Isabirye, the former ULC Accountant said he was pushed to pay the money to the claimants following Imaryo’s directives.

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