ROASTED! MPs grill Lands minister Mayanja over Nakawa-Naguru land controversy

Junior Lands Minister Sam Mayanja

KAMPALA — A parliamentary Adhoc Committee investigating the controversy surrounding the re-allocations of the Nakawa-Naguru land has on Thursday grilled Lands state minister Sam Mayanja, over the matter, in which the senior Minister Judith Nabakooba has disowned the decisions taken by Mr. Mayanja.

Ms Nabakooba earlier declined to appear before the committee, reasoning that the issues being inquired into, were before court, but Mr. Mayanja appeared on Thursday, March 17 morning, blaming the Uganda Land Commission for the controversy.
“I am totally shocked as to why Uganda Land Commission was just issuing land titles,” the minister told MPs.
However, Bugiri Municipality MP Asuman Basalirwa, dismissed Mr. Mayanja’s assertions saying his submissions were laced with confusion.
The MPs inquiry is continuing on Thursday.
Ealier, Lands Minister Judith Nabakooba had refuted an earlier claim by Mr. Mayanja that she instructed him to write to President Museveni seeking guidance on the allocation of land to private developers.
Nabakooba said the November 2, 2021 letter was written in her absence, while on a trip abroad and that she does not remember ever instructing Mayanja to write to the President on her behalf.

In the letter, Mayanja, who described the different allocations on the 82.05- acre land to the President, said there is need to move quickly to get the issue of the Nakawa-Naguru land out of the way.
“In all humility, I implore you to give a green light to conclude the allocation process. The faster we get this issue of Naguru land out of the way, the better, in order to pave the way for development of an Eco satellite city, as well as getting rid of the mushrooming illegal constructions. This was on the instruction of the senior minister (Hon Judith Nabakooba), who is currently out of the country on official duties,” reads the letter.

Mayanja has faced a backlash after his November letter leaked to the media, prompting a parliamentary inquiry.

He unsuccessfully sought the intervention of the Prime Minister, Robinah Nabbanja following a petition challenging the process of allocating the land.

The state minister also revealed in a February 22, 2022 letter to the acting chairperson of the Uganda Land Commission (ULC) that the managing director of Multi Consult Designs Limited, Karim Somani, was claiming that allocation of land to private developers was in violation of the consent agreement between the Attorney General and Opec Prime Properties Limited.

Government returned to itself the Nakawa-Naguru land early last year after Opec Prime Properties failed to implement the construction of a satellite city.

In the minister’s letter, it is indicated that Opec Prime Properties, in a joint venture with Multi Consult Designs Limited, retained hold of 3.3 acres of land along Eureka Close, but this part has also been included in the allocations by ULC.

Among the allocations of the land, according to information tabled by ULC before the parliamentary committee on physical infrastructure and also listed in the minister’s letter to the President, are Internal Medicine of Virginia PC (15 acres) and Uganda Heart Institute (10 acres). These two allocations are based on a presidential directive.

The other private individuals and companies that were allocated 50 acres of land in anticipation of investing a total of $578.2m (sh2 trillion), National Library; Anil Damani, Arab Oil Supplies and Exploration Limited, Dashen (U) Limited, Dembe Enterprises Limited; Dominion Partners Limited, EACON International Limited and Fakhruddin Properties Limited.

Two weeks ago, Parliament set up an adhoc committee to investigate the Naguru-Nakawa land issues.

The Deputy Speaker, Anita Among who chaired the plenary sitting on Tuesday, 01 March 2022 said there are fights related to the Naguru – Nakawa land which she added have highlighted failures at the Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development and the Uganda Lands Commission.

“The land has been parcelled and is being cleared without these conflicts being resolved. It is a shame. It is time that we embarked on our oversight mandate to root out these vices from the operation of government departments and agencies,” Anita Among said.

The committee will be chaired by Hon Dan Kimosho Atwijukire (NRM, Kazo County). Other Members are Hon Agnes Apea, Anthony Akol, Aisha Kabanda, Asuman Basalirwa, Jonathan Ebwalu, Dickson Kateshumbwa, Sarah Opendi and Ritah Atukwasa.


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