The Minister of State for Lands, Persis Namuganza has attributed the mess in the Land compensation to the dealings of the current chairperson of the commission Beatrice Byankya and former lands Minister Betty Amongi; compensation was deferred when the chairperson imputed massive criminality by claiming that the ministry was paying already paid persons, and also that the acreage was inflated.
The community has been bickering with Soroti University over the ownership of 110 acres of land which the university allegedly annexed to a chunk of 460 acres initially donated to the institution by Teso College Aloet. The university opened boundaries on the disputed land in 2015, displacing more than 300 families.
In the heat of the storm, the amendments were shelved. However, Nankabirwa said that the move was a tactical withdrawal intended to pave way for urgent business in parliament. She cited the consideration of policy statements, the budget framework paper, and amendments on the presidential age, as areas that needed priority.
Hans Peter Christophersen, the Trade and Energy Counselor, at The Royal Norwegian Embassy in Kampala says that greedy individuals have inflated land costs and demanded huge compensation rates in the Albertine Graben making it difficult for planned projects to take off.
Mwesige said that in order to stem the pressure and reduce on Government liabilities there is need to pay out the compensation in a phased manner this financial year. He told the committee that the Ministry received Shillings 16 billion in the last financial year through a supplementary budget for the land compensation but the debt has accumulated to Shillings 66 billion.