While appearing before COSASE, ULC officials led by the Undersecretary, Daniel Mugurusi failed to produce an updated inventory of the assets/database of land and other property owned by the Government.
Andrew Nyumba, the Acting Secretary of the ULC (purple necktie) during a meeting with the MPs at Parliament. Photo by Dominic Ochola_URN
The new office bearers at the Uganda Land Commission – ULC has pleaded with the Committee on Commissions, Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises – COSASE for more time to assemble relevant documents relating to the queries in the Auditor General's report.
The Committee, which is chaired by the Nakawa West Member of Parliament, Joel Ssenyonyi was probing the officials over irregularities in the AG's report for the financial year 2020/21.
The queries include overpayment of Shillings 3.966 billion to Kampala Archdiocese. ULC, which ought to have paid the Archdiocese Shillings 17.634billion in-ground rent arrears for the land occupied by Uganda Police at Nsamby paid Shillings 21.6billion instead.
Another anomaly involved Shillings 546million that was budgeted for the establishment of a land inventory or database and as of March 28, 2020, the Commission had already spent Shillings 298,761,993million. However, while appearing before COSASE, ULC officials led by the Undersecretary, Daniel Mugurusi failed to produce an updated inventory of the assets/database of land and other property owned by the Government.
On Wednesday, the ULC officials appeared for the third time before COSASE but failed to Shillings 6billion they received in excess to clear arrears during FY 2020/2021. COSASE chairperson Ssenyoni noted that while the Commission requested money to clear arrears to the tune of Shillings 10 billion they ended up receiving Shillings 16 billion.
“You have not given us supporting documentation showing how this extra money was spent,” he noted. He argued that if there are indeed documents to support the expenditures, ULC should have presented them to the auditors.
In his response, Mugurusi noted that the old team that was interdicted for abuse of office ought to have responded to all the issues regarding poor documentation, lack of accountability and incomplete inventories.
“Most of us took office in 2021 after the previous team running ULC had been asked to step aside. We are committed to taking on the task by correcting all the records and availing all the documentation concerning ULC," he said.
ULC is charged with the mandate of holding and managing any land in Uganda which is vested in or acquired by the Government in accordance with the Constitution as stipulated in Section 49 of the land Act cap, 227.
Ochola's journalism career begun from Radio King 90.2 FM in Gulu around 2009, and Radio Rupiny 95.7 Fm under Vision Group in 2012. He also reported for Mighty Fire 91.5 Fm, Kitgum in 2015 before joining Wizarts Foundation in 2017.
He has been reporting for Uganda Radio Network (URN) since 2017 before being posted as Bureau Chief Kitgum, and latr Gulu between 2018 - 2021. Currently, he reports from Parliament.