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MPs Seek Protection for 79-Year-Old Duped in UGX 2Bn Land Fraud

This follows Namuli’s statement denying receipt of such compensation from the government. She also refuted claims linking her as a legitimate granddaughter and the administrator of the Late Antwane Kalete to whom the compensation was paid in lieu.
Joel Ssenyonyi, the COSASE Chairperson displaying a forged document from purpotedly from the Masindi High Court bearing signature of Justice Ralph Ochan. Photo by Dominic Ochola

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Lawmakers are concerned about the safety of Natalia Namuli, the 79-year-old  witness who was allegedly duped by her son in-law Peter Amara and a law firm, Lubega & Buzibira Company Advocates as a bait to fleece the government of 2.039 billion Shillings in a dubious land compensation.

This follows Namuli’s statement denying receipt of such compensation from the government. She also refuted claims linking her as a legitimate granddaughter and the administrator of the Late Antwane Kalete to whom the compensation was paid in lieu.

Namuli, a resident of Nyakasozi village, Nsunga Sub-County in Kagadi district presented her statement through Assistant Inspector of Police Bunny Twesigye to the Committee of Parliament on Commissions, Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises – COSASE on Thursday.

The Committee is probing irregularities relating to the disbursement of 10.6 billion Shilling to six claimants in the areas of Bunyoro and Buganda who sold their land to the government through the Uganda Land Commission - ULC. The Commitee has since learnt that the letters of administration issued to Namuli on March 18, 2015, bore the forged signature of then Masindi High Court Jude, Ralph Ochan.

Joel Ssenyonyi, the Committee Chairperson said that the commitee findings and the ensuing testimonies leave Namuli in vulnerability to the cartel that used and duped her. He said the commitee is now making arrangements to ensure that she is accorded protection.

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Kawempe South MP, Kazibwe Bashir Mbaziira is equally concerned that Namuli's safety is now in jeopardy because her particulars have been exposed to the public.

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Moses Akena, a Legal Officer at Parliament expressed reservations but observed a need for special arrangements to ensure that she is protected because Uganda currently does not have any legal framework for the same except under the Penal Code Act.

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The Penal Code Act shields witnesses to have a right to safety and security when testifying which is a fundamental human right. The Act further provides an opportunity for the State to perform its duty of care to ensure protection of its citizenry from any harm or intimidation and to ensure rule of law.

The MPs say they will involve the Directorate of Criminal Intelligence Investigations Department – CIID headquarters in Kibuli, Kampala to handle the matter.