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Land probe seeks for extra Shs3b as its term comes to an end

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The Commission of Inquiry into Land Matters has run short of money and is requesting for an extra supplementary funding to the tune of Shs3 billion, according to the State Minister for Finance David Bahati who informed members of parliament on Wednesday.

However, the request of the Shs3 billion did not go well with the MPs who wanted the latest report of the Commission before they can approve the money. The Commission is led by Justice Catherine Bamugemereire as Chairperson.

But Bahati urged the MPs to approve the money, saying the Commission has so far saved government about Shs3 trillion in dubious land deals that were ochestrated by some government officials.

The Commission last received Shs10 billion as supplementary, having exhausted its budget for the financial year 2018/2019.

The Commission is holding the inquiry into effectiveness of law, policies and processes of land acquisition, land administration, land management and land registration in Uganda.

President Yoweri Museveni launched the Commission in February 2017, giving them a six-month mandate to do the work and thereafter submit final findings and recommendations.

Museveni has extended the term of the Commission of Inquiry into land matters by at least 18 months following the expiry of its term on May 9, 2018. That was the third time Museveni was extending the term of the Commission. The initial six-month tenure started in May 2017 and expired on November 9, 2017. The president then granted them another extension for six months.

The Commission last year faced challenges of accountability of Shs13 billion.

Commission’s Terms of Reference:-

·Investigate and inquire into the law, processes and procedures by which land is administered and registered in Uganda.

·Investigate and inquire into the role and effectiveness of the Uganda Land Commission (ULC in administering public land and the Land Fund.

·Investigate, inquire into and review the effectiveness of the relevant bodies in the preservation of wetlands, forests and game reserves and examine ways in which the challenge of human habitation in those areas can be resolved.

.To investigate, inquire and solicit views on the role of traditional, cultural and religious institutions who own large tracts of land with occupants in a bid to enhance better landlord/tenant relationships.

·To assess the legal and policy framework on Government land acquisition.

.To identify, investigate and inquire into the effectiveness of the dispute resolution mechanisms available to persons involved in land disputes.

·To inquire into any other matter connected with or incidental to the matters aforesaid and make recommendations.

·The Commission shall make recommendations:-

·For improving the efficiency and effectiveness of the law, policies and processes of land acquisition, land administration, land management and land registration in Uganda and proposing necessary reforms.

·Pertaining to civil, administrative and criminal sanctions against persons found culpable for wrong doing.

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