PARLIAMENT: Aruu County MP Odonga Otto has written to the parliamentary authorities, informing them of his intention to start the process of censuring Lands Minister Betty Amongi over “illicit accumulation of wealth” in connection with the illegal disposition of departed Asians properties.
Recently, Ms Amongi appeared before the Commission of Inquiry into land matters to explain how her company, AMOBET Investments Ltd, acquired properties that were previously managed by the Departed Asians Custodian Board.
According to the motion filed to the Clerk to Parliament Ms Jane Kibirige and Speaker Rebecca Kadaga, Ms Amongi used her position as minister to influence the allocation of prime properties on Plot 29 Acacia Avenue, Plot 22(A) on Prince Charles Drive Kololo, and Plot 18 Perryman Gardens LRV61 and Plot 15/17 First Street Industrial Area.
“As Minister of Lands, Amongi has illegally spearheaded the transfer of 88 properties at the Ministry of Lands without clearance from the Departed Asians Custodian Board where she is a member. Amongi has grossly abused her office and mismanaged the properties of the departed Asians,” Mr Otto’s motion reads in part.
“In a space of two years, she has illicitly accumulated wealth using her position. She does not deserve to be in such an office and her actions contravene Section 9 of the Leadership Code Act. She has disgraced herself and the country. I have played my role and it’s up to other MPs to play their role,” he said.
At least one third of MPs are required approve the censure petition, meaning that of the 452 MPs in the current Parliament, Mr Otto needs approval of 151 MPs.
The Commission accused Amongi of Conflict of Interest after it was discovered that her Company AMOBET Investments Ltd, applied for Government Property of Departed Asians, yet she was a Member of the Departed Asians Property Custodian Board.
Amongi, also Oyam South Member of Parliament, was accused of turning herself into a land broker whereby she acquires government properties through her Company, manages them and in turn pays some little money to government as rent.
She is further accused of failing to file returns for her company since its incorporation in 2008 which shows noncompliance in terms of tax payment.
Ms Amongi also came under fire from the Justice Catherine Bamugemereire Land Commission on Wednesday for allegedly micromanaging the Land Fund. The Commission accused the minister of impropriety basing on the documents indicating that she was directly involved in authorising payments.
It is alleged that in 2016, Amongi directed Albert Jethro Mugumya, the Under Secretary Uganda Land Commission to effect payment of Millions of Shillings to different beneficiaries from the Land Fund contrary to her mandate.
Documents before the Commission show that on November 23rd, 2016, Amongi asked Mugumya to urgently pay out compensation of Shillings 620 million to nine people. Amongi also asked Mugumya in an October 31st, 2016 letter to pay special consideration to two patients.
In her letter, Amongi directed Mugumya to give Victoria Kakoko-Sebagereka an advance payment of Shillings 100 million as part of the Shillings 776.7 million claim on account that the recipient was very sick and needed treatment abroad.
She also directed Mugumya to pay another Shillings 50 million of the Shillings 210 million claim to Kuriash Barinda of Isingiro district.