KAMPALA: Early this week, President Yoweri Museveni extended the tenure of the Justice Catherine Bamugemereirre-led land commission for another 18 months to continue probing into land matters in the country.
Members of Parliament this week said while the commission has done well, the 18-month extension should be used to get those considered untouchables in the government.
MPs told journalists on Friday that they want the land commission to probe government officials including ministers, permanent secretaries and impervious army generals who have made it a practice to grab others’ land using their positions in government.
“I want to see justice Bamugemereire handling generals, I want to see her handling other ministers, I want to see her handling PS’s, I want to see her handling those who are called untouchables in this government,” Hon. Henry Maurice Kibalya, the Bugabula south Member of Parliament said.
Ms Noeline Kisembo Basemera, the Kibaale woman MP said: “I think in the country there are so many land challenges and we still need the commission. I hope this extension will enable it to go to other areas where they had not reached to have issues on land grabbing.”
However, other members think this will be like other ommissions of inquiry whose findings have only remained on paper.
“I want to now challenge the President, yes sir you have many reports from different inquiries that have been made but sir the country have not benefited from those reports where a lot of money has been spent,” William Nzoghu, the Busongora north member of Parliament said.
The commission on Friday grilled Pius Bigirimana, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Gender over using his influence to get money shs504 million from the land fund in 2016.
The commission advised Bigirimana to return the tax payers money in goodwill since he was not qualified under land fund.
Mr Museveni granted an 18moth extension to the commission of inquiry into land matters to enable it secure its task.
Lady Justice Bamugemereire said on Thursday told journalists at the National Archives Centre in Wandegeya, that president extended the commission term under legal notice 26 of 2018 to renew the term of the commission.
The commission has so far used 13 billion in the past one year despite accountability issues; it is set to receive a supplementary budget of shs7 billion pending parliament approval.