KAMPALA – Lawmakers on the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) have directed the Ministry of Lands to submit a list of all individuals who owe government money after taking up public ranches.
The directive was issued by Nandala Mafabi, PAC Chairperson while meeting with officials from the Ministry of Lands led by Permanent Secretary Dorcus Okalany who had been summoned to respond to issues raised in the 2017/2018 Auditor General report.
Auditor General, John Muwanga in his report noted that the Ministry of Land was irregularly incurring domestic arrears outside the approved estimates appropriated Parliament. The report highlighted that the Ministry’s domestic arrears increased from Shs9Bn in 2016/2017 to Shs31Bn with the increment attributed to the revaluation of ranches due to delayed settlement of rancher’s compensation claims dating as far as back 2005 which he says this kind of trend is unsustainable.
The auditor general accused the Ministry of failing to adhere to the commitment control system of government that is meant to stop entities from committing government beyond the level of availed resources.
Asked by Nandala to clarify on these domestic arrears, Okalany informed the Committee that the increase in domestic arrears is attributed to the ongoing revaluation of ranches due to delayed payment and says that they are requesting for more funds from ministry of finance to enable them clear all the arrears so that they do not have to incur more arrears in delayed compensation of the ranchers.
However, the MPs rejected her explanation and instead demanded for a full list of the ranchers, who have been paid and those who are yet to be paid and how much each rancher owes the government.