KAMPALA – President Museveni on Monday grilled the outgoing Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs, Maj Gen Kahinda Otafiire, on allegations that he acquired ownership of land belonging to Njeru Stock Farm in Njeru Municipality, Buikwe District, PML Daily has learnt.
Recently, the land probe team led by Justice Catherine Banugemereire heard that Gen Otafiire owns 50 acres of the land while former Deputy Chief Justice Steven Kavuma owns up to 43 acres. It was also recently reported that Otafiire sent a group of armed men to destroy the government facilities and take possession of the land.
And now it has emerged that during Monday’s Cabinet meeting, Mr Museveni ordered Gen Otafiire to explain how he acquired part of the 1,099-acre farm located in Bukaya West Village, Njeru municipality,
The minister reportedly told the President that he acquired the land from two residents; Christopher Lule and Fredrick Kato, who has since passed on. Gen Otafiire reportedly added that he had been tipped about the deal by the former deputy Chief Justice Steven Kavuma.
However, an angry Museveni reportedly hit back, accusing the minister of taking advantage of the government he serves.
“You don’t take advantage of your own government. You say you were attracted by Justice Kavuma, this was wrong because you are part of the government,” the President is quoted as saying.
The President promised to study the report Gen Otafiire submitted to the Agriculture ministry confirming that he legally the land and warned that the minister of repercussions if he finds him telling lies.
The remarks come after Mr Museveni removed Gen Otafiire from the influential Justice Ministry to that of East Africa Affairs. Prof Ephraim Kamuntu is the new Justice Minister.
In October, Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga directed Otafiire to explain how he acquired the land, and table documents to support his explanations. Otafiire explained that he asked the court to throw the government out of the land because he had secured rights from the original owners after the government failed to pay for its lease.