KAMPALA – Uganda Land Commission (ULC) chairperson Beatrice Byenkya has described as dubious and controversial a Shs12.1b supplementary budget to compensate six people, which was presented before Parliament by Minister of Lands Beti Kamya.
Byenkya and Kamya were both appearing before the Budget Committee of Parliament on Wednesday, February 10, 2021.
When Kamya, who was accompanied by her deputy Persis Namuganza presented the budgetary request before the MPs, Byenkya protested, saying said the land commission had not asked for any supplementary budget.
“Much as the commission needs the money, we never requested for this supplementary budget. I want it to be on record. So when I hear this, I just think the minister is trying to access the money using our institution. That is irregular. How can this be?” Byenkya said to the astonishment of the MPs.
She also wondered how the minister came up with the six beneficiaries, saying the land commission was not consulted.
“I am shocked to learn that such amount of money was going to be given to only six beneficiaries. As the commission, we have been trying to spread the money so that all victims can get something,” she said.
At this moment, the MPs lost their cool and demanded Kamya to explain who had requested for the money.
In response, Namuganza said the Shs12b is to meet President Museveni’s directive made during campaigns.
“I learnt about all these people who were putting pressure on government for not giving them their money. They even went direct to the President, especially during the elections. He called the minister and told her the people who urgently needed their money and could have been compensated earlier on. The minister also wrote to ministry of Finance and here we are,” she said.
With many MPs opposing the matter, the committee deputy chairperson, Mr Patrick Isiagi, postponed the session to today, Thursday, 11 February 2021, saying the MPs needed to have a closed-door meeting to decide whether to reject the supplementary budget or approve it.