KAMPALA — President Yoweri Museveni has backed the suspension of Uganda Land Commission (ULC) bosses— directing Inspector General of Government Beti Kamya and Gen. Henry Isoke of the State House Anti-Corruption Unit to immediately pick interest and investigate into the affairs of the commission.
The President also ordered for prosecution of ULC Chairperson Beatrice Byenkya and Secretary Ms. Barbarah Imaryo over allegations of gross corruption, embezzlement, double payments, payment of ghost workers among other criminal acts—all leading to loss of government funds
“I hereby suspended them with immediate effect to pave way for investigations,” the president wrote.
He added: “By copy of this latter, I’m directing the Inspector General of Government and the State House Anti-Corruption Unit to investigate the above allegations and any other offences that could have been committed with a view of prosecuting the culprits”.
The IGG had earlier suspended the duo to pave way for investigations—reasoning that preliminary investigations into the management of ULC provide sufficient grounds to arrest them.
“It is, therefore, necessary that Byenkya steps aside so that she is not able to interfere with the investigations,” Kamya told lands minister Judith Nabakooba in latter dated November 2021.
“Besides, public interest demands that a public officer under investigation for abuse of office be interdicted from exercising powers and functions of her/his office for fear that s/he might interfere with investigations,” Kamya, who is Nabakooba’s immediate predecessor, wrote.
Her letter ordering the interdiction was received by ULC on November 24, just days after Attorney General Kiryowa Kiwanuka ruled as illegal Nabakooba’s decision to suspend Byenkya and commissioners together with their secretary Barbara Imaryo.
In her letter dated October 28, 2021, Nabakooba had also instructed Byenkya and the commissioners to step aside for two months to pave the way for the investigations into alleged cases of abuse and misuse of commission resources.
They were supposed to hand over office to State Minister for Lands, Dr Sam Mayanja by November 12.
However, in a legal opinion, Kiryowa advised Nabakooba to withdraw her directive and instead write to President Yoweri Museveni to take action as the appointing authority.
The President has since replied by sacking and ordering antigraft agencies to investigate and prosecute the duo.