Six months after receiving Shs7 billion from the government, the Commission of Inquiry into land matters has said it is in a financial crisis, which is impending them from conducting their operations across the country.
Speaking in Mityana District on Monday, the Commission Chairperson, Justice Catherine Bamugemereire, said for the last four months, they have not received financial support.
She also revealed the commission was not budgeted for despite submitting their proposals to the authorities in time.
“The public should know that people are calling us everywhere but for the last four months, we have not had any (financial) provisions for the operations of this commission, so we have no provision at all, we were not on the budget,” Justice Bamugemereire said.
“People who work for us have gone unpaid, so it is painful to watch. We wanted to keep quiet at this but when we see that there is a lot of cry about why the commission has not come, I think it is important to know that we are resource constraint,” she added.
She made the remarks at the beginning of the public hearing into a disputed eviction of more than 2,000 families from four villages in Mityana District.
In April, the Commission of Inquiry into land matters was in spotlight over failure to account for Shs13 billion it received from the Ministry of Finance amid accusations of extravagant expenditure. Mr Muhakanizi then refused to extend more money to the Commission until they accounted for the Shs13 billion.
However, the money was later released to them after the intervention of President Museveni.
This came amid revelations of the huge allowances that the Commission officials receive. Sources said the commissioners are paid about $200 (about Shs720,000) per sitting and $690 (about Shs2.5m) per day whenever they travel abroad. The team has already been to Ghana, United Kingdom, and South Africa. In each country, they spent about seven days, which translated into about Shs470m for the seven commissioners.
The seven-member Commission was set up in 2016 to look into the effectiveness of the law and processes of land acquisition, administration, management and registration in Uganda following increasing land conflicts. They effectively began work on May 3, 2017.