The Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs, Maj Gen Kahinda Otafiire, was on Wednesday engaged in a bitter exchange with Buhweju County MP Francis Mwijukye in Parliament after the latter accused the former of using his office to grab land.
This was after Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga tasked the minister to explain circumstances under which he came to take possession of square miles of land in Jinja, which land is said to have been a government stock farm.
In response, Maj Gen Otafiire confirmed his interest in the land and told Parliament that he had instructed his lawyers to take government to court for taking over his land.
While debating the matter, MP Mwijukye said that while Otafiire was Minister of Lands, he was cited in cases of land grabbing and is now using his office in Justice to formalize his deals from Ministry of Lands.
This angered Otafiire, who dared Mwijukye: “I would like Mwijukye to repeat this outside this house. Repeat what you said outside this house.”
However, Kadaga asked the minister to calm down, ordering him to table documents that detail how he came to own government land.
However, the Minister insisted that he was exonerated by the Inspector General of Government, Justice Catherine Bamugemereire Land Commission and that the matter is in court and he wasn’t at liberty to discuss the matter at Parliament.
Reacting to Otafiire’s remarks, Budadiri West MP Nandala Mafabi wondered how Otafiire could drag the same government he serves to court.
“He wants to throw government off his land and the government he is throwing off he is serving as a Minister. This is arrogance that the whole minister supposed to protect public property is now taking over public property. Wouldn’t it be procedural right?” Mafabi wondered.