By Denis Turyahebwa
The chairperson of the commission into land inquiry Justice Catherine Bamugemereire on Monday cried foul to the Government over four month payments delay.
“We have not received any provision from Government for the last four months. We were not included in the budget which has put the operations of the commission at standstill,” She said.
She also noted that people are calling them everywhere but it is difficult to attend to them with no operational budget.
“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,” She noted.
She said the commission had decided to remain silent but because of the issues revolving around land in Mubende and other parts of the country, they could not bare the silence.
“We hope the government will settle the commission’s issues by the end of this week or next week,”
“We would like to be everywhere but we’ve been resource constrained for the last four months. The personnel employed by the Commission have also not been paid which is “painful” to watch,” Justice Bamugemereire explained.
Justice Bamugemereire was appointed the chairperson of the commission by President Museveni in December 2016 following the public outcry towards the land acquisition and effectiveness of land registration and management.
In November 2017, the President extended the Commission’s term for another six months.
It should be noted that it is not the first time the commission runs out of funds. In July 2017, the Commission was forced to suspend its public hearings due to inadequate funds.
The commission spends on paying for witnesses’ food, transport, look after them and other activities that happen behind the scenes. This is on top of other administrative costs as well as transporting the 7-member Commission to conduct field visits.
Investigators are also facilitated to send out summons as well as doing their independent investigations.