By Spy Uganda
At the event of commissioning road projects in the oil-rich Bunyoro Sub-region held yesterday in Hoima, President Museveni learnt that a section of ruthless mafias is badly fighting Uganda Lands Commission Chairperson Beatrice Byenkya who is praised by a couple of Ugandans as a committed civil servant who is allergic to corruption.
The commissioning ceremony was a pre-event ahead of the 36th National Resistance Movement (NRM) liberation day that is commemorated every January 26.
The revelation of how these mafias are using their offices to fight Byenkya was unearthed by no nonsense Rt Hon Prime Minister Robinah Nabbanja who told President face to face thus; ‘‘Your Excellency, here in Bunyoro they know Beatrice Byenkya as a committed civil servant, she has nothing to do with corruption, they say she is not a thief,” she added. ”There are some people taking us backwards…busy fighting her. Remember i had already informed you about these via a petition i wrote to you sir, therefore it’s my humble request that you intervene, thanks,” Nabbanja told the president.
Byenkya’s troubles started last year in October when the Minister of Lands, Judith Nabakooba suspended ULC bosses including her accusing them of being corrupt.
Then, Nabakooba took over the duties of managing the Commission before asking IGG Betty Kamya to investigate Byenkya and colleagues.
Responding to Nabakooba’s requests, Kamya, ordered for the interdiction of Byenkya from her position as Chairperson of the commission which Byenkya reversed through court that issued an interim order ordering her to stay on until the main application challenging her interdiction and allegations against her is heard.
Meanwhile, Byenkya’s lawyers argue that both line minister and IGG Beti Kamya continue to commit illegalities by trying to usurp powers of the appointing authority by attempting to fire an appointee of the president without getting such mandate from the appointing authority. “He who appoints, disappoints. It’s only the president who can fire ULC C/person. Any other person or authority can only act on his behalf. A president can delegate a line minister or IGG to act on his behalf,but it has to be in writing with clear instructions. Non has got such communication from the president,” argued one of Byenkya’s lawyers who preferred to remain anonymous.
Addressing the media recently, Byenkya revealed that these are political battles from powerful individuals who have encroached on public land and now want her out of office so they can complete their deals unabated.
“Everybody in Uganda knows that anything connected to the land is a sensitive matter, it is a matter that concerns everybody so that is why we have been in the press for wrong reasons. We work at an institution but believe me or not, we have other influences from outside. You find people with god parents but for me, I don’t have a god parent. I was just appointed by the grace of God,” she said.
Last week, Parliament squeezed officials from IGG office accusing Kamya of using her office to witch hunt Byenkya which they said stems from Byenkya’s deep rivalry with Kamya when she was line minister.
“There are allegations that you are fighting personal wars; she [Ms Kamya] was a supervisor of the Uganda Land Commission Chairperson and they had fundamental differences; as an Ombudsman, you should never find yourselves in such circumstances,” said MP Fox Oywelowo Odoi (NRM, West Budama North-East).
For MP Asuman Basalirwa (Jeema, Bugiri Municipality), the top challenge faced by the IGG is a lack of interest in pursuing matters relating to advocating for the rule of law, which he said is one of their chief mandates.
“I need to know why the IGG has consistently shied away from matters of rule of law and the conduct of security officers which is in the public domain; fighting corruption is not the only mandate of the IGG,” he said.
It should be remembered that when Kamya,when still line minister presented a multi billion Budget to parliament to allegedly compensate land owners including Kusanje and Ndeeba. Byenkya, before the committee vehemently opposed Kamya’s proposal and it was finally kicked out. Byenkya argued that the budget had been inflated without her involvement as Chairperson. Kamya bite her teeth in the committee for the entire duration till she moved out. She has never ‘forgiven’ Byenkya from that time. Pundits say Kamya is simply exposing herself further. Watch the space….