The Commission of Inquiry into land matters will resume its public hearings on Monday July 24, two weeks after it took a technical break.
The Land Commission of Inquiry suspended its work due to lack of funds.Without giving the first allocations to the commission Justice Bamugemereire said they were out of funds after covering two months of investigations in which they have registered 1,567 complaints and interviewed 150 witnesses.
“We have made progress regarding obtaining the resources the Commission requires to do its work and now feel that we are in position to proceed,” Commission Lead Counsel, Mr. Ebert Byenkya said.
The press statement released by the Commission Secretariat on Sunday evening did not indicate if the Commission has received more funds from the Finance Ministry but maintained that they are in touch over the matter.
Byenkya said the Minister of Finance, Mr. Matia Kasaija, had given a firm confirmation to the Commission that the resources to enable it do its work, in line with the agreed work plan, would be made available very shortly.
“The Commission has cordial and constructive interactions with the Ministry of Finance and the other government agencies,” added Mr. Byenkya.
During the break, the Commission registered 160 new complaints from members of the public and most of them were reviewed and selected for the public hearings this week. This brings the number of total complaints so far to over 1,650!
The Commissioners also reportedly commenced the preparation of the Interim Report, which they are required to submit to the President within a period of three months from May 9 when the Commission commenced the public hearing.
Byenkya however, said the interruption of the hearings might affect the submission date.
“We thank members of the public for their patience and support for the activities of the Commission and assure them of continued dedicated service to the nation,” said Mr. Byenkya.
The President initiated the probe committee in order to find out the following;
Investigate and inquire into the law, process, and procedure by which land is administered and registered in Uganda
Inquire into the role of the Uganda Land Commission in the management and administration of public land.
Review the effectiveness of the relevant bodies in the preservation of wetlands, forests and game reserves.
Inquire and solicit views on the role of traditional cultural and religious institutions who own large tracts of land
To assess the legal and policy framework on government land acquisition
To identify, investigate and inquire into the effectiveness of the dispute resolution mechanism available to persons involved in land disputes
To inquire into any other matter connected with or incidental to the matters aforesaid.
It should be noted that the 2013 Land Policy does indeed comprehensively address most of the terms of reference provided to the committee. The drafting of the land policy took in excess of 3 years with consultations made to the same stakeholders expected at the probe committee.