Parliament’s Sub-Committee on Defence and Internal Affairs has summoned Uganda Land Commissions registry commissioner, Peter Opio in regard to mismanagement of police land in Naguru.
The Committee chaired by Ruhinda County MP Donozio Kahonda, was recently set up by Parliament to investigate the reported mismanagement of police land.
Kahonda says that the Uganda Land Commission (ULC) officials are expected to respond to queries regarding land measuring 16.52 acres located at Plot 2-96 along Katalima road in Naguru.
The land in question was in 2011 leased to the United Nations African Institute for the Prevention of Crime and the Treatment of Offenders (UNAFRI) for 99 years but ULC later subleased the same land in 2015.
Kahonda says that his committee had resolved to summon the ULC official after several attempts to have him appear to explain the irregularities regarding the land.
Early this month, the Inspector General of Police (IGP) Martin Ochola asked that UNAFRI vacates the police land for failure to develop it. In his statement to the sub-committee presented by Assistant IGP Richard Edyegu, the police boss said that UNAFRI had not proceeded to develop and utilize the land and that they have not proved to be beneficial to the government in as far as their mandate is concerned.
Uganda was in April 1998, selected by the Conference of Ministers of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) as the host of the UNAFRI whose objective was to promote collaborative activities and joint action on priority problems bearing on crime prevention and control in the development context.
Part of the obligations of the host country was to provide residential accommodation, office space, classrooms and furniture to the institute. This was the basis for the provision of a 99 year lease to UNAFRI in 2011 and this includes land housing 12 senior staff houses.
Edyegu told the sub-committee that UNAFRI has since failed to develop the land and even rented out most of the residential houses including the 12 senior staff houses for income generation contrary to the purpose for which the lease was given. The committee learnt that UNAFRI has since subleased 7.8 acres of the land to private business entities such as YUASA car bond and Future Group Limited.
Edyegu says that this poses a security threat for the police establishment particularly because this is the same place that houses the command center, armoury, counter-terrorism base and police headquarters.
“It is therefore, our prayer that the land comprising Plot 3 Mukabya Road and plots 2-8 on Katalima Road is returned to Uganda Police Force for further management and the 12 senior staff houses are immediately vacated and surrendered to Uganda Police Force,” he told MPs.
The Land Registry Commissioner, Peter Opio is expected before the sub-committee on Thursday to respond to the queries.
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