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Another Witness Pins Suspended ULC Chairperson Byenkya For Soliciting Shs3bn Bribe In Land Compensation

The suspended ULC Chairperson Beatrice Byenkya Nyakaisiki

 

Another witness in the ongoing probe into the affair of the Uganda Land Commission – ULC has pinned the embattled chairperson, Beatrice Byenkya Nyakaiski for demanding a bribe of Shillings 3 billion to facilitate the compensation for her land. Dr. Annetie Kezaabu and Benon Rwabukurukuru are joint administrators of the Estate of the late Kasiya Rwabukurukuru measuring 10 square miles in Sheema District.

 

The Late Rwabukurukuru received Shillings 6.43 billion out of the questionable Shillings 10.6 billion supplementary expenditure allocated by the finance ministry to ULC.  Appearing before the Committee on Commissions, Statutory Authorities, and State Enterprises – COSASE on Monday, Dr. Kezaabu revealed that Byenkya, demanded 3 billion Shillings as a ‘kickback’ from the Shillings 9.42 billion the Government paid for their estate.

 

She explained that Benkya demanded the bribe in order to clear the last payment of Shillings 6.43 billion for their land which at the time was under four administrators.  Dr. Kezaabu alleged the interdicted ULC Commission demanded the bribe from her siblings Catherine Kajwasya and Penninah Kesheka’. The Late Rwbukurukuru sold the 10 square miles of land to the Government through the ULC in 2017.

 

“In order to process our last payments, ULC officials tasked him to pay a bribe. Byenkya demanded 50 percent of the land, which at the time was valued at Shillings 9.42 billion by the Government valuer,” Dr. Kezaabu said. Led by Joel Sssenyonyi, the Nakawa West lawmaker, COSASE  is investigating ULC for the irregularities relating to the Shillings 10.6 billion paid out to six claimants.

 

This stemmed from queries in the Auditor General’s report for the FY 2020/2021. Senyonyi tasked Dr. Kezaabu to present evidence of the alleged corruption to avoid the matter being treated as a mere ‘hear say’, which may be aimed at damaging the reputation of Byenkya. In response, Dr. Kezaabu said Kajwasya and Kesheka are willing to share documents implicating Byenkya.

 

Ssenyonyi also demanded that Dr. Kezaabu provides the phone number and details of her siblings before the closure of business on Friday. According to Dr. Kezaabu, their family is ‘still demanding  ULC a balance of Shillings 216 million. She explained that the Government valuer recommended the payment of Shillings 9.646 billion but ULC only paid them Shillings 9.426 billion leaving a balance of Shillings 216 million.

 

The Kyandondo East MP Muwada Nkunyingi tasked Dr. Kezaabu to explain how the Late Rwabukurukuru acquired the 10 square miles of the land in question.  She said Rwabukurukuru obtained the land from then King Kayihura. Richard Gafabusa, the Bwamba County MP questioned Dr. Kezaabu about how much they were willing to offer to Byenkya from the Shillings 3 billion.

 

In her response, Dr. Kezaabu said they declined to pay because their claims were well processed, and had no queries. Byenkya denied the allegations when contacted by our reporter and described it as a baseless rumor aimed at tarnishing her reputation. She urged the Committee to do due diligence and compel the claimants to adduce the requisite evidence.

 

On Wednesday last week, Geoffrey Mugisa, another claimant and resident of Buyaga County in Kagadi District also implicated Byenkya for pestering him for a 50 percent bribe to help ‘expedite’ his last compensation of Shillings 1.49 billion for his 208 hectares of land, which he sold to the Government through ULC in early 2000. Mugisa received an advance payment of Shillings 50 million in 2016 and an outstanding balance of Shillings 1.4 billion in 2021.

-URN

Taddewo William Senyonyi
https://www.facebook.com/senyonyi.taddewo
William is a seasoned business and finance journalist. He is also an agripreneur and a coffee enthusiast.

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