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MPs Baffled By Excess Payment Of Shs 3.9 Billion To Kampala Archdiocese

Members of Parliament on Commissions, Statutory Authorities, and State Enterprises – COSASE are puzzled by an overpayment of 3.96 Billion Shillings to Kampala Archdiocese by the Uganda Land Commission– ULC.

The committee is conducting inquiries into the operations of ULC following a report by John Muwanga, the Auditor General for the 2020/2021 financial year that unearthed several irregularities.

Muwanga reported that the Commission agreed to pay Kampala Archdiocese 17.634 billion shillings for ground rent arrears for a piece of land occupied by Uganda Police in Nsambya. The land was valued by the Chief Government valuer in January 2017.

However, the Auditor General’s report indicates that the Commission paid 21.6 billion shillings to Kampala Archdiocese, resulting in an overpayment of 3.966 billion. The excess payment is not recognized as a receivable in the financial statements.

In the report, the Muwanga also pointed out that after engaging ULC management, they committed to conducting a reconciliation of the payments, but to date, the reconciliation had not been undertaken.

Daniel Mugulusi, the Commission’s Acting Accounting Officer while appearing before the MPs disclosed that the payable was part of the payment of the Church of Uganda, and no records of an overpayment exist because reconciliation was already done.

Roland Ndyomugyenyi, the Rukiga County MP implored the Committee Chairperson Joel Ssenyonyi that the Commission officials must provide more evidence regarding the transaction.

The Auditor-General also reported 15 billion shillings overstatement of payables relating to Church Commission Holding Company (Church of Uganda). ULC compensated the Church with 48.984 billion shillings for a 15-acre-land in Entebbe after valuation in November 2016.

ULC paid the Church of Uganda 38 billion shillings implying a balance of 10.984 billion shillings. However, the liability stated in the financial statements is 25.984 billion shillings, resulting in an overstatement of 15 billion shillings.

Further, Muwanga’s report detected unsupported land compensation payables. He said ULC reported a total of 187.031 billion shillings as outstanding payables as of 30th June 2020 of which 128.955 billion shillings were in relation to land compensation liabilities.

Muwanga explained in the report that although ULC indicated that all the documents for the payables were available, he was not provided with documentation for land compensation claims amounting to 9.436 billion shillings.

Muwanga’s report comes amid reports surrounding the Commission. For instance, Beatrice Byenkya Nyakaisiki, the Commission’s Chairperson was arraigned before the Anti-Corruption Court in January and charged with obstruction of a search and abuse of office; charges she denied.

Beti Kamya, the Inspector General of Government (IGG), later ordered Byenkya’s interdiction from her position as chairperson of the Commission to pave the way for further investigations.

The mandate of the Commission is stipulated in section 49 of the land Act cap, 227 to hold and manage any land in Uganda which is vested in or acquired by the Government in accordance with the Constitution.

URN

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