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Resign, judge tells Minister Amongi

Accused of conflict of interest, Betty Amongi, the minister for Lands was nudged yesterday by a rather angry Justice Catherine Bamugemereire to resign.

Appearing before the Justice Bamugemereire-led Commission of Inquiry into Land Matters; Amongi tried hard but failed to separate herself from the questionable actions of her private company, AMOBET Investment Ltd.

Betty Amongi (R) while appearing before the land probe commission

According to the commission, the minister’s company forged land titles and fraudulently acquired four high-end government properties. The minister runs the company with her sister, Ketty Amongi, a Lira-based businesswoman.

During cross-examination, Justice Bamugemereire asked the minister whether she knew what conflict of interest means and the consequences it carries for a culpable senior government official such as a minister. Before she could answer, the judge asked the minister to read out loud the Leadership Code Act section 5 sub-sections 1 and section 12 sub-section 2.

In reading out loud, the minister said, “A leader cannot put himself or herself in a position in which his or her personal interests conflict with his or her duties and responsibilities. A leader shall not participate in the deliberations of a public body or board or council or commission or committee of which he or she is a member at any meetings at which any matter in which he or she has personal interest is to be discussed.”

She added, “A leader who contravenes that sub section 1 breaches the code and is liable to vacate office or be dismissed...”

“Don’t you see that this Leadership Code Act is asking you what to do?” the judge said, sending a rather tense minister and the audience gathered in the National Records Centre and Archives Building in Wandegeya into laughter.

Before she finally showed up yesterday at 9 o’clock, the minister had skipped two summonses, which prompted an angry Bamugemereire to issue the latest criminal summons.

Amongi is accused of attempting to fraudulently acquire property on Plot 29, Acacia avenue in Kololo, Kampala.

The property in dispute is under leasehold number 235 and registered in the names of Toshak Patel, an architect.

But the minister insisted that all operational functions of the company were executed by the managing director called Henry Mubiru.

Amongi denied knowing the disputed property on Plot 29, Acacia avenue. But documents in possession of the commission showed that the minister has in the past signed off many transactions as managing director of AMOBET.

It is alleged that inDecember 2017, Amongi through her company, AMOBET, acquired temporary possession of the property after it was repossessed by the Asian family in 1992.

Documents indicate that the allocation by AMOBET, Investments Limited was signed by the executive secretary of the Departed Asians Property Custodian Board (DAPCB), George William Bizibu.

Bizibu who appeared before the Commission on May 7, made some contradictory statements and was subsequently detained for further questioning.

He was also instructed to present to the Commission, documents on the alleged board meetings he held. During cross examination, the seven Commissioners found that Bizibu, without the consent of the full DAPCB board, underestimated properties owned by government and doled them out at giveaway prices.

A case in point is the above mentioned property on Plot 29 Acacia Avenue which commands rent of US$9,000 per month, but was fraudulently allocated to somebody else at a paltry US$150 per month.

While there are no exact figures, reports indicate that government has lost billions of shilling through these shoddy dealings.

Last week, the land probe questioned the Uganda Land Commission (ULC) Undersecretary, Albert Jethro Mugumya, in regard to the minister’s hand in the management of the land fund. It is alleged that in 2016, Amongi directed Mugumya to pay millions of shillings under the Land Fund contrary to her mandate.

Mugumya said Amongi directed him to make the payments to various people citing special requests.

Mugumya who declined to divulge details, said Amongi’s involvement amounted to micro management of the land fund contrary to her role of providing policy guidelines.

Documents presented before the commission confirm that on November 23, 2016, the minister directed Mugumya to make an urgent payment of land compensation of more than Shs 620 million to nine people.

In another letter dated October 31, 2016, Amongi directed Mugumya to effect payments for special consideration to two sick persons.

According to the letter, the minister directed Mugumya to advance Shs 100 million out of Shs 776,780,000 to Victoria Kakoko-Sebagereka who was very sick and due for treatment abroad, and Shs 50 million to a one Mzee Kuriash Barinda of Isingiro.

In another letter dated November 29, 2017, Amongi directed the payment of Shs 675.8 million to Yisaka Lwakana for land at Kooki, Katete.

“The payments were effected basing on special requests as indicated in the minister’s letters and the land is known to ULC as per the records,” said Mugumya adding that he complied with the minister’s directive.

Evidence presented before the land probe indicates that Amongi contravened the Public Service Standing Orders when she directed the accounting officer instead of the ULC chairman to effect the payments.

jolanyo@gmail.com

 

Comments

0 #61 Akot 2018-05-14 19:29
gwok,

What is more disturbing is that, we comment, get at one another, watch...while museveni is completing conquest of the counry formed by tribal lands & it's tribal leaders in front line helping museveni own the zone in peace!

Which Ugandan will be stealing what when conquest if completed?

Will museveni need to buy off any Ugandan then?

Whill museveni still need tribal leaders who shall have done their job in handing him over the country formed by tribal lands?

Well, even mps are not aware they are used by museveni to own the country constitutionally!

Ugandans don't need UNITY that is embraced by the rest of the world & when they hand over theor country to museveni through the tribalistic system, the outside will go along with museveni!

Will Ugandans UNITE then?
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0 #62 Akot 2018-05-14 19:41
Wooden K.,

After neutralising Acholi, museveni continues to use Bagandans to own the country! When that is achieved, Bagandans will be treated as Acholi were!

Which tribal leader says a word in Uganda?

Which tribe/s will help Buganda when it gets in trouble with museveni in final stage of owning Uganda?

Which tribe/s came to help Rwenzururu tribal leader & where is he today?

Did Acholi tribal leader not chose museveni & turns blind eyes-deaf ears to the demon killing/destroying Acholi?

Which outsider will come to help Ugandans when it's them handing over their country to museveni through tribalism?

Will our NATIONAL UNITY hand over Uganda to museveni?

But out tribal division museveni uses to perfection through the tribalistic system is handing over our country to him!

The outside world sees & knows this today!
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0 #63 Akot 2018-05-14 19:52
Yet, as Uganda situation is so confusing, disturbing, yet so clear, it's time to ask:

- Is it museveni going to make it right by dissolving the tribalistic system & become just a dictator without being chief tribal leader as well, or

- Are Ugandans finally going to wake up to UNITY as the rest of the world does, to bring change?

It' is either Ugandans or museveni to make it right, one way or another, knowing museveni will do it his way without asking Ugandans' opinion!

N.Korean leader is making the right move & this is going well with developed world because his people are UNITED for common cause - USA-Europe know N.Korea will be good for business!

UK-Europe are UNITED against USA in Iran issue & sing UNITY, they need the big businesses bring them billions!

But Ugandans do not understand UNITY & they are the ones handing over their country to museveni!
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0 #64 ejakait engoraton 2018-05-15 13:55
Quoting gwok:
[quote name="Akot"]Trevor Tigana, agreed.

Once Ugandans bring down the tribalistic system
..... quote]
Dear Akot, you have preached that UNITY for quite a while now. Peaselet me try to clarify the issues here. Here we go: (a) First, UNITY must be better defined, as "unity of tribes" because that it is the tribes that agree.


YES LADIT, I have tried to impress upon my Lamina that one should not just preach UNITY FAAA, maybe just like Mama MABIRA was preaching FAA.

She seems not to be aware that we have had, and continue to have UNITY, but that UNITY has been our undoing at some point. We had the UPC/KY alliance(unity), we had the MOSHI (smoke) thing, and by her own admission, people united with M 7 to kick the OKELLOS out.

Where have all those past UNITIES put us.You want tribes to unite, yet you are bashing tribal chiefs, some of whom their people UNITE behind.So who and what are you trying to unite.
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0 #65 Wooden K. 2018-05-15 18:08
Alo Ejakait !

thank you wamma. You get it.

Akot has become very boring . Even kadondo songs are no longer played in monotony like that.

Akot should be sent back to a good school . There , she/he will learn that in a country like Uganda , you cannot have or create UNITY by weakening or destroying TRIBES.

It is like saying that if you want to build a strong wall , first crush the bricks so they look like the sand and cement.

Akot is here stuck in one gear. It is becoming annoying .

This one does not know that what damaged Uganda that will take the next 50 years to mend was Obote`s anti-tribal ( tribal unity) paranoia.

Even now , Musanvu is busy doing the same while his own tribalism remains untouched.
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