KAMPALA_UGANDA/NEWSDAY: The IGG has commenced investigations into an alleged scam in which a cartel of city tycoons were compensated Shs.40bn who are accused of fraudulently taking over government land including wetlands and forests.
The petitioners sent a four page letter to the IGG, Beti Kamya detailing how forest and wetland land officially owned by government was converted to private people who later connived with officials in the Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) to compensate them billions of money.
The petitioners in a March 11 letter claim the land was taken over by businessmen Ephraim Ntaganda and others is located in Kajjansi forest reserve and Nambiriggwa wetland, Kaggwa wetland near Munyonyo and Lubigi- where the Entebe Expreeway and Munyonyo Spur traversed.
IGG spokesperson Ali Munira confirmed her agency has received the petition.
Newsday understands that although some payments were effected, others were halted by UNRA’s executive director Allen Kagina.
The Expressway commissioned by President Museveni in 2018 was constructed by a Chinese Company CCCC and is said to be Africa’s most expensive given the actual construction cost and compensation fees. It was constructed at a loan of Usd 476m provided by Exim bank of China.
The petitioners alleged that regardless of the existing laws protecting gazette land pieces, there are government officials in different ministries especially in the ministry of Lands and ministry of Finance who work with cartels to enable fraud. The government officials include surveyors, valuers, and permanent secretaries among others.
The petition also asked the IGG to investigate the Shs.28bn compensation to one of the cartel members. Out of this, Shs. 8bn has already been paid. By UETCL to pave way for an upcoming high voltage power line that will run to Luzira from Namanve.
The Catherine Bamugemereirwe commission into land management cited businessman Ephraim Ntaganda as one of the top bussinessmen who have taken over gazetted land.
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