The Commission of Inquiry into Land Matters has for the second time run out of operational funds amid overwhelming cases, senior officials revealed yesterday.
Justice Catherine Bamugemereire, who chairs the seven-member team, revealed that the commission was left out of the budgeting process despite submitting their proposals to the authorities.
“…we were an afterthought, so it is a difficult thing for us as a commission. We would like to be everywhere but resource constraints for four months,” she said.
Justice Bamugemereire added: “We hope to be on the budget may be this week or end of this week or next week. And you know we have been receiving all these urgent calls from people everywhere but we have zero operational funds.”
However, she did not reveal how much is required for the commission to operate. She made the revelation at the beginning of the public hearing into a dispute regarding the eviction of more than 2,000 families from four villages in Mityana District.
According to Justice Bamugemereire, “the public should know that people are calling us everywhere but for the last four months, we have not had any (financial) provisions for the operations of this commission so we have no provision at all, we were not on the budget.”
“People who work for us have gone unpaid, so it is painful to watch. We wanted to keep quiet about this but when we see that there is a lot of outcry about why the commission has not come, I think it is important to know that we are resource constrained,” she stated.
The judge’s outcry follows numerous evictions at the weekend in which property worth millions of shillings was destroyed. According to the judge, some of the evictions took place in defiance of the commission’s directives halting any action until investigations are done. One of the evictions took place in Nama Sub-county, Mukono District, where 300 households were demolished without a court order.