Justice Catherine Bamugemereire, the chairperson of the land commission has branded the cabinet minister for lands Betty Amongi a thief who is unfit to occupy any government office. Bamugemereire made the remarks today after Amongi failed to explain the clear identity of Henry Mubiru who is the managing director of Amobet Investment Uganda Limited.
Bamugemereire made the remarks today after Amongi failed to explain the clear identity of Henry Mubiru who is the managing director of Amobet Investment Uganda Limited
How can a minister of lands in this government use street brokers like Henry Mubiru to steal five government buildings in this city?
Bamugemereire declared that Amongi’s acts and greed for property violated the leadership code and she must prepare for any eventualities.
Bamugemereire educated Amongi that in the leadership act, as a minister with powers to make decisions in the ministry of lands, she is controlled by the act from entering a deal where her spouse or agent was involved.
Bamugemereire revealed that Amongi used Mubiru to crack government deals for her after successfully grabbing government land on block 128 plot 19 Bululi Nakasongola. Bamugemereire said that Mubiru was compensated with 1.2 billion shillings from Uganda land fund.
Bamugemereire added that it was Mubiru who cut a deal for the minister with city pastor Daniel Walugembe. Walugembe used fraudulent documents and connived with Uganda Land Commission leaders to compensate Mubiru with billions of shillings.
She also added that Amongi’s Amobet company is among the companies which evade taxes. Bamugemereire also pinned Amongi for not registering her workers for National Social Security Fund (NSSF) benefits as stipulated by the law.
Please honorable minister, stop frustrating us, answer our questions this is the last time you are dodging my questions. If you do it again you will not like it. Bamugemereire warned Amongi who was trying to dodge questions put to her.
In her response, Amongi said that the Mubiru, who the commission says is her managing director is not the one, she promised to bring the right Mubiru to the commission. She added that she never evaded any government taxes and promised to bring her company’s tax balances and taxes she paid to government before the commission.
Amongi said that her company employs only three people, others are on contract basis. She educated the commission that in law, she is not supposed to register them for NSSF because they are less than five
On the issue of Walugembe, Amongi said that Walugembe fooled her by presenting to her a letter from the president’s office indicating that the president had ordered Uganda Land Commission to pay him immediately. When she discovered that Walugembe was lying, she stopped the payments. Amongi said that Walugembe dragged her to the Inspector General of Government (IGG) alleging that she stopped her payment yet the president had ordered.
Justice Bamugemereire-led Commission concluded that Amongi tried hard but failed to separate herself from the questionable actions of her private company, AMOBET Investment Ltd.
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.