Justice Minister, Kahinda Otafiire has also been named in the irregular transfer of a government building to a suspected land grabber.
Otafiire while serving as Minister of Trade, Tourism and Industry allegedly initiated the idea of granting the letter of no objection to Birus Properties owned by one, Birungi Simpson.
Simpson Birungi used the letter of no objection from Ministry of Trade and Tourism to apply to Uganda Land Commission fort grant of lease for plot 60/62 in Jinja Municipality.
Birus used the same letter to process for the land titles for the same land.
The clearance by Otafiire is said to have cleared the land grab and later demolition of the building despite interventions by Privatisation Unit and the Inspectorate of Government (IGG).
Education Service Commission Undersecretary, Olauna Emmanuel Orum told the Lands Inquiry probe that Kahinda Otafiire first communicated to Ambassador Julius Onen.
Ambassador Julius Onen was the Permanent Secretary at the time Otafiire was Minister of Trade, Tourism and Industry while Olauna Emmanuel Orum was the Undersecretary at the same Ministry.
Olauna told the Commission that Ambassador Julius Onen asked him to carry out due diligence on the request by Birus Properties for a certificate of no objection for takeover of plot 60/62 Aldina Road in Jinja.
Olauna revealed that while attending the President’s swearing at Kololo on 12th May 2011he was driven by Birus Properties agent to agent to Jinja to carry out the purported due diligence in Jinja.
Birungi grilled by commission
The commission of inquiry into land matters learnt that a Kampala businessman paid less than Shs.2.5 million to buy a government property in Jinja town.
He was also blamed on the manner he evicted tenants before demolishing the building.
On Wednesday, Birungi told the commission that he was approached by a group of brokers who wanted to sell a plot in Jinja.
“They told me the plot had an old building and that I could acquire it at a low price,” Birungi said.
He, however, surprised the commission when he told them that he paid only Shs2.5 million for the building plus Shs70 million to brokers.
The commission accused him of bribing government officials who made it easy for him to fraudulently take over the government property.
Written by URN