Connect with us

Witness Radio Milestones

REVEALED: The Origin Of Namuganza’s War With Minister Betty Amongi, Bigirimana Pinned For Selling Air Worth 100 Million To Government



It was a somber mood in the commission of inquiry into land matters when Albert Mugumya, the under-secretary Uganda Lands Commission (ULC) revealed the origin of the bad blood between the Cabinet Minister of Lands, Housing and Urban Development Betty Amongi and the state minister for lands Persis Namuganza.

 Mugumya broke down in tears when the commission’s assistant lead counsel John Bosco Suuza put him to task to explain how he has been handling the Uganda land fund which the government allocated to compensate the landlords whose land is occupied by tenants. “My lord, I pray that you allow me to testify these sensitive issues in-camera (without journalists) because they are ashaming and involve big government officers who include my bosses Betty Amongi and Namuganzi,” Mugumya pleaded.

Suuza first refused Mugumya’s request and told him to go ahead with his testimony. A tough looking Mugumya started revealing shocking details of how government officials have been putting him on pressure to release billions of cash to non-existing land. Mugumya said that in 2016, he received a letter from the lands minister Betty Amongi instructing him to make immediate payments to Agnes Bagaya (100m), Pius Bigirimana (100 million), Nasubuga Teddy (121 million), Sam Seguya (100 million), Crush Baligye (60 million), Jemba Nicholas (50 million), Patrick Bikashangiza (50 million) for their land. He said that Amongi copied her letter to her junior minister Persis Namuganza, Matia Kashaija the finance minister among others.

In her letter, Amongi informed Mugumya that she was the last person to determine who will and will not be compensated. Amongi further indicated in her letter that the president ordered her to be the final person so that she can monitor how the land fund claimants are paid.

Mugumya told the commission that he wrote back to the minister telling her that she doesn’t have powers to determine who has to be paid when. He further explained to the minister that the constitution stipulates clearly that it’s the accounting officer who is responsible for the payments.

Mugumya said that surprisingly, the auditor general had already instructed ULC to stop paying claimants because he was still investigating how they were handling the compensation money.

Mugumya said that the auditor general’s instructions came after he discovered that there were some big government officials who had applied for payments yet they didn’t have any land to sell to the commission. Mugumya gave an example of Pius Bigirimana, the

Permanent Secretary Ministry of Gender and Labour and Social Development, who the auditor general investigated and found out that he was selling air to the commission.

He said that the Uganda land fund payment committee sat and passed a resolution cautioning Amongi that she doesn’t have powers to order the undersecretary and to approve payments.

State minister Persis Namuganza also wrote to Amongi informing her that she was breaking the law to approve the persons to be compensated. Namuganza clearly told her boss Amongi that the compensation docket belongs to her office not Amongi’s. Namuganza further explained to Amongi that there was no money to pay the selected people she branded special in her letter. Namuganzi further informed Amongi that the budget which was allocated to the fund was finished after paying 6 billion shillings to the Anglican church for their land in Entebbe, the remaining money was to be paid to the people of Amuru who government was planning to relocate.

“My lord, minister Amongi took the powers of the accounting officer. She released billions of cash to Pius Bigirimana. When we warned her that we didn’t see Bigirimana’s land, which he wanted to sell to the government, she just told us that she paid 100 million shillings to Victoria Ssebagereka Bakooko, who was very sick and  650 million shillings to Ishaks Ruhana who was in hiding because banks were looking for him over debts. “My lord, I tried to stop the payments by telling the minister that there was an in-house committee chaired by minister Chris Baryomonsi which was investigating how the land fund money was administered. My lord, the minister was very angry with me and threatened to fire me for undermining her. My lord, I pray that you allow me to reveal more secrets in-camera because of the magnitude of the matter,” Mugumya pleaded.

He added that Amongi wrote back to Namuganza warning her that she was the cabinet minister so she was the one with absolute authority in the ministry.

The commission also learnt from George William Bizibu, the executive secretary Uganda Asian departed property custodian board that Amongi grabbed a lot of property belonging to departed Asians in different parts of the country. He said that Amongi used her position as the minister who sat on the custodian board to grab the said property using her company Amobet Investment Company limited.

“We have just realized that the minister was using her

company and one man called Henry Mubiru to steal Indian’s property and we are in the process of cancelling all the property titles,” Bizibu said.

Yesterday, an Indian, Patel pined Amongi before the commission for grabbing his family property on plot 29 Acacia road in Kololo. The commission of inquiry through the commission’s chairperson Catherine Bamugemereire has issued criminal summons against  Amongi and she is expected to appear on Monday.


Complaint against unprofessional conduct of the DPC Kiryandongo district for aiding and abetting land grabbing in kiryandongo district.



The Commandant,

Professional Standards Unit, Uganda Police-Kampala.

Dear Sir/Madam;


We act for and behalf of the Lawful and bonafide occupants of Land described as LRV MAS 2 FOLIO 8 BLOCK 8 PLOT 22 (FORMERLY KNOWN AS RANCH 22).

Our Clients are residents of Nyamutende Village, Kitwara Parish in Kiryandongo District where they have lived for more than 30 years and sometime in 2017, they applied for a lease of the said Land to Kiryandongo District Land Board through the Directorate of Land Matters State House.

As they were still awaiting their Application to be processed, they were shocked to establish that the said land had been instead leased to and registered in the names of Isingoma Julius, Mwesige Simon, John Musokota William, Tumusiime Gerald, Wabwire Messener Gabriel, Ocema Richard and Wilson Shikhama, some of whom were not known to the Complainants. A copy of the Search is attached hereto

Our clients protested the above action and appealed to relevant offices, but were shocked to discover that the above persons had gone ahead and sold the same to a one Maseruka Robert.

Aggrieved by these actions, the Complainants appealed to the RDC who advised them to institute proceedings against the said persons, and assigned them a one Mbabazi Samuel to assist them to that effect. The said Mbabazi accordingly filed Civil Suit Noa 46 of 2019 against tne said registered proprietors at Masindi High Court challenging the illegal and fraudulent registration, sale and transfer of the subject land to Maseruka Robert.

While awaiting the progress of the case mentioned hereinabove, the Complainants were surprised to find that the said Mbabazi, instead of assisting them, he went into a consent settling the said suit on their behalf without their knowledge or consent. A copy of the Consent is attached hereto.

Among the terms of the said consent Judgment was that the residents would be compensated without specifying how much and would in return vacate the Land.

As if that was not enough, Maseruka Robert and Mbabazi Samuel are going ahead to execute the said Consent Judgment by forcefully evicting the occupants without compensation which has prompted the complainants to challenge the said Consent by applying for its review and setting aside at Masindi High Court which is coming up for hearing on the 29th March 2023. A copy of the Application is attached hereto.

Sensing the imminent threat of eviction, we also filed an application for interim stay of execution of the said consent to avoid rendering their application for review nugatory but unfortunately the same could not be heard on the date it was fixed for hearing (6th February 2023). A copy of the Application is attached hereto

On Thursday last week, three tractors being operated by 6 workers of a one Mbabazi Samuel [the very person who had been entrusted to represent our Clients to secure their Land through Civil Suit No.46 of 2019] encroached close to 50 acres of our Clients’ land and started ploughing it but our Client’s protested and chased them away.

We have however been shocked to receive information from our Clients that on Sunday at Mid night, 3 police patrols invaded the community in the night and arrested community members; Mulenje Jack, Steven Kagyenji, Mulekwa David, Ntambala Geoffrey, Tumukunde Isaac 15 years, Kanunu Innocent, Mukombozi Frank, Kuzara, Rwamunyankole Enock, and took them to Kiryandongo Police Station where they are currently detained.

We strongly protest the illegal arrests and detention of our Clients as this is a carefully orchestrated land grabbing scheme by Maseruka Robert and Mbabazi Samuel who are  receiving support from the DPC Kiryandongo.

The purpose of this Letter therefore is to request your good office to investigate the misconduct, abuse of office and unprofessionalism of the said DPC Kiryandongo District and all his involvement in the land grabbing schemes on land formerly known as Ranch 22.

Looking forward to your urgent intervention,

C.C The Head Police Land Protection Unit Police Head Quarters Naguru

CC The RDC Kiryandongo District

CC The Chairman LCVKityadongo District

CC The Regional Police CommanderAlbertine Region

Continue Reading

Witness Radio Milestones

The Executive Director of Witness Radio Uganda talks about the role played by Witness Radio in protecting communities affected by large-scale agribusinesses in Kiryandongo district in an interview with the ILC.



Continue Reading

Witness Radio Milestones

Witness Radio Uganda wins the best CSO land rights defenders award at the National Land Forum Awards.



By Witness Radio Team

Uganda’s leading land and environmental rights watchdog, Witness Radio has been awarded the best CSO land rights defender award 2022 in the recently concluded National Land Forum Awards held last week at Mestil hotel in Kampala.

Witness Radio’s executive Director, Jeff Wokulira Ssebaggala attributed the award to the community land and environmental rights defenders who stand up against the intimidation and different forms of harassment from land grabbers (economically powerful and politically connected companies and individual investors).

“This is an award for defenders at a community level. They work in very deadly environments filled with harassment, torture, death threats, arrest, trumped-up charges, and kidnaps among others to advocate for community land and environment rights. This is happening at a spate where criminalization and silencing of  community land rights defenders are at increase.” Jeff added.

The award has come at a time when hundreds of Ugandans in different parts of the country are accessing services provided by the organization ranging from legal service provisions, non-judicial mechanism engagements, empowerment to help them understand their rights, and using the same knowledge to use the same skills to push back against illegal and forced evictions

The chairman of the organizing committee of the second National Land Forum, Mr. Jimmy Ochom noted some progress on legislation in Uganda’s land Governance. He cited growing inequalities on land where the poor are more vulnerable.

During awards, the state minister for housing, Hon persis Namuganza revealed that the government approved the plan for 2018-2040 that maps the land use in the country.

According to the minister, the government had identified land for settlement, game reserves, wildlife, arable land for farming, and water bodies among others in the plan which she said was passed a few weeks ago.

The event was organized by Oxfam and partners and provided a platform for discussions by the different actors in the land sector on issues around land governance, including land rights, land administration, and land governance for improved collaboration, cooperation between the actors, and improved land service delivery for Ugandans under a theme “Taking stock of the National Land Policy in addressing Land inequality in addressing Land inequality in Uganda.”

Other categories of awards that were won by different organizations and individuals including Mr. Eddie Nsamba-Gayiiya for his contribution to research on land rights, Justice Centers Uganda for Promoting Access to Land Justice, and Mr. Henry Harrison Irumba for Championing Legal Reforms among others.

Continue Reading

Resource Center

Legal Framework




Subscribe to our newsletter

* indicates required