By Sania Babirye
The troubled Lands Minister Betty Amongi has been disowned by the office of the president in relation to withdrawing huge sums of tax payers money from the land fund to compensate alleged claimants.
Minister Amongi had claimed that she was directed by the president’s office while she was being grilled by the land probe commission over illegal compensations.
However while appearing before the same commission chaired by justice Catherine Bamugemeire, the principle private secretary to the president Molly Kamukama rather denied the allegations and explained that when petitions concerning land matters reach her office , she usually writes back and directs the relevant ministry to manage, investigate the complaint and after investigations then writes a report back to the minister.
Kamukama revealed that instead, minister Amongi undermined the directives by directly taking it upon herself to withdraw money from the land fund without reporting back to the office of the president or being cleared by the same office as required.
Last week , Minister Betty Amongi told the land probe commission that she received several directives from the president to urgently pay- off beneficiaries of the Uganda Land fund ; whose land has been taken over by government for either settlement or economic development .
Justice Catherine Bamugemereire has for that matter suggested to Kamukama that the office of the president should not even wait for the commission’s report and recommendations but to immediately deal with such people who steal money from the land fund and deprive off the right beneficiaries.