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Uganda : Parliamentarians Astonished by Leasing of Key Police Land to Car Dealers

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Legislators expressed dissatisfaction with the utilization of Uganda Police Force (UPF) land by foreign entities, citing breaches in their agreements.

Reacting to the Committee on Defence and Internal Affairs’ report on UPF land, lawmakers were alarmed to discover that a 4.26-acre land leased to the United Nations African Institute for the Prevention of Crime and Treatment of Offenders (UNAFRI) had been sublet to YUASA Car Bond for a 49-year period.

The committee findings unveiled another breach with a 3.5-acre land leased by UNAFRI to Future Group Ltd, owners of Futures Car Bond, for a 99-year period, contravening the terms of the original agreement.

Hon. Wilson Kajwengye, the committee chairperson, stated, “Government granted UNAFRI a lease in 2011 expecting the institute to develop the land for offices, classrooms, a library, storage, and housing. However, the committee found minimal development by UNAFRI.”

Kajwengye presented the report during the session chaired by Deputy Speaker Thomas Tayebwa on Tuesday, October 31, 2023.

The report also highlighted the renting out of 12 UPF bungalows on a temporarily allocated 10-acre land to third parties by UNAFRI.

Furthermore, the report revealed that the Uganda Land Commission (ULC) was involved in altering the land allocated to UNAFRI by the government from 16 to 30 acres without formal backing. Kajwengye accused ULC officials of connivance for personal gain.

Deputy Speaker Tayebwa expressed dismay at the involvement of a UN entity in such actions and called for the Minister of Foreign Affairs to address the matter through diplomatic channels.

The State Minister for Regional Affairs, Hon. John Mulimba, pledged engagement with UNAFRI’s governance board to resolve the disputes, acknowledging the limitations of mediating for a UN entity as a single state.

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Moreover, the committee’s findings pointed out breaches in the agreement for the Ugandan-Iranian health centre establishment, now known as the Iran-Uganda Hospital, raising concerns about the absence of documented evidence of the Iranian government’s promised $1.5 million development aid.

The report also exposed irregular changes in ownership without the knowledge of the Police and failure to implement the agreed subsidy for Police staff treatment at the hospital.

During the parliamentary sitting on October 31, 2023, MPs raised concerns about the need for the Lands Ministry to declare all government-owned land due to widespread illegal possession issues.

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The Lands Minister, Hon. Judith Nabakooba, acknowledged the lack of surveys and titles for government land and pledged to provide an update on registered government land within two weeks.

Members of Parliament have voiced strong criticism regarding the misuse of Uganda Police Force (UPF) land by foreign entities, citing breaches in their contractual agreements.

In response to the Committee on Defence and Internal Affairs’ findings on UPF land, lawmakers expressed deep concern upon discovering that a 4.26-acre land leased to the United Nations African Institute for the Prevention of Crime and Treatment of Offenders (UNAFRI) had been subleased to YUASA Car Bond for a period of 49 years.

The committee’s investigation also revealed another breach, with a 3.5-acre plot leased by UNAFRI to Future Group Ltd, the proprietors of Futures Car Bond, for a period of 99 years, contravening the terms of the original agreement.

Hon. Wilson Kajwengye, the committee chairperson, stated, “UNAFRI was granted a lease in 2011 under the condition that the institute would develop the land for various purposes. However, our findings indicate minimal development by UNAFRI.”

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This report was presented by Kajwengye during a session presided over by Deputy Speaker Thomas Tayebwa on October 31, 2023.

The report further highlighted the unauthorized renting out of 12 UPF bungalows on a temporarily allocated 10-acre land to third parties by UNAFRI.

Additionally, the report revealed the Uganda Land Commission’s involvement in altering the land allocated to UNAFRI by the government from 16 to 30 acres without proper authorization. Kajwengye accused ULC officials of colluding for personal gain.

Expressing disappointment at a UN entity’s involvement in such actions, Deputy Speaker Tayebwa called for the Minister of Foreign Affairs to address the issue through diplomatic channels.

State Minister for Regional Affairs, Hon. John Mulimba, pledged engagement with UNAFRI’s governance board to resolve disputes, recognizing the complexities in mediating for a UN entity as a single state.

Furthermore, the committee’s findings highlighted breaches in the agreement for the Ugandan-Iranian health center establishment, now known as the Iran-Uganda Hospital. Concerns were raised about the absence of documented evidence of the Iranian government’s promised $1.5 million development aid.

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The report also exposed irregular changes in ownership without Police knowledge and the failure to implement the agreed subsidy for Police staff treatment at the hospital.

During the parliamentary sitting on October 31, 2023, MPs emphasized the urgent need for the Lands Ministry to declare all government-owned land due to widespread issues of illegal possession.

Acknowledging the lack of surveys and titles for government land, Lands Minister Hon. Judith Nabakooba pledged to provide an update on registered government land within two weeks.

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