15 May 2019

Uganda: Lands Ministry Speaks Out On Shs98b World Bank Cash Probe

Kampala — The Ministry of Lands have dismissed reports of alleged probe in regard to mismanagement of the World Bank loan of $26 million (about Shs98b) meant for the digitalization of the land information system in Uganda.

Mr Vincent Byendaimira, the Ministry's Acting Permanent Secretary issued a statement last evening and explained that the funds under the Competitive and Enterprise Development Project (CEDP) have been put to proper use as seen on ground such as the establishment and operationalization of 14 Ministry Zonal Offices (MZOs).

He said that the MZOs provide all ministry services thereby bringing services closer to the people.

Mr Byendaimira said that the ministry is not under any investigations by state house anti-Corruption Unit headed by Lt. Col. Edith Nakalema as alleged and that it not true that the Permanent Secretary, Ms Dorcas Okalany has been asked to take leave pending investigations. He said Ms Okalany is out of office on normal leave and she returns to office on June 4.

"The ministry has and still enjoys a good relationship with the World Bank and it is not true that the former has lodged any complaint on mismanagement of funds. The ministry concluded implementation of phase 1 of CEDP and indeed the World Bank has approved the second phase," he revealed.

Mr Byendaimira added: "The ministry of lands like any other government agency is audited regularly and the Land Information System (LIS) is audited by NITA-U as a regulator to ensure compliance and quality assurance of the system."

He said that the ministry is committed to transparency and proper management of funds and that if any officer is involved in corruption or misconduct, the law take its course to deal with the person.

"In regard to vehicles that were procured for the ministers as per the ministerial entitlement of vehicles, it was approved by the ministry of public service and the chief mechanical engineer. It is not true that the vehicles were rejected by the ministers. The vehicles are currently in use by the ministers," Mr Byendaimira said.

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