Uganda: Four Lira Top Officials Interdicted Over Illegal Sale of Govt Land

By Charity Akullo

Four top officials in Lira District have been interdicted over irregular sale of government land.

The officers allegedly sold the land on Plot 41 Church Road and the land at Ireda Estates to private developers without following the required procedures.

The interdicted are district natural resources officer Fabious Otike, secretary of the District Land Board Hellen Anyango, Lands management officer Joseph Ocen Alwong and district land surveyor Francis Opio.They have been given 14 days effective March 22, to submit their defence.

"Failure to comply shall leave me with no option but to submit you to the District Service Commission (DSC) for appropriate disciplinary action," the Lira Chief Administrative Officer (CAO), Mr Ben Otim Ogwete, said in his March 22 letter.

Mr Ogwete said Mr Otike's response was not very satisfactory and even left a lot of unanswered questions.

"One of the key findings is that the file for Plot 41 Church Road is not available at the District Land Registry and this raises even more questions than answers," the letter read.

The accounting officer revealed that some residents were complaining of harassment by a developer, claiming the plot accommodating two houses.

Quoting Article 188 of the Constitution, Regulation 38 (b) of the Public Service Commission, Regulation CAP 277 as well as section (F-s) (2) of Uganda Public Service Standing Order 2010, the CAO wrote: "You are hereby interdicted from duty with immediate effect to pave way for further investigations and disposal of the said case."

When contacted, Mr Otike said he had already written his defence.

"I was still looking for supportive documents which I have already got and I am going to photocopy them and attach as annexes in my response to the CAO," he told Daily Monitor last Thursday.

Ms Anyango said: "What do you want me to comment? I am not going to mention anything."

However, the land management officer and district land surveyor declined to comment on their interdiction.

On February 24, 2021, a whistleblower; Mr Jackson Etwop alerted the CAO about the fraudulent sale of the district land where a private developer was constructing a structure on plot 41 Church Road. The case was also reported to Lira Central Police Station.

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