Namuganza accuses Amongi of irregular sale of government ranches

The State Minister of Lands, Persis Namuganza has invited Parliament to investigate her senior colleague, Lands, Housing and Urban Development minister Betty Amongi over the illegal sale of government ranches.

The ranches are under the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries but not under the Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development, Namuganza told Parliament’s Agriculture committee.

Namuganza appeared before the committee on Thursday as a witness in the ongoing investigation into the circumstances under which government allocated 72,650 acres of land in public ranches to individuals, agencies and companies despite protests from Parliament.

Namuganza told the committee that there have been lapses in communication between the two ministries in question which left the Lands Ministry in the dark that at present, it does not how much of the ranches is in the hands of private individual.

“In the next meeting, I request that you call the Minister for Lands to come here because I have seen several letters requesting for ranches and I wondered, we are the Ministry for Lands, how can the Minister of Lands [get involved in giving away] ranches? These ranches are under the Ministry of Agriculture,” said Namuganza.

She carried copies of the alleged correspondences between Amongi and the individuals who were seeking to be allocated the ranches.

“I think that wouldn’t be us, it would be a system under Ministry of Agriculture [such that] somebody requesting for that ranch can pass through the Ministry of Agriculture which is the user Ministry,” Namuganza said.

The plan to away at least 24 square miles of government ranches to private groups and individuals, including the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) party leaked in April 2017.

It was reported to have been cleared by the Minister of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries Vincent Bamulangaki Ssempijja.