KAMPALA- The Executive Director of National Information Technology Authority-Uganda (NITA-U), Mr James Sakka has been faulted for pocketing millions of money from the government Land Fund yet his land was “worthless”.

It is alleged that in 2014, Mr Sakka applied to the Uganda Land Commission (ULC) and sold a 640-acre piece of land at Bugangayizi, Kibaale District at Shs928 million.

Mr Sakka has since got a payment of Shs402 million.

Evidence presented to the Justice Catherine Bamugemereire-led Commission shows that 30 percent of the land that Mr Sakka sold to government was unencumbered, hilly and not useful for settlement.

The "worthless" land was valued at Shs480 million while 70 percent of the land that was occupied by squatters was valued at Shs448 million.

Appearing before the Commission, Mr Sakka was also faulted for selling land which did not qualify under the Land Fund, did not execute a sale agreement with ULC and that he did not qualify to be an absentee landlord as required by law.

The land fund is a multipurpose resource envelope with diverse targeted beneficiaries including tenants seeking to buy or own land, government seeking to buy land for redistribution to bonafide occupants or resettlement of the landless, loans to persons waiting to acquire titles or even survey their land.

However, evidence presented before the commission indicates that the fund has been abused by government officials.

In his testimony, Mr Sakka admitted receiving Shs402 million in instalments out of total Shs927 million.

 “My father acquired that land as a donation and he transferred it to me and my siblings and we got registered on it in 1979. We tried to use the land but failed, that is why I contacted the late Bethel Mulondo who advised me to apply for the land fund,”  Mr Sakka said,  admitting that the land in dispute that was valued at Shs15.2 million in 2003 it was valued at Shs928 million.

Mr Sakka is one of the government officials who have quizzed regarding questionable payments for land compensation under the Land Fund.

Others include the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of gender, Mr Pius Bigirimana, Rogers Kweezi (Kibaale District Planner) and his wife, Ms Carolyn Kisembo, former Kibaale District staff surveyor, Mr Dennis Musinguzi.

The land probe has since quizzed Lands Minister, Ms Betty Amongi, the ULC undersecretary, Mr Albert Mugumya, former ULC accountant, Mr Martin Sentongo and accounts assistant Ms Joggies Bigirwa.

 Justice Catherine Bamugemereire who chairs the seven member panel said that the commission will continue investigating into the matter to get more evidence regarding operations of the Land Fund managers and land acquisitions in Kibaale District.

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