There was drama in the Committee of Commissions Statutory Authority and State Enterprises (COSASE) when former Lands Minister and now Inspector General of Government (IGG) Beti Olive Kamya skipped the committee proceedings.
This was after she was said to have developed heart-related complications hours before the scheduled meeting.
In his opening remarks in the committee sitting on Thursday morning, the chairperson Joel Ssenyonyi informed the Committee members that he received information from the daughter of the IGG, that she had developed ‘excruciating pain in the heart’ and was rushed to an undisclosed hospital for medical attention, and could not attend the meeting until she recovers.
The Communication was, however, not received positively by some of the Committee members who were suspicious that the Minister was evading to appear before the committee.
Kyandondo East MP, Muwada Nkunyingi suspected that excuse by the IGG could have been a move to evade COSASE. He said past precedents have shown that witnesses advance similar excuses to elude the probe.
Amuru District Woman Representative, Lucy Akello said that it was normal for sickness to occur. She asked the Committee members to be accommodative to the IGG, to allow her get better before she could appear before the Committee.
The IGG had earlier been summoned to appear before COSASE on issues surrounding the wrangles at the Land Commission, where she served as Minister for Lands.
The investigations stem from queries in the Auditor General’s report for the financial year 2019/2020 that captured questionable transactions causing financial loss to the government.
At the time of the audit, Kamya was in charge of the Lands Ministry that superintends over the operations of the Commission, which is mandated to document, verify, preserve and maintain land owned or administered by the government.
Kamya is implicated in the UGX 10.6 billion supplementary budget land bonanza, according to the Auditor General’s report of June 2021. She is also implicated in the payment of six claimants who were being compensated through the Uganda Land Commission (ULC) on her orders when she was still the Minister of Lands.
The Auditor-General Report reads in part, “ It was noted that the entity obtained supplementary of UGX 10.62 Billion that they received but was not requisitioned management.”
Among the queries, the Auditor General reported included shoddy accountability, irregular recruitment, and corruption. For instance, as of June 30, 2020, the payables balance for land compensation was Shillings 28 billion.
The Chairperson of the Committee ruled that the committee will wait on and interface with the IGG when she improves.