The Minister of Lands Housing and Urban Development has suspended the entire Lira district land board with immediate effect.
In her letter dated 4th February 2022 addressed to the Chief Administrative Officer and the LCV chairperson, the Minister Judith Nabakooba says she has received complaints of misconduct involving corruption and influence peddling against members of Lira district land board.
“This nature of allegation translates to question of moral turpitude against the officials serving on the board where she is the approving officer of such appointments,” Nabakooba said.
Nabakooba says the suspension will pave way for investigations into the allegations and new members to be nominated for appointments and approval by her.
She has also asked the minister of state for lands and housing to guide the district and the city on effective process of nominating new members on the district land board within a period of one month.
The minister also requested the Inspector General of Government to take up the matter for investigation and further guide on the next course of action.
The suspension letter came hours after the arrest of the secretary district land board who was found in possession of land documents and files from the district land office.
Francis Okello Olwa, who doubles as the Community Development Officer, clerk to council and the district’s spokesperson was arrested on Thursday night while in possession of important documents of the land board in his personal car.
Meanwhile, the Lira Chief Magistrate his Worship Samson Louwum Abiti has warned the newly instituted members of the Lira City Land Board against involving in corruption tendencies while handling land matters.
The installed Board Members includes Joel Aliro Omara as Chairperson, Denis Franco Amot, Augustine Omara, EuniceToli and Farida Okeng.
Abiti’s remarks followed numerous complaints of corruption levied on the Lira District Land Board members who was care taking the city assets.
According to him, corruption which is now a day today business in Uganda is affecting development and Transactions in land related issues in court. Adding that the board should remember their oath to secrecy.
“When the people know that the offices that concerns land work with transparency, when they know that the people who are there are people who are trusty and transparent you will see the confidence that the community around here will put on you and you will see the difference it will create in their lives.”
But Sam Atul, the Lira City Mayor is optimistic that the Board will bring sanity in the City and they should help in acquiring more land for the developmental of the City saying the city is highly congested because of the small land it has.
Meanwhile Joel Aliro Omara, the chairperson board promised to do their work diligently so that the Lands within Lira City serves its purpose.
Ever since its creation, Lira City did not have a substantive land board and this resulted into disputes Lira, the mother district and the city which for accused the district land board for conniving with the office of the Regional Land Board to sell off public lands within its boundaries.