By Max Patrick Ocaido
PARLIAMENT. Junior Lands minister, Princess Persis Namuganza wants parliamentary committee on Agriculture to summon her boss, Betty Amongi, Minister of Lands over the illegal give away of government Ranches and Stock farms.
Namuganza who is also Bukono County MP said that minister Amongi along with other senior ministers have a big hand in the illegal give away of government ranches and should therefore be responsible. She added that there are several legislators and Ministers involved in the grabbing of ranches and stock farms.
The Minister made the submission while appearing before the Parliamentary Committee on Agriculture on Thursday to report on the development of government stock farms.
“Some people part of us are also interested in stock farms and ranches, it is not criminal for any MP to express interest in using a ranch as long as they pass through the right criteria,” Namuganza said.
“I request next time that you also call the Minister of Lands, Hon. Betty Amongi to come here because I have seen several letters requesting for ranches and it keeps me wondering. We are the Ministry for Lands, how can the Minister write requesting that there is someone who wants to use a certain ranch and yet this is a prerogative of the Ministry of Agriculture?” she wondered.
Namuganza said that she has copies of letters written by the Minister [Amongi] requesting the President to give away certain ranches like Marunzi ranch.
“That wouldn’t be for us to do, whoever is requesting for a ranch to be used should pass through the user ministry [of lands] and we only await for notification of who the land has been allocated,” she said.
“As a minister we are custodian of every land documents of Ministries, agencies as well as individuals, but if we are to do anything on land of a certain Ministry or agency, we must do it in partnership,” she said, adding, “We have land for the Army and we can’t do anything without the mother Ministry being involved; as Ministry of Lands, we have most times talked to our colleagues in the Ministry of Agriculture about this, may be it has been due to budget challenges.”
Namuganza also wondered why her colleague the State Minister for Agriculture, Joy Kafula Kabasi keeps on lamenting over ranches that are being taken up yet she is in the responsible position.
“They should be the ones to tell us which land they have allocated and which part has been grabbed, we only wait for orders from them to cancel out titles just in case. They need to tell us who is taking the ranches, Minister Kabasi is from Agriculture but once you hear her lamenting, it leaves wondering who then to blame,” she said.
Namuganza has not once or twice attacked fellow ministers and colleagues. Among them include Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga and state minister for ICT, Aidah Nantaba.