Justice Bamugemereire Defends Arrest of Witnesses Top story


In short
Justice Bamugemereire on Friday ordered for the arrest, of a Kenyan national Ambrose Murunga for for threatening to evict more than 100 families from a piece of land in in Luweero district.

 The Lands Commission of Inquiry Chairperson, Catherine Bamugemereire has defended the arrest witnesses for not cooperating with the commission or obstructing justice.

There have been sentiments that the Commission has been selective in ordering arrests leaving out persons like Wakiso District Staff Surveyor, Dr James Batume and Namayingo RDC, Ian Kyeyune over encroaching on Nonve Island.

Dr Batume has also been named in other dubious land transactions in Wakiso including apportioning some to himself.     
Bamugemereire says the Commission has the discretion to decide at what point witnesses can be compelled to provide it with more information. 

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She says the arrests have saved the Commission of situations where because of impunity people would be tempted to tamper with the Commission's documents.  

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Bamugemereire explained that the arrested had refused to cooperate as required by the Commission Of Inquiries Act.She emphasized that arrests were not connected the irregularities under probe.  

She says Dr Batume and Ian Kyeyune have not been arrested because they did not hold back information when they appeared at the Commission. 

The Commission has during the last nine weeks ordered for the arrest of some witnesses including land registrars.   

Those arrested included a Senior Land Registrar Louella Ataro who was arrested and detained at Wandegeya Police accused of "obstructing justice" in connection with failure to answer questions regarding her role in the irregular issuance of more than 10 land titles in Kijjabijo wetland in Wakiso District.

Ataro who formerly worked at Wakiso District Ministerial Zonal offices reportedly later cooperated leading to recovery of vital documents related to issuance of land titles in Wetlands.

The Commission also last week ordered for the arrest of Jinja based businessman Kisakye Yahaya over a forest reserve in Kimaka Jinja Municipality.

From Nakeseke, the Commission ordered the arrest of the district Senior Staff Surveyor Geoffrey Tumusiime for allegedly defending land grabbers in the district.