Detectives from the Criminal Investigations Directorate (CID) raided the Uganda Land Commission (ULC) and arrested four senior officials on allegations of fraud.
The principal land officer, internal auditor, senior finance officer, and senior accountant were taken to CID headquarters where they recorded statements.
By 8pm yesterday, the officers were yet to be released. It is unusual for detectives to issue police bond to suspects past 8pm.
The CID spokesperson, Assistant Superintendent of Police Charles Twiine, confirmed the arrest.
“As we speak, they are still recording statements. I am not in a position to divulge any details right now because the investigations are in their infancy,” Mr Twiine said yesterday.
Mr Twiine said detectives also confiscated some exhibits for examination and analysis from the ULC.
The Minister of Lands, Housing and Urban Development, Ms Judith Nabakooba, had earlier warned ministry officials about reports of corruption in the land system and promised to deal with anyone who engages in fraud.
The Auditor General’s report of 2020 raised queries on the expenditure of ULC.
“The payables balance for land compensation was Shs128b as at June 30, 2020. However, the relevant supporting journals and documents for the liability of Shs9.4b were not availed for review, rendering the genuineness of the liabilities doubtful. In addition, payables amounting to Shs15b were overstated in relation to the claim balance due to the church,” the Auditor General’s report reads in part.
The Auditor General found that ULC “does not have a land inventory and database for all government land and properties under its jurisdiction that are either occupied by tenants, vacant, acquired under compensation (but not yet re-distributed to the bona fide occupants), or acquired and owned by other government institutions and missions abroad”.