LIRA: State House Anti-Corruption Unit Charges 22 Individuals in Land Fraud Cases

The State House Anti-Corruption Unit has pressed charges against 22 individuals over a period of 21 months for their involvement in fraudulent land title procurement and abuse of offices in Lira City and District. The accused include civil servants from both entities, businessmen in Lira City, and individuals engaged in illicit transactions concerning government-owned land.

The tampered lands encompass various areas, notably the Lira Central Forest Reserve, where titles were allegedly created illegally, the irregular sale and disposal of Uganda Railways Corporation Land, and the irregular titling and sales of the mayor’s garden in Lira City. The list extends to the irregular sale of Ireda Estate, owned by Lira District on Plot 41 Church Road, among others.

According to Israel Ochwo, the Deputy Head of State House Anti-Corruption, the investigation began in March 2022 when the former Secretary of the Land Board was apprehended by the police moving crucial land documents at night. The complexity arose during the transition of Lira Municipality to Lira City, where jurisdictional issues regarding land use emerged.

“It was a transition between the district and city and Government across the country was still finding legality on how to deal with the land question, how the land in the city was going to be handled, so immediately Cities were created that means, the land within the city stopped being added jurisdiction of the district land board but in Lira we had seen the district land board had continued to dealing with the land which is in the city, this was in disregard with guidance from the Ministry of Local Government and Ministry of land that were communicated to the district authorities by the public secretary through ministry of lands,” Ochwo explained

Ochwo emphasized the need for compliance with guidance from the Ministry of Local Government and Ministry of Land, expressing concern over the abuse of public trust by political and technocratic figures in facilitating land fraud. He highlighted instances where officials registered government land in the names of family members before selling it to businessmen.

While many cases are already in court, the Anti-Corruption Unit plans to return to Lira for further investigations. SP Sowed Muhammad, an investigator with the unit, explained the process of handling cases and encouraged individuals with facts to come forward for expedited resolution.

The Lira City Resident City Commissioner commended the Anti-Corruption Unit for its efforts in safeguarding government lands and called upon leaders to actively participate in the fight against corruption. The Commissioner stressed the importance of providing information to anti-corruption bodies for effective action.

“…all leaders in their respective capacity must embrace fight against corruption, at times we have leaders who encourage corruption by supporting the corrupt in their operations and if this is not dealt with, it will threaten the moral fabrics of this country, as leaders it is our responsibility to help the bodies entrusted with fighting corruption by facilitating them with information and proper guidance so that they do their work…,” Egole expressed

Since December 2018, the State House Anti-Corruption Unit has charged approximately 543 individuals in court, including 292 civil servants and 251 private individuals. The unit highlighted the role of the private sector in facilitating corruption through bribery, and there are still 126 pending cases.


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