On 12th May 2016, President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni was sworn in at Kololo ceremonial grounds in Kampala with a promise to run this term of office with no jokes(hakuna mchenzo) in service delivery. The land sector was one of the most complained about sector and President Museveni moved to restore sanity.
President Yoweri Museveni appointed a commission of inquiry headed by Justice Catherine Bamugemereire to probe an array of issues pertaining to the land sector in Uganda.
Many people believe that the commission which has been long in coming is a precursor to a complete overhaul of the legal regime pertaining to land in Uganda.
The commission which, according to minister of lands, Betty Amongi, is set to begin its work in 2017 has been tasked to inquire into “ the effectiveness of the land law and process of land acquisition, land administration, management and land registration.”
Other members of the commission include: Makerere University law don, Dr. Rose Nakayi, former Attorney General, Fred Ruhindi, Robert Ssebunya – a presidential advisor on Buganda affairs, Joyce Habasa and George Bagonza.
The commission of inquiry is assisted by Dr. Douglas Singiza as Secretary, Ebert Byenkya as lead counsel and John Bosco Rujagaata as co-lead counsel.
“This commission of inquiry offers us a big opportunity to clean up this sector and make lasting changes to a sector which is the bedrock of any country’s development,” Amongi said at Uganda Media Center.
The Bamugemereire commission comes at a time of increased outcry over alleged fraud at the land registry which has seen all sorts of anomalies including issuance of multiple titles to a single piece of land.
In a February 2014 letter to the then minister of lands, Daudi Migereko, the Inspector General of Government, Justice Irene Mulyagonja mooted the idea of government instituting a commission of inquiry to handle issues of alleged fraud in the land sector.
To Mulyagonja, many recommendations by the inspectorate pertaining to fraudulent land transactions were being ignored by technocrats at the land ministry.
On 8th December 2016, President Yoweri Museveni appointed a Judicial Commission of Inquiry into Land Matters in Uganda.
Hon Justice Catherine Bamugemereire , Judge of Court of Appeal/Constitutional Court was appointed to lead the 7 member commission. The Land Probe Commission is commonly known as the Justice Bamugemereire Commission whose hearings are open to the public and media covers it well.
President Yoweri Museveni said on 21st Febuary 2017, Justice Catherine Bamugemereire will head the commission of inquiry that I appointed following numerous land related complaints from Wanaichi(Citizens).
On 23rd May 2017, six months after being appointed is when the land probe commission started its work based at the Archive Center based in Wandegeya, Kampala City.