Makerere University Business School (MUBS) is on the verge of losing land to squatters, said university director Professor Waswa Balunywa.
Balunywa said the university has failed to gain physical possession of the two-acre site at Kireka Hill View, 20 years after acquiring the land from the Uganda Land Commission (ULC).
“We have been dealing with this land problem for 20 years.
People have been invading our land and until now we have not taken care of this land.
[in Kireka] because the invaders have already built houses and it is not easy to drive the invaders out of the land.
Our engineers have been there several times and have been persecuted,” said Professor Balunywa.
He said this while appearing before the Public Accounts Committee (Central) to respond to the Auditor General's inquiries for the fiscal year 2020/2021 on Wednesday, September 7, 2022.
It should be recalled that MUBS owned up to 13 acres of land in Bugoloobi, Kampala.
suburb that ULC turned over to private developers.
However, after an out-of-court settlement, the land commission compensated the school with 0.9 hectares of land (about two acres) located in the swampy part of Kireka-Butabika.
Prof. Balunywa says that although the university is in possession of title to the land, efforts to take control of the land have been futile due to resistance from squatters.
He added that management is stranded and unable to appraise, catalog or develop such land due to the challenge of squatters.
He appealed to the committee to help them take physical possession of said land.
“It is this same committee [PAC] that helped us get compensated by the Uganda Land Commission.
We are looking for the same support to help us take ownership of this land,” he said.
PAC Vice President Hon. Asuman Basalirwa advised MUBS management to take squatters to court as they have title to justify land ownership.
Ibanda North County MP Hon Xavier Kyooma was quick to point out that perhaps MUBS has not explored all options, including deeding the squatters and obtaining an eviction court order to reclaim the land.
"Why wouldn't they [MUBS] obtain a court order of eviction as others have been doing?
And also this is an evidence-based committee and I would be very happy to know that MUBS has tried all the attempts and finally got a judicial eviction and that the police did not help them,” Hon. Kyooma said, adding that it is prudent for the committee to help.
MUBS to secure the land, whether it is located in the wetland or otherwise.
Parliament has recommended the investigation of the former Minister for Land, Housing and Urban Development, Hon. Beti Kamya and the Minister of Finance, H.E. Matia Kasaija for her role in the 10.6 billion Shsh land compensation.
The Chamber chaired by the Speaker of Parliament, Anita Among, on Thursday, August 04, 2022 adopted the report of the Committee on Commissions, Statutory Authorities and State-Owned Enterprises (Cose) that requested the investigation.
Four landowners, including Stephen Nagenda, the late Kosia Rwabukurukuru, Geoffrey Mugisha and Nantalia Namuli, were compensated for their land in different parts of the country.
The committee in its report states that although the Uganda Land Commission (ULC) was supposed to apply for the supplement, the then Hon. Beti Kamya started the plugin without the knowledge of the Commission.
The committee found that after it was approved and disbursed, the supplement was fraught with controversy as it emerged that phantom claimants were paid.
One of the cases is that of Nantalia Namuli, who was meant to get Shh2.3 billion for her land in Kagadi, but the committee found that she did not own the land and that a law firm, Lubega and Buzibira Co. Advocates, who represented her, benefited from compensation of Shs2.3 billion through Warren Mwesigye.
The committee's report blames Kamya and Kasaija for their role in the publication of the supplement.
For her part, Kasaija admitted to the committee that the correct procedure was not followed to secure the supplement and that her staff should not have considered the supplement.
The report also implicates Treasury Undersecretary Patrick Ocailap, who admitted to the commission that he authorized the payment without due diligence.
For Beti Kamya, the committee asserts that although it claimed there was a directive from the president on the supplement, it did not provide a copy of the directive, but rather provided a letter written to it by the president's principal private secretary requesting a compensation.
for the family of the late Kosiya Rwabukurukuru.
“The former Land Minister should be investigated for her involvement in the initiation of the 10.6 billion shilling payment.
Hon. Matia Kasaija and Mr. Patrick Ocailap, Permanent Secretary and Secretary of the Treasury, should be investigated for their role in the complementary processes of Shs6 billion”, said Ssenyonyi.
AUDIO Ssenyonyi The committee also recommended the prosecution of Barbara Imaryo, the then accounting officer of the Uganda Land Commission, and Siraje Isabirye, the chief accountant in regards to phantom payments in the supplement.
Imaryo reportedly fled the country when the investigation into the supplement began.
“Uganda Police should work with Interpol to bring Barbara Imaryo back to the country for prosecution.
Nantalia Namuli and her accomplices such as Amara Peter should be prosecuted for forgery and Buzibira and Co. Advocates should be prosecuted for assisting in the fraudulent transaction that led to the illegal payment of shs2.039 billion to Nantalia Namuli ”, Ssenyonyi noted in the report.
The committee also recommended that the lost money be recovered and that the Uganda Law Council take action against the lawyers.
Speaker Anita Among asked about the current IGG investigation that is implicated, but the Minister of Defense, Hon. Jacob Marksons Oboth indicated that the IGG is being investigated as a former minister and not because of the position he currently holds.
He directed that this can be investigated by the Auditor General or the appointing authority.
“Let me thank the committee for a good job.
I was listening and I thought it was a trial.
I didn't know it was a committee report; It was like a trial; the way the evidence was analyzed and evaluated,” Oboth said.
AUDIO Oboth Oboth However, the Speaker indicated that since the report was originally from the Auditor General, it cannot be returned to that office, rather Parliament can only request investigations.
She said the House should simply decide on the report and wait for a Treasury memorandum on the matter.
“We can request investigations and of course only the Police and IGG can carry out the investigations,” the Spokesperson added.
The MP for Kalungu West, Hon. Joseph Ssewungu said that IGG can pave the way for his investigation by stepping down from his duties temporarily.
The state Chairman of NLC, Comrade Ayuba Suleiman and Chairman of the defunct ULC, Comrade Ephraim Jonah, disclosed this to newsmen after a joint state executive council reconciliation meeting, held at the Textile Labour House in Kaduna.
They said the reconciliation will make the labour movement stronger and united, so as to face the challenges facing workers in the state.
“All parties have given their consent and agreed to work together. Kaduna state NLC council has inaugurated the reunion of the two labour centers.
“From today in Kaduna state, we have only one NLC with over 50 affiliates. Our coming together will give us more strength and unity and the workers will be loyal to support the struggle of NLC to fight for the welfare of ordinary workers.
“We have resolved to include the state executive of the ULC in the NLC, the state chairman of ULC, Comrade Jonah is now the state Vice chairman of NLC, Yahaya Danladi of NUPENG is now ex-officio of NLC, while women leader of the ULC, Eloho Otako is now ex-officio of NLC,” Suleiman said.
On his part, Jonah expressed delight that despite several failed attempts, the two labour centers were able to reconcile.
“After falling apart in 2015, there were series of failed attempts to reconcile the unions.
“But at the national level they thought it wise to resolve the issue because the masses are at the losing end.
“The masses are the ones losing, so the efforts to reconcile restarted in December 2019 and picked up by January 2020 before we are finally able to resolve the issue.
“We are glad to be back home, we are glad to be in one house, we are glad to overcome the challenges.
“We have nasty experience in Kaduna but by coming together, now we are going to join hands to fight for workers welfare,” Jonah said.
Edited By: Maharazu Ahmed
It will be recalled that leadership tussel during the 10th NLC Congresses in 2015, resulted to rift among its members and eventual formation of another faction.
Mr Kabir Minjibir, NLC Chairman in Kano State, announced the development at a meeting in Kano.
Minjibir said that the union had made concerted efforts to resolve the impasse since 2015, to facilitate successful reintegration of the ULC into it’s fold.
“This is committed to the bond of brotherhood and solidarity, which the labour movement all over the world is known for.
“The outcome of this quiet but sustained efforts at making peace is the fruit of the reconciliation that we are celebrating.
The Chairman added that the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between the unions, captured rudiments of the reintegration to the satisfaction of the two parties.
He said:“Fellow workers, the NLC has emerged from this crisis stronger. We have gained more affiliate unions to our movement, we have gained more experience, and built more bridges.
“Going forward from this platform of unity, we are more ready now than ever before to confront and overcome the myriad of challenges facing Nigerian workers, economic, social and political.”
Also speaking, the former Chairman of the ULC, Ado Ririwai described the reconciliation as “ welcome development,” adding that it would strengthen the union towards improving the welfare of workers in the state.
Edited By: Shittu Obassa (NAN)
Mr Timothy Olawale, Director-General, Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA) has described the recent reconciliation of Nigeria’s two major labour unions as a good omen to the labour movement.
Recall that the labour movement split into two factions after the NLC’s elections in 2015.
The NECA DG, who commended the two unions for the bold step, said that the labour movement would become stronger and more united.
“The return to a stronger and undivided voice will enhance the strategic position that the Labour movement holds.
`We have no doubt that the labour movement must have picked up learning points from the events of the past,” he said.
Olawale restated the association’s resolve to collaborate with the labour movement in promoting social dialogue and enduring tripartite relationship.
“At critical times such as this when the nation needs forthright, focused and incorruptible leadership, the labour movement cannot afford a divided house,” he said.
Edited By: Azubuike Okeh/Oluwole Sogunle (NAN)
The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the United Labour Congress (ULC) have resolved its five-year old disputes to confront economic, social and political challenges facing the Nigerian workers.
Mr Ayuba Wabba, NLC President said this during a Reconciliation meeting between the NLC and the ULC on Thursday in Abuja.
According to him, leadership of the NLC and the ULC wish to announce to the world that the strain within the ranks of Organised Labour in Nigeria has been resolved.
“The Nigeria Labour Congress led by Comrade Ayuba Wabba, has fully reconciled with the United Labour Congress led by Comrade Joe Ajaero.
“Nigerians would recall that after the conduct of leadership election in the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) at the 10th National Delegates Conference in 2015, some misunderstanding arose between some affiliates of Congress.
“Efforts by Labour veterans such as the pioneer President of the NLC, Comrade Hassan Sunmonu and the former President of the NLC, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole to resolve the issue but were inconclusive and we must appreciate their commitment in this direction,” he said.
He added that committed to the bond of brotherhood and solidarity which the labour movement all over the world is known for, the leadership of the NLC and the ULC kept aglow the light of peaceful relations towards resolving their misunderstanding.
Wabba therefore said that the two leadership have resorted to direct discussions aimed at ending the rift.
He noted that the outcome of the quiet but sustained effort at making the peace was the fruit of the reconciliation that they were celebrating.
“It is to the credit of the leadership of the NLC and the ULC that the bond of solidarity was never broken even at the height of misunderstanding.
“The NLC and ULC always cooperated and collaborated in defending Nigerian workers. This was the experience during negotiations for the new National Minimum Wage.
“It is remarkable that in the dark furnace that severely tested our commitment and selfless disposition to our movement’s age long tradition of “Nigerian workers first”, we have managed to come out as gold, better and brighter.
“This is the story that overshadows the fleeting pains of the mosquito bites of our misunderstanding in the night,” the NLC president said.
He however said that with the reconciliation, the leadership and structures of the ULC have been reintegrated into the NLC.
Wabba added that in the reconciliation Memorandum of Understanding signed between the two leadership, the modus operandi for this re-integration and ancillary issues are spelt out to the satisfaction of both parties.
“We commend the leadership of our affiliate unions, state councils and our statutory organs up to the National Delegates Conference whose mandate and support provided the ladder to this milestone reconciliation.
“We thank our rank and file and the social partners for their counsel, altruism and support during the dark hour,” he said.
He said the Congress have gained more affiliate unions to the movement and gained more experience, and have built more bridges.
“Going forward from this platform of unity, we are ready now more than ever before to confront and overcome the myriad of challenges facing Nigerian workers – economic, social, and political. United We Stand in Solidarity,” he said.
Mr Joe Ajaero, while responding, said that they are happy that they are back home.
“We are happy to be back to our own house and we pledge to make it stronger. We are here now, and the next few days will definately show that we have retuned home.
“We are back to confront issues challenging the Nigerian workers,” he added.
The News Agency of Nigeria report that following the reconciliation meeting Ajaero became the Deputy National President of the NLC.
Edited By: Ismail Abdulaziz (NAN)
The organised labour unions have extended the 14-day warning strike ultimatum issued to the Kano State Government by another seven-day, to enable the parties resolve their differences.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the labour unions had on May 27, 2020, issued a warning strike ultimatum to the state government to protest unilateral slashing of workers’ salaries.
The unions requested for the refund of the monies deducted from workers’ salaries for the month of March and called for immediate suspension of further deductions without consultations with the workers.
The workers had earlier threatened to embark on an indefinite strike from June 12, if the government failed to meet its demand.
Mr Musa Ahmad, the Secretary of the Joint Action Committee of the Organised Labour Unions, announced the seven-day extension of the ultimatum in a statement on Monday in Kano.
Ahmad said that the unions met on June 14, and unanimously resolved to extend the ultimatum by seven-days.
He said the decision to extend the ultimatum was to enable both parties to make wider consultations on unresolved issues, as agreed during a meeting held on June 12.
The secretary explained that the contentious issues include extensive deliberations and appraisal of the resolutions of negotiations reached with the government’s committee, headed by Alhaji Usman Alhaji, Secretary to the State Government (SSG).
“The state government’s tendered unreserved apology to the workers for its inability to adequately consult with the unions before the deductions of May 2020 salaries.
“Government showed readiness to always make necessary consultations with the unions on matters of this nature, all in an effort to avert the proposed strike,” he said.
Ahmad warned that workers would embark on a warning strike from 12:00 a.m. on June 22, if agreement was not reached with government at the expiration of the extended seven-day ultimatum.
The organised labour unions comprised of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Trade Union Congress (TUC), ULC, JPSNC and other stakeholders, among others.
The statement commended the leadership of the unions for their support and cooperation.
Edited By: Folorunso Poroye (NAN)
Mr Achese Igwe, Deputy President of the United Labour Congress (ULC) on Wednesday urged the International Labour Organisation to compel the Federal Government to register and recognise the congress as a trade union in Nigeria.
Igwe, made the call when he led a protest at the ongoing 107th Session of International Labour Congress (ILC) on Wednesday in Geneva, Switzerland.
NAN reports that in 2016, ULC, a coalition of various workers’ unions, sought to be registered as a union after the last election that brought the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) president, Mr Ayuba Wabba.
The protesters carried placards with inscription such as “Unchain Nigerian workers, make our workplaces free’’, “ILO Stop, Nigeria Government from threating monopolies in trade union movement’’.
Others are “Nigerian Workers demand full democratisation of Nigerian’s industrial relations sphere’’, “Freedom to form unions is a fundamental rights’’.
“As you are aware, we submitted our application for registration two years ago..
“We complied with all processes as required by law and we were denied registration. We were denied our due place as far the labour centre is concerned in Nigeria.
“Each time you go the ministry they tell you we are processing your form. There has no been any reply, ‘’ he said.
He said: “I do not know why we are considered as an illegal union. We have rights as enshrined in the constitution, as enshrined in the ILO conventional treaties that have been signed by Nigeria as well.
“We are here to tell ILO that all the petition written against the ULC are false and fraudulent, diversionary, and that the Nigerian workers are suffering.
“We need the intervention of the ILO to compel the Nigerian Ministry of Labour and the government to register the United Labour Congress and other applications before the Ministry of Labour for registration.’’
He also noted that the union, in May, informed the ILO through the Labour Attaché to Nigeria on the ULC’s plight.
Igwe said: “we expect that the necessary response would be given, ‘’he said.
Edited by: Sadiya Hamza