Former Economic Monitoring Minister Henry Banyenzaki has denied allegations that he acquired land titles in Luzira and Namanve wetlands where the standard Gauge railway is meant to pass.
Banyenzaki made the denial while appearing before the Land Commission Inquiry chaired by Lady Justice Catherine Bamugemereire on Wednesday, June 20, 2018.
Banyenzaki told the commission that his land is adjacent to the lake shore and not in a wetland.
He explained to the commission that he had come to the hearing to clear his name as a public figure who had been a cabinet minister for five years and served ten years in parliament.
However, when the commission asked Banyenzaki if he was willing to give additional information about land matters, he said he could only do this in camera. He said he has a lot of information on land grabbing he cannot share in public.
‘’I came to the land commission as guest, Uganda and as a public figure who has been in cabinet for over five years an ten years as a member of parliament.’’ Said Minister Banyenzaki.’’
On Tuesday, the National Forest Authority (NFA) boundary specialist Bernard Opar told the commission that land belonging to NFA and National Environmental Management Authority (NEMA) that lies in the standard gauge railway corridor is now in private hands yet it is in a wetland and on lake that are property of government.
Opar informed the commission that, ‘’Highly placed people in government have frustrated efforts by the authority to do its work , often threatening staff claiming they are confidants of President Yoweri Museveni and members of the ruling NRM.’’
Opar also revealed names of the highly placed people with titles in wetlands and among them former economic monitoring minister Henry Banyenzaki, city tycoon Hassan Basajabalaba, prisons chief Johnson Byabashaija and Picfare company among others.
‘’These are targeting compensations from the upcoming government projects especially the standard gauge railway project, and the high voltage power line that will supply industrial parks in Namanve.’’ Said Opar.’’