By Sandra Birungi
Parliament has approved Baguma Isoke as new Uganda Land Commission (ULC) chairman.
A former state minister for lands, Isoke has replaced the commission’s longest-serving chairman, Jehoash Mayanja-Nkangi. Isoke was appointed by President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni last month after Nkangi’s term expired. ULC is constitutionally mandated to hold and manage any land in Uganda vested in or acquired by the Government.
The committee in a meeting chaired by Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga passed him despite questions about his track record at the National Forest Authority (NFA). “We spent a lot of time debating a number of allegations that were raised against him when he was still chairman NFA. Members raised issues to do with land allocation, timber and so on. But we still approve him,” a source said.
The committee also reportedly approved the appointment of the commissioners Janat Mukwaya, former MP Winfred Masiko, Ruth Alinyikira, Joseph Kasaija, Margaret Akello, Nelly Badaru, Johnson Okwil Okello and Charles Muhozi.
Mukwaya, the former Minister for General Duties in the Prime Minister’s Office, retired from active politics in 2011.
Baguma said that if approved, he will handle land matters basing on the laws of Uganda. “ULC does not make policies. Our instructions are in the constitution, Land Act and other land related laws. We are not coming with new policies but just to implement,” he said.