By Uganda Online Media
Kampala: Buganda Land Board Surveyor Bashir Juma Kizito aka KBJ is set to Face Criminal Prosecution over a conflict of interest in his duties where he doubles as a Public/Civil Servant acting as the Wakiso District Staff Survey and Private Officer at Buganda Land Board (BLB) serving as the head of Mapping and Survey contrary to the public standing orders 2010.
This comes as a result of the 140 acres Kigo Land row between Kiham Enterprises and Buganda Land Board where KBJ made a non-dated survey report for the conflicted land on behalf of Wakiso District Land Board his employer despite being the lead surveyor of BLB the conflicting party, making him both the witness for Wakiso District Land Board and at the same time the main witness and architect of the complainant which act contravenes the public standing orders 2010 leading to a crime punishable in Uganda under section 9 of the Anti-corruption Act 2009 (Act 6 of 2009).
While addressing the media at the Ministry of Land on Friday, May 20, 2022; Kiggundu named Bashir Kizito who he said is also Wakiso District staff surveyor while at the same time the head of mapping and surveying for BLB.
‘’He writes reports for Mengo, he verifies them and the same person approves the same at the district. ’You can’t author and verify your own reports,” Ham noted.
Ham further called upon the Inspector General of Government (IGG) to Investigate Bashir Juma Kizito over a conflict of interest, between the private and public sectors.
According to Counsel Fred Muwema, “There is an actual conflict of interest in the duties of Kizito acting as both a public and private officer.
This type of conduct is against the code of conduct and ethics of public service issued under the public standing orders 2010. This is also backed by Section 4.6 (i) of the said Code which provides that, “In the execution of official government business, a public officer shall not put himself or herself in a position where his or her personal interest conflicts with his/her duties and responsibilities as a public officer.
Conflict of interest is a punishable crime in Uganda. It arises when a public officer holds a position with or gives service to a person or a private body which is in conflict with his official duties.
The tribunal cannot, therefore, entertain this conflicted public official to pursue a conflicted complaint which derogates all best practices in public law.
The irony of this case is that the freehold titles in issue were granted by Wakiso District Land Board, the employer of BKJ. This means that he is both a witness for Wakiso District Land Board as well as the main witness and architect of the complaint. In other words, BKJ is in a position to influence the matter before the tribunal for and against either party to the dispute.
This is clearly in conflict with his official duties as a public officer and it is illegal conduct which renders the complaint illegal as well. The tribunal can therefore not entertain the said conflicted public officer. In this case, the Ham Vs BLB Case, it makes Kizito‟s survey report incompetent and inaccurate. This is why Counsel Muwema even implored the Land Commission to rubbish his survey report .”
Section 9 of the Anti-Corruption Act (Act 6 of 2009) Reads
(1)Conflict of interest
An employee, or a member of a public body, public company or public undertaking who, in the course of his or her official duties, deals with a matter in which he or she or his or her immediate family has a direct or indirect interest or is in a position to influence the matter directly or indirectly and he or she knowingly, fails to disclose the nature of that interest and votes or participates in the proceedings of that body, company or undertaking, commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a term of imprisonment not exceeding twelve years or a fine not exceeding five thousand currency points or both.
(2) Conflict of interest shall arise where the person referred to in subsection (1)—
(a) Deals with a matter in which he or she has a personal interest and where he or she is in a position to influence the matter directly or indirectly, in the course of his or her official duties;
(b) Holds a position with or gives services to a person or a private body which is or is in conflict with his or her official duties;
(c) Participates in the deliberations of a public body, board, council, commission or committee, of which he or she is a member at any meeting at which any matter in which he or she has a personal interest is to be discussed; or
(d) Attends a meeting of a public body, board, council, commission or committee and fails or neglects to disclose the nature and extent of his or her personal interest.
(3) “Personal interest” in this section includes the personal interest of a spouse, child, dependent, agent, or business associate of which the person has knowledge or would have had knowledge if he or she has exercised due diligence having regard to all the circumstances.