Tooro Queen mother warned against evicting people from land

President Museveni has warned Best Kemigisa, the Queen Mother of Tooro Kingdom against carrying out illegal land evictions.

Museveni issued the warning while appearing on Voice of Tooro radio station in Fort Portal on Wednesday night as part of his nationwide campaign to explain the proposed Constitutional amendments on land.

The warning stems from complaints from some callers against the Queen mother. Steven Mugurusi, a resident of Kitumba requested the President to reign in on Kemigisa. In his response Museveni directed Kemigisa to stop the evictions, saying they are contrary to the law. “The law is very clear; no one should be evicted from their land. That person (Kemigisa) should stop,” Museveni said.

Kemigisa has in the past come under criticism for evicting families using Uganda Peoples’ Defense Force (UPDF) soldiers attached to the security detail of King Oyo. Some of the families are in Kitumba and Kidukuru villages in Fort Portal. Last year, Kemigisa threatned to evict more than 70 families from a piece of land measuring 25 acres in Kitumba. She said that she wants to use the land to construct a school.

Museveni also said that should the evictions persist, the actions of Kemigisa should be brought to the attention of the local leaders in the district and action taken. “It’s good you have told me who is evicting people from their land. This should stop and the leaders in the district should take note and do something”, Museveni said.

In May, Tooro Elders under their umbrella, Isaazi lyAbaantu Bakuru Ba Tooro petitioned the Justice Catherine Bamugemereire Land Commission over Kemigisa’s actions. On the controversial leasing of crater lakes to Ferdsult Engineering Services Limited by Kabarole district local government, Museveni said that the investor should have thoroughly consulted the community surrounding the lakes before restocking the lakes.

“The fishermen have been using the lakes for a long time, they should have been consulted before restocking started. I don’t see any problem with both parties sitting to find an amicable solution”, Museveni said. Kabarole District Local government in 2015 allegedly leased twenty crater lakes to Ferdsult Engineering Services Limited to restock them with Fish.

This prompted Kichwamba Sub County residents to challenge the matter in court. In June Fort Portal High Court Resident Judge, Justice Anthony Ojok Ayuko cancelled the deal citing irregularities. Ferdsult and Kabarole district local government have since appealed the judgment.

 

 

 

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Security beefed up in Amuru land surveying commences

By Robert Segawa
Security has been tightened in Kololo, Amuru district as government starts surveying land set aside for business man Madhvani to grow sugarcanes.
Last week, a group of locals mostly women stripped naked before the Lands minister Betty Amongi who had gone to oversee the exercise.
According to the police spokesperson for Aswa region, Jimmy Akema, they had to deploy heavily in a bid to secure those locals who gave out land for willingly .
 The surveying process was halted by locals who were protesting against  their land being given away.
However, according to Okema both the locals who gave away land willingly and the surveyors will be assured of security when the exercise begins.

Baguma Isoke says Movit proprietor’s land documents were stolen

By Sania Babirye

The chairman of the Uganda Land Commission Baguma Isoke has told the Land probe that a file containing application,  valuation and inspection forms plus the lease offer agreements to Movit proprietor Simpson Birungi in regards to plot 60-62 Aldina road in Jinja town was stolen  from the commission’s registry.

Isoke has been  testifying before the commission  on how the said  land which had been leased out to Jinja Municipal council  fraudulently ended up in the hands of Birungi .

Isoke has said  that no information can be traced from the  commission’s records because the file  vanished from the registry 2 years before he assumed office on the 2nd/February 2014.

However when asked by the commission to explain the circumstances under which this theft could have happened ,  Isoke said he did not know because access to the registry is only by permitted staff who even record movement of any documents.

The commission has however  given Isoke a 2 weeks ultimatum to report back with a solution on how the said land can get back in the hands of government.

The chairman  will also be required to explain to the commission  how military land in Kapeka and National Fisheries Research Institute land in Wailaka  was leased out to individuals.

Ministry of lands official arrested for issuing land titles in wetlands

By Sania Babirye

The land commission of inquiry chair Justice Catherine Bamugemeire has ordered for the immediate arrest of the senior registrar  of  titles in the ministry of lands and urban development Lwera Atalo Bwogere for issuing titles in wetlands.

Atalo who was appearing before the seven member commission was arrested and taken to Wandegeya police station after justice Catherine Bamugemeire accused her of giving contradicting evidence regarding issuing of  land  titles in wetlands especially in Wakiso district.

On Thursday, the commission discovered that land titles were issued in Kijabijo wetland under her order however Atolo angered justice Catharine Bamugemeire when she alleged that she was not aware that the land was a wetland while she was issuing the said land titles.

37 year old Atalo  has been working in the ministry for the past 12 years and before she became a senior  registrar of titles  she was stationed at Wakiso district.

The said titles are said to have been issued between 20th  January 2016 to 8th February  same year.

Man accuses city tycoon Ntaganda of stealing forest

By Sania Babirye

City tycoon Ephraim Ntanganda has been accused by a 79 year old man of stealing his  forest  amounting to five hectares found in Wakiso district.

Dezidelio Kasujja revealed this while appearing before the land  commission of inquiry being chaired by Justice Catherine Bamugemeire.

He has told  the commission that Ntanganda connived with the NFA Executive director to clear his forest containing 150 bee hives and 12 acres of  Eucalyptus trees in march 2016.

Kasujja has further told the commission that  on that fateful day Ntaganda who was escorted by police men dressed in uniform brought in tractors to clear the forest found in Kajjansi in his presence.

After the incident Ntanganda  is alleged to have sold off the trees and the bee hives and bared him from trespassing on the former forest.

Kasujja has now asked the land prob to visit the locus for  more clarity.

In March 1997 Kasujja is said to have acquired the virgin forest for  re development from the National Forestry Authority .

Ntanganda is expected to take a stand this afternoon to defend himself on the said allegations.

Civil societies demand that Gov’t sets a commission of inquiry into Apaa issues

By Wasswa Deo

A consortium of civil society organizations in Uganda has condemned the ongoing land conflicts in Amuru.

The group led by the country acting director Action Aid Uganda Christine Aboke says government must come up with a lasting solution to end cases of land conflicts in the country.

According to the joint statement they have released, they are demanding a commission of Inquiry into the land matters headed by Justice Catherine Bamugemereire be allowed to pursue the Apaa case  immediately and come up with concrete recommendations to address the matter.

Among other demands, the group demands that government urgently revisits its commitment to gazette the East Madi game reserve which has been a source of dispute and violent conflict over the year.

The land disputes in Apaa Parish started after part of Pabbo Sub County, in Amuru district was forcefully demarcated as part of Adjumani amidst protests from Amuru residents. The area under contention covers 20 square kilometers of land located in a contested wildlife reserve gazetted in 2002.

The consortium members say  it’s unfortunate that the conflicts are affecting more women and children who are considered to be the most vulnerable group.

The land conflicts in Apaa has resulted into 8 people losing their lives and injured more than 20 others.

However, a team of cultural leaders and government officials led by the Acholi paramount chief of Ker Kal Acholi on Thursday visited people who have been displaced at the Apaa Trading Center.

The victims have also accepted food relief that they had rejected initially.

The acceptance came after a visit by the State Minister for Primary Health Care (PHC) Joyce Kaducu who practically cooked and ate the food to confirm that it was free of poison .

According to Amuru district Chairperson Michael Lakony, the distribution will begin today, Friday, with the most vulnerable people including the elderly, injured, children and those suffering from severe hunger.

He says up to 7,000 people have been registered for food relief.

Nadduli advises Baganda to go slow on new land campaign

Buganda’s Land Title Registration draws more Backlash as Minister Nadduli Weighs In

The minister without Portfolio Al-Haji Abdul Nadduli has said that Buganda Kingdom’s land title registration campaign is ‘poisoned.’

Nadduli wants the masses in Buganda to go slow about it.

Nadduli’s remarks come days after the Lands minister Betty Amongi, while delivering a speech on May 3 at the opening of the Justice Catherine Bamugemereire commission of inquiry into land matters, questioned the mass land tilting campaign by the Buganda Land Board (BLB).

BLB is running the “Land Title in Your Hands”, campaign aimed at granting mainly 49-year leases to tenants occupying kingdom land.

The campaign targets those occupying Buganda Kingdom land without official documentation. This new arrangement has since its launch drawn mixed reactions with some thumbing it up while others are seriously going against it.

Those against it are fearful that it may trigger mass land evictions on land owned by the Kabaka of Buganda or the kingdom, while those advocating for it argue that the titles are to help tenants access several services like financial and credit services for their own development benefits.

While officiating Friday at the launch of Centenary Bank’s Cente home loan which is aimed at extending loans to customers to construct houses at Wobulenzi in Luweero, Minister Nadduli said that the registration exercise has been brought in bad faith.

He wants the 49-year-lease revoked.

However, David Kiwalabye Male, the Buganda Land Board Chief Executive Officer appealed to the population to turn a deaf ear to all people speaking ill about the campaign. He argued that many of those opposing the campaign have actually already secured their own lease titles.

Buganda Land Board (BLB) is running the “Land Title in your Hands”, a campaign aimed at granting mainly 49-year leases for tenants on Buganda Kingdom land. The campaign targets those occupying the land without official documentation.

The Central government seems to be uncomfortable with the new arrangement which some have said may fuel mass land evictions on land owned by the Kabaka of Buganda or the kingdom.

Minister Amongi in a speech at the opening of the Justice Catherine Bamugemereire Commission of Inquiry into Land matters said she was listening to the issues emerging from the mass land titling exercise.

 

 

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Establish an authority responsible- Kyewalabye

By Moses Kidandi

Buganda Land Board Chief Executive Officer Kyewalabye Male wants government to establish an authority responsible for issuing land titles and handling land related issues to avoid fraudsters.

Male believes that once the Land Authority is established and work as a one stop center, fraudsters will be easily controlled in the country.

Early this year, BLD launched its “Wetuukire” campaign aimed at registering all Title-holders on Kabaka’s land in a bid to regularize their tenancy.

However, Male admits that the board failed to fight out fraudsters but let police to handle the matter that is still a challenge in the country.

Photo: The Investigator

Makindye LC1 Chairman held by police

By Robert Ssegawa

Police is holding LC1 Chairman Nabisalu zone in Makindye division for fraudulent selling off a 30 decimal piece of land at Shs70m.

Kampala metropolitan police spokesperson Patrick Onyango identified the suspects as Henry Muwonge aka Kajim Ssava chairman of Nabisaru zone in Makindye division and Mugerwa Juliet fraudulently forged papers of late Johnson Kasozi and sold land to Gideon Kibirango at 70 million.

It alleged that the suspect forged death certificate of Jameson Kasozi, a will, and letter of administration, authorising him to have powers of attorney on the land of their father.

The suspects were arrested after the buyer got information that one of them who sold him a land had been arrested over criminal trespass at Mutundwe police station and a buyer immediately went their established that he has sold him a fake land.

Muwonge is being charged with  5 offenses which include obtaining money by false pretense and uttering false documents.

 

Police nabs City lawyer over forgery of land documents

City lawyer, Robert Kawamala and four others are in trouble for allegedly forging documents to grab 68 acres of land.  The suspects were picked up on Wednesday at Masaka land office. The other suspects are Joseph Sserwanja, Daniel Bainomugisha, Denis Kayongo and Umar Kaliisa.

Idi Ibin Ssenkuumbi, the Masaka Regional Police spokesperson, says the suspects were intercepted at Masaka Land office where they had gone to the Registrar, Herman Ggaliwango to endorse forged land documents. According to Ssenkumbi, Kaliisa processed forged agreements pretending that he was selling his land to Sserwanja.

The Masaka District Land Registrar, Herman Galiwango explains that the plot was to transfer the land title from the name of Jane Nakiboneka, a resident of Bukulula village in Kalungu district to the name of Joseph Sserwanja. He says the suspects had also forged Nakiboneka’s signatures indicating that she had sold them the land.

According to Ggaliwango, he contacted contacted Nakiboneka who denied having sold her land to anyone. As a result, Ggaliwango alerted police, which swung into action and picked up the suspects. Nakiboneka arrived a few hours later, saying the land in question belongs to the family, which she can’t sell to anyone.

She explains that the land belonged to her late mother Maria Nabayego who transferred the title into her name. During interrogation, Sserwanja claimed to have bought the said land from Umar Kaliisa, a prominent broker in Masaka. Sserwanja said that he paid Kaliisa Shillings 30million, who promised to him get a land title before he clears the balance of Shillings 20 million.

As a result, Kaliisa used Kawamala to process the transfer forms changing the land title from Nakiboneka’s name to Sserwanja. Kawamala denies playing a role in the forgery, saying he relied on the information provided by Kaliisa to process the land documents. Police have opened inquiries under SD REF 88/21/06/2016.

The arrest of the suspects comes at a time when Masaka is battling land grabbing. Several families have been evicted from their land by unscrupulous people, sometimes with titles.