Nabakooba directs on Kasanda contested land

Nabakooba directs on Kasanda contested land

Lands Minister Judith Nabakooba spent the better part of Friday March 1 combing different Sub Counties in Kassanda District to meet residents in a bid to iron out land related issues.

The minister held three meetings in Kalwana, Kassanda, and Nalutuntu sub counties where locals shared with her how they are living in fear of looming evictions from suspected land grabbers.
Nabakooba started off the long-day exercise in Kalwana Sub County where locals were fighting for 75 acres of land that formerly belonged to the late Hussein Muwonge. Later, children of the deceased sold off the land to locals.

According to a report read by Mr Muzafalu Ssentongo, the chairperson of Kitongo village where this land sits, unknown goons allegedly fueled by Mr Moses Madoi, a business man in Mubende District, raided the village and burnt houses of one of the residents.

The victim was identified by the chairperson as Mr William Nkonge, a resident of Kitongo, whose house was burnt on February 08, 2024, and fled the village to a nearby training centre in Kikandwa.

“The house was set ablaze and all his house properties were burnt to ashes. He was left in shock not until recently when a good Samaritan gave him a house where he is currently staying,” Mr Ssentongo said.
Mr Ssentongo accused Madoi of conniving with family members to reclaim the land they sold off to locals years ago and they allegedly brought a surveyor to do boundary opening.

The area leaders decried corruption in government offices and complained that they filed their case to different offices. Mr Madoi took them to court in Mubende but they were not satisfied with the court’s ruling.

The minister in response, ordered for the arrest of Madoi to start the investigations on the issue.

“Let him be taken to police and he provides all the necessary evidence we need on this land because it seems he is fueling the conflicts in this village,” Ms Nabakooba said as police apprehended Madoi.

The minister continued to another meeting which was held at St Kizito Primary School, Kamuli in Kassanda Sub County where locals raised concern that threats of eviction are retarding development in the areas.

The Parish Development Model (PDM) beneficiaries of this area are farmers and if the land is taken, they are worried about the next step since agriculture is the only economic activity in the area.

The contested land was formerly leased to the late Steven Katama for five years who did not take responsibility for renewing his lease before he died in 2010.

Now family members led by Lutaaya Katama were having fake documents that they have a lease of 49 years which was proved to be wrong by the lands minister who called for the cancellation of all the titles on that land.

“Late Katama was given a lease of five years renewable after meeting the required standards for the first time applicant but did not meet them according to the records which makes this land open for bibanja holders to apply for lease since it is public land,” the minister said.

She promised to go back on the ground after three weeks for a public hearing.

The minister told locals that she will ensure whoever was involved in developing fake documents on that land is arrested and the district staff surveyor, Mr Jimmy Mutumba, be sacked.

“I’m going to write to the Chief Administrative Officer and he will suspend him from office and we will conduct our investigations on the matter,” she promised.

The minister finalised the day with residents of Kyakatebe village in Nalutuntu Sub County.
The locals in this area through their group called ‘Batakka Twenunule’ association teamed up with the area leaders to register a communal land association and get a joint land title to shield their land from grabbers.

They asked the minister to help them and ease the process for their association to be registered and process the title.

The lands minister in response pledged to give them full support and promised to take the issue to her ministry and in two weeks, her team from the ministry of lands will come on the ground to provide the forward.

“This is the issue I am taking to the ministry and assure you the issue will be handled as soon as possible to enable you to have full ownership of the land,” Nabakooba promised.

Ms Phoebe Namulindwa, Kassanda District Resident District Commissioner (RDC), asked locals to remain calm and wait on the minister who is obliged to resolve their issues and restore sanity in the area.

“We are committed to provide the necessary support to ensure you live peacefully on your land. Do not hesitate to come to my office to report any issue,” Namulindwa said.

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