By Yosam Gucwaki
Bunyoro Kitara Reparations Agency (BUKITAREPA) has dragged National
Forestry Authority and the Attorney General to Masindi high court
accusing them of grabbing Bunyoro kingdom forests when it has never evoked
Article 26 of the constitution which says that government has to pay
before the acquisition of land.
Addressing journalists at court premises yesterday, Batwale Doviko the
chief Coordinator BUKITAREPA said that as they have done thorough
research and discovered that the power of compulsory acquisition of
land was nullified by the constitutional court and the supreme court
in the case against Irumba VS the Attorney General and Uganda National
Roads Authority (UNRA).
He added that following the nullification of the compulsory
acquisition of land law, government and other organs have no mandate
to acquire land from the indigenous people without compensation.
Batwale also said that the forest cover in Bunyoro covers 3,110,996
square miles which is equivalent to 54% noting if Banyoro allows NFA to
grab their land without compensation the indigenous Banyoro will be
losing a lot.
He added that central government has been stealing Bunyoro’s
properties through its agencies noting that NFA was put in place in
2004 by an act of parliament explaining that NFA has issued licenses
on trees which have stayed for more than 100 years wondering why NFA
is issuing licenses on trees it never planted.
He also explained that they need court to cancel all the leases NFA
has offered to the people, timber licenses be revoked and to produce
evidence which indicates that they legally acquired the land where the
Efforts to get a comment from NFA were futile since they didn’t
respond to our phone calls.
Last year BUKITAREPA dragged all the seven district land boards in
Bunyoro to court accusing them of issuing land titles on the land
they have never owned and in may this year the Masindi High court
issued and interim order restraining them from issuing land titles
until the main suit is disposed of.