By Innocent Atuganyira
The Minister for Lands and urban development Rt. Hon. Judith Nabakooba has instructed the Masindi registrar of land titles to recall all Buliisa land titles for review as investigations into them are ongoing.
She gave the order yesterday afternoon while addressing residents of Butiaba Sub County and some of the district leaders held in Butiaba town council Buliisa District following an increased land wrangles in the area.
Rt. Hon. Nabakooba said due to an increased and continuous out cry of the people of Buliisa on issues of land grabbing in the district, all the land titles in the district need to be canceled to enable them be reviewed and identify clearly their status of application and the processes on how one acquired a title.
The minister wondered how some of the people are going ahead to acquire land titles without surveying the land in the presence of the local community.
However, a team from the ministry of lands and urban development was sent on ground to find out facts on the land where there are clashes between the indigenous people and Mr. Francis Kahwa alias Balam a tycoon businessman in Kampala who claims to own 200 acres of land in Wantembo in Butiaba Buliisa District, and also Major. General Fred Mugisa.
Denis Oboy from the lands ministry who presented the facts before the minister of lands said the evidence found out was that there were community structures on the land that included houses, piped water systems, and boreholes among others.
He added that, the findings indicated that, the land owner use the UPDF soldiers to block the indigenous people from using the land for grazing, digging and other activities.
Oboy also noted that, on the land that Kahwa claim to own, there were graves on the land, presence of gardens and houses built with iron sheets, and the community were interviewed and told them that they were on that land in 1986.
Karugaba Kafuzi the deputy attorney general from the minister of justice and constitutional affairs said cases of land wrangles are as a result of the district land boards giving out land applications for titles anyhow and hence resulting into land clash.
He requested the community of Buliisa district to be patient and live peacefully as the government does its best to solve the cases of land matter as steps will be followed.
He however asked that there should also be boundary opening with the UPDF barracks land since their land was given by the indigenous community to enable them understand clearly the ownership of the land between Kahwa Francis Balam ,the community and major. General Fred Mugisha.
Fred Lukumu the Buliisa District chairperson called upon the government to recommend thorough investigations into the land matters as very many people are rushing for land in Buliisa due to oil and gas discovery.
www.mknewslink.com a greater western Uganda news website