UGANDA, Buikwe | Real Muloodi News | Judith Nabakooba, Minister of Lands, Housing, and Urban Development, ordered the closure of the Buikwe District Land Board Office headquarters for three weeks to allow investigations into staff who are allegedly fueling land conflicts in the area.
She also ordered the arrest of Hadijah Sebyala, the secretary of the Buikwe District Land Board, after she failed to explain the irregularities and provide documents for the contested land. Minister Judith Nabakooba stated this while speaking to residents of Bugoba village, Nyenga division, Nyeru Municipality.
She said, “At first, we thought evictions are on privately owned land, but we have now discovered the situation is worse on public land. The district land boards have fueled this by issuing land titles without following the right procedures.”
The investigations followed complaints from Budadiri Village tenants that the land board denied them the opportunity to legalise their tenancy in favour of wealthy individuals who have since acquired land titles.
Judith Nabakooba added, “In some areas, you find three people having duplicated titles on the same land.”
She also directed Mukono Zonal Land Offices to cancel land titles for Plots 21, 22, 23, and Block 346 Kyagwe, where new landlords intended to evict about 2,500 people from Bugoba Village.
Concerning Hadijah Sebyala, secretary of the Buikwe District Land Board, Minister Judith Nabakooba expressed her disappointment that the custodian at the land offices could not produce any details about the land in question, prompting the minister to order the DPC to arrest Hadijah.
“I want to give way to the investigations because if somebody says they don’t know where documents are, then we are in a dilemma. How can you be giving out public land and claim not to have access to documents?”
Nabakooba tasked the district leaders to make sure that all documents pertaining to land that has been given away in the district are properly in place and investigations in the processes of giving public land be carried out.
Nabakooba further asked the local leaders to register the bibanja holders as part of a Ministry of Lands initiative to put a stop to those that would want to steal the land.
Diana Mutasingwa, a state minister in the Vice President’s office and a Buikwe district woman Member of Parliament, also stated that many residents had sleepless nights because of rampant evictions and land grabbers in the area.
“I visited some of the affected villages last month and saw old people crying and I got touched,” a woman member of Parliament said.
The closure of Buikwe district land board offices follows the closure of Wakiso district land offices by Minister Sam Mayanja, who accused staff of fraud. Sam Mayanja stated the government implemented a computerized system to counter fraud, but the Wakiso land office staff ignored it for unknown reasons.
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