UGANDA, Jinja | Real Muloodi News | The police have summoned four Jinja City officials for reportedly selling three acres of land belonging to Walukuba Health Centre IV to unidentified people who have already begun building on it.
The representatives include Dr Joseph Wakonta, the facility manager, Mr. Charles Nampendo, the Senior Physical Planner, Mr. Ernest Nabihamba, the Senior Environment Officer, Mr. Moses Lorika, the Town Clerk for Jinja City.
The facility occupies eight acres.
Last Thursday, January 12, 2023, Mr Darius Nandinda, the Jinja Resident City Commissioner (RCC), gave the officer in command (OC) of the Jinja Central Police Station, Mr Maurice Niyonzima, two weeks to look into the situation.
When Mr Nandinda met with Walukuba villagers to discuss the issue, he said that the actions of the four Jinja officials are “questionable” and since they are primary stewards of the government property, they are “responsible” for permitting encroachment on the land.
Two representatives of the alleged encroachers were detained at Jinja Central Police Station during the meeting to assist with the investigation.
“He said: “I want the Police to open a file for these employees of Jinja City and investigate how some individuals acquired land titles on the health centre land.
“The Police will make a follow-up with the Registrar of Lands who will make verification. We must protect this land,” said Mr Nandinda.
The RCC, who was joined by Mr Mike Ssegawa, the Deputy RDC for Jinja South Division, stopped all ongoing activities on the disputed land and instructed employees who have food in the garden to harvest but not dig until inquiries are finished.
One of Jinja City’s main issues, in Mr Nandinda’s opinion, is the illegal appropriation of government land, which he claimed is being done by some government officials.
He claimed that the only way to stop the practice is for the President to expressly form a commission of inquiry for Jinja City.
“It is a very big challenge because government land for institutions, especially forests, schools and hospitals have been grabbed,” Mr Nandinda added.
The Councillor for Jinja South East, Mr Richard Bazira, expressed optimism that the Office of the RCC will uncover other land-grabbing transactions by some political figures and government employees.
Residents are concerned about the recent wave of land grabbing because, according to Mr Bazira, who was born at the health centre and has lived in Walukuba his whole life, it is not about safeguarding votes but rather about providing services to the public.
A resident named Mr Frank Nsamba claimed that if the facility’s occupants had not been on guard, it would have lost all of its lands when it was built in the 1960s.
“Many people, including some security personnel, have even been bribed to protect these land grabbers,” Mr Nsamba said.
He added: “Mr RCC these people dealing in land grabbing in Jinja city have many and can do anything to someone trying to step in their way. We are very happy that you have joined us in the fight for our health centre land recovery.”
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