UGANDA, Katakwi | Real Muloodi News | The State Minister for Urban development, Persis Namuganza, has suspended the Katakwi District Land Board and ordered the immediate arrest of all its members for the alleged illegal allocation of over five thousand hectares of land in Okore Sub-county to three persons in 2019. The three persons are John Akubal, Emmanuel Okubu, and Grace Titin.
When speaking to the affected locals in Okore last Monday, Minister Namuganza said it was inappropriate for the District Property Board and the Sub County Area Land Committee to distribute such a large chunk of land to three people.
The Minister has overturned the Land Board’s judgment and returned the land to its original owners, while other legal steps to revoke the land titles proceed.
She further ordered that everyone engaged in allocating the community land be arrested and prosecuted. This will serve as a message to those who use their positions across Teso to acquire land fraudulently.
Nearly 8,000 individuals in the Okore Sub County Katakwi area have had their land unlawfully surveyed and documented.
Community members told the government team that between 2001 and 2012, they were displaced from their ancestral land by the Karimojong cattle rustlers, who forced them to flee their homes and relocate to Internally Displaced Camps.
In 2011 Mr John Akubal and his allies took advantage of the absence of the bona fide owners in the eight parishes, and began surveying the land.
Before Mr Akubal assessed the site in 2011, he claimed that he had ties to NGOs that wished to develop the region by building industries, schools, hospitals, and boreholes to better the residents’ livelihoods.
In a letter dated December 2, 2021, Dorcas W. Okalany, Permanent Secretary (PS) Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development, directed the Katakwi District Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) to recollect the land title of 5000 hectares that was illegally allocated to the three people by the District Land Board.
“Information availed to my office indicates that the title issued to the named was based on misrepresentation by the applicants that they customarily owned the land when in actual sense the land was communally owned. This fact was supposed to have been established by the District Land Board before granting the offer, which was unfortunately not done hence the grant of freehold under minute LM/04/02/19(a) of February 2019,” she wrote.
Earlier this month, during the Ocwin Primary School assembly, over 100 locals signed the petition to sue the Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development for assigning and distributing their land, claiming it was the best method to defend their land.
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