• Fri. Sep 29th, 2023

UGANDA, Luwero | Real Muloodi News | New developments have emerged in the investigation into the break-in at the Bukalasa Zonal lands offices, suggesting the possibility of collusion between office staff and the criminals responsible.

Police detectives have uncovered clues indicating that the incident may be an inside job aimed at undermining previous investigations into cases of double titling of land dating back to 2021.

Police spokesperson for the Savanah region, Mr Sam Twineamazima, revealed that Saracen Security guards previously assigned to the zonal land office have been withdrawn.

To aid the investigation, fingerprints of all office workers have been taken for analysis.

An anonymous source familiar with the ongoing investigation emphasised the seriousness of the break-in, stating, “this is not a light matter. It appears the suspects had specific knowledge and objectives. They did not target cash like a bank robbery. It is likely they were after particular information and files. It remains uncertain whether they were successful in obtaining their target.”

Although fingerprints have been collected from approximately 30 staff members, no arrests have been made thus far.

Mr Richard Bwabye, the Luweero Resident District Commissioner, expressed confidence in the investigators’ ability to shed light on the motive behind the break-in and ascertain any missing items.

He was briefed that the main server containing critical information remained unaffected, thanks to the digitalised information system in place.

Bwabye added, “the new land information system should help us address some of the challenges that have accumulated over the years.”

Details of the Break-in and Temporary Closure

The Bukalasa Zonal Lands Office in Luwero District was the target of an attack by unidentified armed thugs on Wednesday morning, June 21, 2023.

The thugs overpowered and handcuffed the unarmed guards before ransacking the premises. They stole various land files and computers and vandalised the Closed-circuit television (CCTV) system.

The incident prompted the Ministry of Lands, Housing & Urban Development to temporarily close the Bukalasa Zonal Lands Office.

Luwero District Police Commander, Living Twazagye, revealed that the police were alerted to the attack around 3 am, but the culprits had already fled the scene.

Twazagye noted a security lapse at the office, as the private guards lacked firearms to repel the attack.

Christopher Ssanyu, the Principal Assistant Secretary at Bukalasa Zonal Lands Office, confirmed that while the thugs managed to steal computers and land files, they were unable to breach the strong room where land titles are securely stored.

Additionally, they failed to access the server room, ensuring the safety of the data concerning people’s land titles.

Operations at the Bukalasa Zonal Lands Office have been temporarily suspended until the police investigation is concluded, and necessary repairs and replacements are made by the Ministry.

The motive behind the raid and the specific data and land files that went missing is yet to be determined.

Meanwhile, the National Lands Information Center temporarily shut down the server for Bukalasa Lands offices during the investigation.

State Minister for Lands, Sam Mayanja, visited the Bukalasa Lands Zonal offices to assess the damage and address the security concerns.

Mayanja acknowledged the security lapse at the zonal offices and announced plans to have officers from the Very Important Persons Protection Unit (VIPPU) guard all Ministry Zonal Offices, similar to other key government installations.

He assured that due to recent upgrades, it would be challenging to steal data or land titles, and if any were taken during the break-in, the Ministry would be capable of replacing them.

Since 2015, the Ministry of Lands has converted 23 land offices into ministerial zonal offices to enhance service delivery.

Supported by a USD 200 million loan from the World Bank, a computerised Land Information System (LIS) was introduced in these zonal offices to streamline processes such as property titling, land registration, and administration.


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