UGANDA, Kyotera | Real Muloodi News | Dr Sam Mayanja, Minister of Lands, has ordered the arrest of Faustino Murengyezi, a Kyotera-based businessman, for allegedly stealing public land and displacing inhabitants of Sango Bay, Bukaala village Ndolo Parish Kabira Sub County in Kyotera district.
Murengyezi was accused of fencing off almost four square kilometres of land, preventing community members from accessing grazing pastures, plantations, and water supplies.
Residents in Bukaala stated Murengyezi would send gunmen to protect the fenced-in area, and anyone who tried to enter their grazing pastures, plantations, or water sources would be whipped, detained, imprisoned, and charged with trespass by his security and judicial system cronies.
Murengyezi had previously claimed seven square kilometres of land in the exact location, threatening to displace over 1,000 inhabitants.
The disputed area is part of the 14,000 hectares formerly leased to Sango Bay Sugar Estate Limited and was later returned to the Central Government following the Asians’ deportation in 1972.
Minister Mayanja was asked to come forward by the area residents.
The Minister for Lands stated the businessman had no jurisdiction to prevent locals from utilising or accessing government land.
While addressing area inhabitants about their Bibanja rights and encouraging them to fight land theft, Minister Mayanja declared the annulment of the fraudulently obtained land titles relating to the disputed land. He confirmed the fraudulent titles were no longer acknowledged in the GoU land system.
During his visit, Dr Mayanja delighted the locals by declaring that the barrier and barricades that Murengyezi had illegally placed should be immediately demolished, allowing people access to their plantations and grazing areas and allowing them to resume their economic activity.
In addition to Murengyezi’s claimed land, over ten additional questionable land titles on the Sango Bay area in Bukaala have been annulled.
The minister also ordered that all residents who had been accused and imprisoned for trespassing be unconditionally freed since they had been wrongfully detained.
Dr Mayanja visited the disputed land, accompanied by Kyotera leaders such as LC5 Chairman Patrick Kintu Kisekulo, RDC Hajji Moses Ddumba, and area MP John Paul Mpalanyi, and appealed to the district security team to carry out all of his directives and arrest all perpetrators before the residents took the law into their own hands.
Dr Mayanja issued an appeal from Bukaala to all tenants of the disputed land to register for a relocation package at the Kakuuto Sub County headquarters, since the government intends to use it for the oil palm project.
According to Patrick Kintu Kisekulo, the battles over Sango Bay began before Kyotera became a district. He claims that police would illegally arrest Bukaala villagers and force them to pay up to USh15 million to atone for their claimed trespass on Murengyezi’s land.
Kisekulo, who praised Mayanja for taking the time to drive to the remote village of Bukaala, went on to say that they cannot blame the police for carrying out their duty of maintaining law and order and urged the government always to involve the courts whenever such a large construction project is underway.
Kyotera County MP John Paul Mpalanyi urged Dr Mayanja to establish another MZO to enable registration services closer to Kyotera to speed up the process.
The closest MZO is in Masaka, and the Lands Ministry uses it to adjacent service regions. RDC Hajji Moses Dumba advised all residents on the disputed Sango Bay area to register as soon as possible and asked those with concerns to seek advice from village, parish, sub county, and district officials.
The RDC issued a warning against bribes during the registration process. Faustino Murengyezi, who was absent from the ministerial meeting, remained evasive and refused to answer any queries about Sango Bay. He was probably wise to avoid the minister’s meeting because the furious gathering would have turned on him.
READ MORE LIKE THIS: