UGANDA, Sembabule | Real Muloodi News | A committee established by the Sembabule Resident District Commissioner (RDC), Caleb Tukeikiriza, to investigate the illegal acquisition of part of a 200-acre piece of land owned by President Museveni has failed to deliver on its mandate five months later.
The committee was formed last September and chaired by William Rudunyonyoli, one of the witnesses who signed the President’s agreement during the purchase of the land in 1997.
The committee was tasked with carrying out fresh boundary openings, registering all sitting tenants, and submitting a report to the district security committee in two months.
However, the committee has not yet carried out fresh boundary opening and registering all sitting tenants as stated in its terms of reference.
The Delay in the Delivery Report
Mr Tukeikiriza stated on Monday 6th March that he has not yet received the report from the committee.
They informed him that they are progressing well with the report, but are still being delayed by a few investigations that are worth the wait.
The failure of the committee to deliver the report has raised concerns about its credibility, with some speculating that part of the President’s land was grabbed by powerful individuals in the district who will frustrate all processes aimed at recovering the land.
Background of the Land and its Current Use
Records show that Mr Museveni bought the land in 1997 from Mr Faustine Ntambara and donated it to the community of Lutunku in Kawanda Sub-County, Sembabule District, where Lutunku Community Polytechnic was constructed.
Part of the land has been leased to people to grow crops, which exposes it to land grabbers. Of the 122 acres remaining, 78 acres have been rented out to local farmers, with each acre fetching Ush100,000 per planting season, which usually lasts four months.
It is on the same land that the President constructed Kaguta Primary School. The Ministry of Education, in partnership with the Islamic Development Bank, is also planning to construct structures that include BTVET training facilities, laboratories, and dormitories on the land.
Opinions from Local Leaders
A local leader in the Sembabule District, who preferred anonymity, expressed doubts about the committee’s ability to deliver its task given the powerful individuals involved in the matter.
The leader also alleged that the management of Lutunku Community Polytechnic is part of the cartel facilitating the continuous grabbing of the President’s land
Ms Jolly Kasande, a Councillor at Sembabule Town Council, noted that individuals are grabbing the land to enrich themselves, yet Museveni’s ambition was to use the land to transform the lives of the people of Lutunku.
Mr Serapio Owukunda, the Principal of Lutunku Community Polytechnic, declined to comment on the matter, but he denied reports that they are selling the donated land.
Mr Owukunda stated that they only hire part of their land to generate some money to run the school.
Sembabule is one of the districts in central Uganda with vast land occupied mostly by cattle keepers. Some parts of the district, such as Mateete and Mabindo, have fertile soils that have aided farming on a larger scale.
The recent tarmacking of the main road connecting the Masaka and Gomba districts has attracted many people looking for land for cultivation. Due to the increasing demand for land, hundreds of squatters have encroached on government ranches.
Other unscrupulous individuals have also claimed plots of land where Bigo bya Mugenyi, a historical cultural site of the famous Chwezi Dynasty.
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