By Spy Uganda
Mubende: Land Minister Judith Nabakooba has stepped in Mubende District looming land eviction and given standing directives to the local security heads.
Nabakooba who was in Mubende on October 6, visited two villages of Kalonga and Kitenga where locals who were excited to see her shared their frustrations in regard to the land question in the district.
In the first meeting at Kalonga, the locals shared with the minister how their LC1 Chairperson Deo Mawejje connived with one Paul Mafumu to remove boundaries and grab their land plus destroying their farms.
The contested land measures 940 acres and belongs to Mathias Mugwanya who was allegedly framed by Mr Mafumu and sent to prison over the same land in 2017.
Buwekuula South MP Ndooli William Museveni thanked the locals for speaking boldly about their issues.
He requested the minister to streamline the police which not only offers protection to land grabbers but also opens up cases to people who try to fight for their land.
“Police should leave land issues,I tabled this concern in parliament on the committee of defence and Internal affairs. The NRM government is challenged with the issue of land grabbing. That is why people are no longer voting for us, let us fight this phenomenon and bring back the glory of NRM,” he said.
In the same vein, Hope Grania Nakazibwe the Woman MP Mubende District shared with the minister how she has been part of the many community meetings aimed at streamlining land issues in the region.
She reported to the minister how land grabbers in Mubende have made it a norm to say they are from the first family and use that to hoodwink the locals to steal their land.
“Kindly ask the president if he has a brother here. People use his name to grab land in this area. Hon Minister, we kindly ask you to investigate and see the legitimate landowners in this place.”
Emmanuel Kabanda the area direct councillor to the district shared that as leaders in Mubende, they are determined to put an end to land wrangles.
“We are tired of having a statehouse in the land issues in Kalonga. Everyone who grabs land claims to be coming from the statehouse. The home of the president has been reduced to a land-grabbing training academy.”
He requested the minister to look into the problem and devise a permanent solution so that people can settle and do other things.
Ms Molly Kamukama the headteacher, Mirembe Agape Primary School a government-aided school part of the contested land told the minister how the school had five acres of land but in the wake of changing landlords, the school remained with two acres that they even promised to give them a land title for these.
“I request that our school land be reinstated because we want to plan for the eventual reopening of schools in January. Mafumu Paul has not yet given us our land title. We were found on this land that was for Mr Mugwanya, he gave the school land and church.”
Locals also shared that they feel left out if their land is grabbed on a daily basis and land titles are issued quickly to the grabbers yet when they chase for their titles truthfully, they cannot get them.
They say Mafumu has opened up different cases on almost everyone in the village and some have been imprisoned with the aim of grabbers to take their land.
While giving her remarks, the minister told the locals how she had received their reports and her ministry was working along the clock to dig into the history of the land.
“Even if it requires us to go to Entebbe where old records are kept, we shall get there to know where the problem came from. I don’t want to hear that such and such a person was killed or their house was destroyed, that is impunity which has to be stopped. Who gives these people the power to evict people?
She added: “Mafumu is not going to evict anyone. RDC and DPC, I want to direct you to investigate Mafumu and all his dealings. I have for long heard his name but this has to stop. I want him to answer all these questions here. We don’t want things that will shame us as a government. Go and grow your food and coffee.”
About the school, the minister told the gathering that if there is someone who bought the three acres of school land, they should be told that they bought air.
“We cannot allow a Ugandan child to fail to access education because there are people willing to take school land. These children are the leaders of tomorrow.”
In the second meeting which was held at Kalonga Kitenga, Joachim Mwanje, the LC1 chairperson pinned one Kihuramuka Rwachumika for terrorising them since 2017.
He reported that the mailo land which belongs to JB Mpanga has had locals on it for over 40 years but Kiruhamuka has been fighting them off the land since 2007.
He asked the minister to look through and expedite the process of settling land issues in the area since they have been battling kiruhamuka in court for the last 14 years.
The minister told them that she is going to work with the judiciary to see how to sort these matters.
“There are people using the president’s name and family to steal land. I am going to speak to the president and let him know that there is someone using his name in Mubende to steal land and paint a bad picture of him.”
She further tasked the local leaders to form Bibanja associations to help them know who belongs where and owning which size of land.
“DPC, RDC call for a meeting with that man and aggrieved parties together with the area MPS and give me a report in two weeks. Also, ensure that this man’s cows do not get into people’s farms.”
Pictorial Of Nabakooba In Mubende