The residents of Buikwe jubilated when the Minister of Lands ,Housing and Urban Development Hon. Judith Nabakooba ordered for the arrest of the hitherto untouchable District Land Board Secretary, Hadijah |Sebyala and also suspended the operations of the board to allow thorough investigations in the rampant cases of mismanagement in land transactions. Hundreds of people have been deprived of their land due to alleged fraudulent land transaction involving officials of the Buikwe District Land Board who connive with land grabbers to terrorise residents especially bibanja holders.
Sebyala’s arrest followed Minister Nabakooba’s visit in Buikwe where residents Bugoba C and Kidadili villages in Njeru Town Council Buikwe through their area woman MP Diana Mutasingwa raised an alarm about heightened tensions caused by illegal evictions of bibanja land holders in the area.
Sebyala who was accused of aiding land grabbing in the district , failed to explain why there were numerous irregularities in land transactions. She also failed to provide documents for the disputed land prompting the Minister to order for her immediate arrest . A visibly irritated Nabakooba wondered why the land officials who were summoned for the meeting turned up without the necessary documentation to help resolve the many reported cases of shoddy land transactions.
“ When we called them for this meeting they should have come prepared with all the relevant documentation to help settle these matters . Instead ,they thought it was business as usual .The secretary was notified about the meeting three days ago but she had the audacity to simply walk to the meeting without a single document,” the Minister stated .
“I want to give way to the investigations because if somebody says they don’t know where documents are, then we are in a dilemma. How can you give out public land and claim not to have access to documents?” Nabakooba wondered. Nabakooba tasked the district leaders to make sure that all documents pertaining to public land that has been illegally sold off is obtained to allow for proper investigations to be carried and the culprits brought to book. At Bugoba Cells A and C in Nyenga, the minister thanked the CAO for having placed a caveat on public land that was illegally sold off .
The Minister called for the registration of all bibanja holders because in an initiative that has been rolled out by government in a concerted effort to stop land grabbing and illegal eviction of the masses across the country . Nabakooba assured the residents who turned up that all titles which were issued fruduelently will be Cancelled .“I am happy you have a hospital, school and church on this land. When the cancellation process is finalized new land titles will be issued because these facilities benefit our people .
The Buikwe Woman MP Diana Mutasingwa who also doubles as the state Minister in the office of the Vice President thanked Nabakooba for intervening to address the wide spread land problem in Buikwe district. Mutsangwa pledged to work with the Lands Minister to end the land conflicts in Buikwe.
Hon.Jimmy Lwanga, the MP Njeru Municipality accused the district land boards of rampant corruption , incompetence and causing insecurity in area .
“ We have cases where a piece of land has over six different titles. In Njeru we have over 100 titles that should be cancelled because they were issued irregularly . All these land boards should be investigated and government stand firm to decisively deal with the problem of shoddy land transactions involving ministry of lands registrars and district land boards,” Lwanga said.
He added: “We also want an amendment in the law. If a person does not have a kibanja on the public land he or she should not request for a land title. This way, we shall be free from conmen and land grabbers.”