By Our Reporters in KASSANDA

The minister of Lands , Housing and Urban Development —Judith Nabakooba, has yet again intervened  to ease tensions among the residents of  Kyakatebe village in Nalutuntu sub county  Kasanda who have been threatened with eviction from their land .

Nabakooba has  now directed that no one should be evicted from the disputed land which she said according to preliminary investigations is public land .

The locals leaders had sought for her intervention since two people identified as David Kabagambire and Sheikh Faiz Muhamad Wasswa fraudulently obtained titles on the land they are currently occupying.

Kabagambire and Wasswa were granted a freehold land title by Mubende District Land Board under the minute number MD/NA/06/V3/146 and given instructions to survey.

Locals say the surveying where the two mapped and plotted the land, getting a block number 308 plots 175/176 Kyanamugera Estate was done without the consent or knowledge of citizens.

In a meeting, held at Kyakatebe Primary School, Nabakooba  told  the relieved residents that  preliminary investigations revealed that the land is public land and was never given away like the locals thought.

“The land that was given away is in Bukompo-Kanyogoga village. Kyakatebe is still intact and there are no titles for this Kyakatebe land. We will not allow any titles on this land. RDC you need to work with the office in Mubende to ensure that the minute of giving away this land is recalled immediately,” Nabakooba said.

The minister said that she realised that nobody among the applicants is known in the area. She instructed the LCV Chairperson to work with the area land committee to notify the district that Kyakatebe was never given away.

“The land that was given away in Bukompe has people on it and a public hearing was not conducted. This means the whole exercise was null and void. The district chairperson should also recall the minute of giving away the said land. Once that is done, the new land board of Kasanda district is going to be put in place to help the residents process titles for their respective lands.”

She explained that greed is one of the biggest things fueling land grabbing as people doing it are the same everywhere fighting to enlarge their territories by grabbing land.
She also directed the RDC to call all parties involved in the late Katama land after locals told her of how the late’s children keep issuing them with eviction notices.

“We want to know, the late Katama had applied for a lease but before it had been granted, they ended up giving him a freehold. His neighbours are saying that they were not aware that their plots would be included in what Katama had requested from the district land board. We are going to look at the whole process and if we find out that the process Katama’s family used to acquire free hold land title was fraudulent, then I will request my commissioner land registration to cancel those titles,” Nabakooba stated.

MP Frank Kabuye Kibirige, the Kasanda South legislator told the minister that there is a lot of ignorance on land matters amongst the population. He suggested that area MPs be given space on the area land committees to guide their operations as a means of curbing the would-be mess in the land sector.

He called on the people handling land issues at the different levels not to front money while handling land issues, but look at the pain and plight of the people.

“I pledge my presence in handling the issue of Kyabego forest reserve. We request for equity and fairness in this issue, let titles in the forest reserve be cancelled. The land board should be dissolved and the LCV Chairman be given a chance to come up with a new board that will front the interests of the people,” Kibirige said.

Pheobe Namulindwa the RDC Kassanda told locals it is very hard to speak about security when people’s property and lives are not protected. She called for training of area land committees across the country as a remedy to the continuous land grabbing.

Namulindwa told the minister that issues to do with land make the government efforts of poverty alleviation through programs such as parish development model futile.

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