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Government sued over NFA land give away

AFFOD AFRIKA Limited dragged government to the High Court, Land Division challenging the giveaway of four acres of National Forest Authority. (PHOTO/File)

KAMPALA – AFFOD AFRIKA Limited has dragged government to the High Court, Land Division challenging the giveaway of four acres of National Forest Authority (NFA) land to an investor.

NFA has been sued together with the Attorney General (AG) and Uganda Land Commission (all defendants).

President Museveni in his letter dated May 27, 2019, to the Minister of Water and Environment, directed that four acres of land at NFA headquarters in Bugolobi be found to the investor, SICPA S.A, a Switzerland firm.

However in their lawsuit filed before the court, AFFOD AFRIKA Limited says that the move to alienate and allocate the said land is ultra vires for not following the proper process of the law and ought to be halted.

AFFOD AFRIKA claims that the defendants have connived to send a team of surveyors led by Mr Arthur Akanga from the department of Surveys and Mapping who have started the exercise of surveying the suit land so that it is allocated to the investors thereby alienating the said land which is not yet degazzeted by parliament.

They also state that suit land forms part of Nakawa Forestry Research part of which is occupied by the headquarters of the NFA and that NFR has not been degazetted by parliament to make it available for allocation or alienation.

“We shall contend that the suit land is part and parcel of Nakawa Forestry Research which is an environmentally sensitive resource which cannot be alienated and that the Uganda Land Commission does not have the mandate to create freehold or lease interest in the suit land,” reads in part the court documents.

AFFOD AFRIKA has now asked the court for a declaration that the directive by NFA to allocate and lease the 4 acres part of the land in Bugolobi owned by NFA to SICPA S.A, of Switzerland is unlawful.

Court documents show that The advocacy body further contends that the Attorney General does not own the suit land but it rather exercises a statutory mandate of managing central forest reserves as a trustee for the citizens of Uganda for the present and future generations for which AFFOD AFRIKA shall pray for a declaration that the AG does not own the said land.

AFFOD AFRIKA also asked the court in alternative without prejudice to the foregoing should the defendants’ acts of surveying the said land for leasing to an investor be found to be merely a preparatory stage or a verification exercise, they should be stopped from going on with the exercise.

They are now seeking or order of permanent injunction against the defendants from alienating the suit land without following the proper process of the law with costs of suit.

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