KAMPALA – The Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs, Maj Gen Kahinda Otafiire, on Wednesday shocked members of Parliament when he revealed that he is taking the government to court for grabbing his land on which Njeru Stock Farm sits in Buikwe District.
The land in question is under the management of the National Animal Genetic Resource Centre and Databank, which is tasked with scientific animal breeding.
Gen Otafiire is accused of grabbing the land using cronies such as one Muhangi but the government has since reclaimed it.
During plenary on Wednesday, Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga asked the minister to explain circumstances under which he came to take possession of the land.
“We shall want to know the relationship between Muhangi and Otafiire now he has taken over a government firm. I direct the Minister of Internal Affairs to investigate this issue, who is Muhangi, how did he take over government lands?”
Otafiire confirmed his interest in the contested land and told Parliament that he had instructed his lawyers to take the government to court for taking over his land.
In response, Ms Kadaga called out what she called impunity in government and asked him to table documents showing how he came to own government land.
However, the minister insisted that he was exonerated by the Inspector General of Government, Justice Catherine Bamugemereire Land Commission and that the matter is in court and he wasn’t at liberty to discuss the matter at Parliament.
In response, Budadiri West MP Nandala Mafabi wondered how Otafiire could drag the same government he serves to court.
“He wants to throw government off his land and the government he is throwing off he is serving as a Minister. This is arrogance that the whole minister supposed to protect public property is now taking over public property. Wouldn’t it be procedurally right?” he said.
Buhweju County MP Francis Mwijukye said Otafiire has for long been cited in cases of land grabbing and is now using his office in Justice to formalize his deals from the Ministry of Lands.