KAMPALA – The Minister for Justice and Constitutional Affairs, Gen. Kahinda Otafiire, has presented documents to Parliament showing rightful ownership of Njeru Stock Farm.
The farm, located in Njeru Municipality is also claimed by Government of Uganda.
Reading from the documents, Otafiire said the land in question was purchased from the late Kato Fredrick Lukwajju and Christopher Lule, who were administrators of the estate of the late Enock Ssebowa and Gusta Sseruro respectively.
He added that available documents indicate that the land in question did not belong to Government, but it was a private mailo, and that he obtained it under a willing buyer-willing seller mode of payment.
“Government was wrongly superimposed on my land and I want Government to quit those pieces of land which I purchased, because the seller is not complaining and neither am I,” Otafiire said during plenary sitting on Thursday.
Hon. Adong Lilly (Ind, Nwoya district) told the House that the Committee on Agriculture, during its visit to Njeru Stock Farm had observed that the land on which the farm sat was private land for which Government entered an agreement to rent it, after which the Minister came to engage the landowners, on expiry of the lease of land.
However, the Minister’s position was disputed by the former Leader of the Opposition, Hon. Nandala Mafabi, who claimed that Otafiire misused his office to fraudulently acquire the land.
“Hon. Otafiire used his office as a Minister in charge of Justice and Constitutional Affairs and wrote to the Minster for Lands and Housing on the estate of the late Sir Daudi Chwa II and was given 50 acres of that land,” Nandala-Mafabi said, adding that “Hon. Otafiire went with armed men to invade the farm [Njeru] yet they had been stopped by the Commission of Inquiry into Land Matters.”
Nandala-Mafabi also told the House that failure by Government to pay ground rent for the farm for 30 years prompted the Minister to write to the Lands Ministry to open the boundaries, thus giving him a share of the land.
Mafabi challenged the Minister to present his receipts of payment, the purchase agreement and also show how he transferred the money for the 120 acres of land.
“This stock farm was shared using offices,” Mafabi said.
Speaker Rebecca Kadaga said she needed to study the documents laid by the Minister and would give her ruling next week.
“We need to study the papers that have been laid and decide on if we want an investigation into the matter and I will give my ruling on the way forward on Tuesday [5, November 2019],” said Kadaga.