MBALE – Two leading members of Parliament have differed sharply over land ownership and claims of invasion by each party in Mbale municipality.
The duo Mr Nathan Nandala Mafabi [Budadiri West] and Mr Patrick Okabe [Serere County] are clashing over land located on Plot 5 Bumbobi road, Busamaga ward, Wanale Division, Mbale Municipality in Mbale district.
Mr Nandala acting on a tip-off that Mr Okabe was fencing off the land, mobilised his supporters to go and stop Mr Okabe from fencing off the land which he says does not belong to him.
“This land belongs to me, I have all the papers and I was told that Mr Okabe who is trespassing on my land was fencing it off, so I had to act,” said Mr Nathan Nandala who doubles as the chairman Bugisu Cooperative Union.
This is the second time the duo are clashing on the same land after another clash occurred in October 2015 and even when Mr Nandala Mafabi visited the area in an attempt to end the land conflict– the repeated differing views have continued without a solution to end the impasse.
Mr Okabe who doubles as a bishop of the Pentecostal impact ministries in Mbale also claims the land belongs to him and that he has a land title.
But Mr Nandala who also has documents that indicate that the land belongs to him says Mr Okabe acquired the land dubiously during the time there was a lot of mess in the Mbale district Land Board.
Mr Nandala says Mr Okabe has for long attempted to ‘criminally’ grab his land even before becoming an MP while Mr Okabe insists that Mr Nandala is the one who wants to grab his land.
Mr Rogers Taitika, Elgon police spokesperson said a case has already been registered at Mbale central police Station under 36/16/05/2020, T/Viol and C/T/P and that investigations have already commenced.
But who is the owner of this land at Plot 5, Bumboi road?
Mr Nandala said that Mr Okabe acquired the land through the then district land board secretary Ms Anna Nakayenze who had allegedly forged minutes to allocate already allocated plots in Mbale municipality.
The August 22, 2002 lease offer seen by PML Daily allows Bishop Patrick Okabe to acquire and develop Plot 5 Bumboi Close in Mbale municipality.
But the certificate of title for the same plot was given out on May 12, 2000, to Mr Nandala Mafabi using a minute of the January 8, 1998 land board meeting,
It is ironical that the documents show that the land was titled in 2000 before it was leased out to the bishop on January 9, 2002.
Although the documents clearly indicate that the land was given out to Budadiri West MP Nandala Mafabi in 1998 by the same board, the minutes of the award seem to be missing in the file.
Mr Martin Musamali, the former chairman of the DLB says that many plots have fraudulently been given out even when it is clear that they had already been given out to other people for development.
He sighted Plot 22 Cathedral Avenue under Volume 2797 Folio 8 leased to a Ugandan of Somali origin Mr Ahmed Abrahim in 1990 which was also leased to Mr Robert Mulindwa, Mr Geoffrey Kakuuma and Mr Mahad Nagimesi for 20 years on 25 March 2015 using forged minutes.
It is clear that although payment of lease offers of Shs400, 000 is done by the intending land developer at the DLB but the minutes for the lease offers, stamps, signatures and dates of the lease offers are all reportedly forged.
He revealed that January 8, 1998, DLB minutes signed by the land board secretary, Ms Anna Nakayenze, on May 17, 2006, are not paged and one page has a different font from other minutes of the same meeting.
Adding that “the January 17, 2006 minutes bear different stamps, signatures and are of a different font compared to the original minutes,”
A worker at the district local government who asked for anonymity said the January 17, 2006 minutes seen by PML Daily bear different stamps, signatures and are of a different font compared to the original minutes.
“These people know very well that in 1998 Mbale District, like other districts in Uganda was using a typewriter, but they are not ashamed to use a computer for typing, setting font and forging minutes to give out land leases. It is a shame for us and we must clean ourselves,” the worker said
Reports in Mbale district also indicate that there are many fraudulent land transactions that have been conducted in absence of Mbale District land board Committee that need to be investigated.
Ms Nakayenze could not be reached for a comment but the district planner who also sits on the Board, Mr Emma Kigaya, consented there were forgeries at the DLB especially for the land leases dated 1998.