BUIKWE – Lands, Housing and Urban development Minister, Judith Nabakooba has ordered for the immediate arrest of Ms Hadijah Sebyala the secretary Buikwe District land board following irregularities in her operations.
Ms Sebyala’s arrest followed Nabakooba’s visit in Buikwe on October 1 in two villages of Bugoba C and Kidadili in Njeru Town Council where locals were complaining of heightened tensions of looming evictions from their bibanja.
While there, the minister tasked her to explain the irregularities and provide documents for the contested land, something she failed to do claiming she had forgotten them at office.
The bitter Nabakooba wondered how the district land custodian could not be able to produce any detail pertaining to the land in question, something that prompted her to direct the DPC to arrest Ms Sebyaala on the spot.
“When they came to the meeting, they thought we had come to joke. We summon you for a meeting and ask you to bring all the documents related to the matter going to be discussed, and then you come and say you forgot?” Nabakooba wondered.
Nabakooba said the secretary was notified about the meeting three days ago but she had the audacity to simply walk to the meeting without a single detail.
The Minister who was in the district on an invite by the Woman MP Diana Mutasingwa on land matters following reports of looming evictions also closed the Buikwe District Land Board offices for three weeks and directed the CAO and district heads to ensure they reorganise the district land boards and the area land committees.
“I want to give way to the investigations because if somebody says they don’t know where documents are, then we are in a dilemma. How can you be giving out public land and claim not to have access to documents?”
Nabakooba tasked the district leaders to make sure that all documents pertaining to land that has been given away in the district are properly in place and investigations in the processes of giving public land be carried out.
At Bugoba Cells A and C in Nyenga, the minister thanked the CAO for having placed a caveat on the land and the land board for having started on the process of cancelling the land title of the disputed public land.
She committed to push for the Buikwe minute board that requests for the cancellation of the land title and ensure it is effected because a lot of time has passed.
Nabakooba asked the local leaders to register the bibanja holders because it is an initiative the ministry of lands is rolling out soon in a bid to put a stop to those that would want to steal the land.
“I am happy you have a hospital, school and church on this land. When the cancellation process is finished, these should get their land titles because they are facilities of this area. Even those who want to apply for the titles should use that opportunity.”
Buikwe Woman MP Diana Mutasingwa who also doubles as the state Minister in the office of the Vice President shared that addressing the land problem in Buikwe district should be a concerted effort by all leaders to flush out the problem.
She mentioned how people slander the president’s name by tagging him in all land grabbing deals, something she said has to stop with immediate effect.
“We are very serious, Buikwe district land grabbers are going to run away. As members of parliament, we are going to come out very strongly on land grabbing. It has been an issue in Buganda but in this kisanja we are coming out to put an end to it. We are going to cancel the land title in Bugoba C and that of Kidadili.”
She added that the issue of district land boards has been a countrywide phenomenon but believes in the might of Nabakooba to streamline the sector.
Jimmy Lwanga, the MP Njeru Municipality also shared with the minister how district land boards are very corrupt and how they never make verification to see who the rightful person is to obtain a minute to get the land title.
He explained that in Buikwe, they have a number of cases and that is why they requested the minister to halt the activities of the Buikwe land board to organise the office.
“They give out titles in a disorganised way, you can find land with over six titles. In Njeru we have over 100 titles that needs to be cancelled. We want these land boards to do due diligence and proper verification by going on ground before giving out the land titles,” he said.
He added: “We also want an amendment in the law. If a person does not have a kibanja on the public land he or she should not request for a land title. This way, we shall be free from conmen and land grabbers.”