The Minister for Lands, Housing and Urban Development, Judith Nabakooba, was on Wednesday this week involved in solving land disputes in Kiboga district.
Key among the disputes was the National Forestry Authority (NFA) forest reserves land that the entity claims residents trespassed.
According to the NFA sector director, Jonan Mugisha, NFA has been involved in boundary opening of forest reserves found in the district.
He said during the process of boundary opening they learnt some of the residents had encroached on land belonging to forest reserves in the district.
The Deputy Resident District Commissioner (RDC), Lutwama Mathias, however said NFA had in 2007 conducted a land survey to establish the boundaries of NFA forest reserves land and had about 10,000 people evicted something he said would be unfair it happens again.
“NFA conducted a land survey in 2007 to help them establish the land boundaries of the entity’s forest reserves and about 10,000 people were evicted from the land. Most likely NFA didn’t keep their records and are now coming back to haunt the residents which I think is unfair. These people need to be heard. They have nowhere to go,” he said while addressing residents who had convened at the district headquarters during the Minister’s visit.
The Kibiga sub-county LC III chairperson only identified as Ssenteza expressed concern over what he called unfair treatment of residents who have been on the land for more than two decades.
“The residents here have been on this land for years. We have done our best to respect the boundaries of land belonging to forest reserves in this district. NFA shocked us when they said our people had encroached on their land. We thought they had established the boundaries in the earlier survey,” he said.
Nabakooba assured Kiboga district residents Government of Uganda is more than committed to solving land disputes in the district leaving no problem unsolved.
“The NRM Government is more than committed to solve land disputes in this district. Government has not forgotten about you,” she said, adding that the residents also need to be strong enough to fight for what belongs to them.
“Resident of Kiboga, you need to be strong enough to fight for what belongs to you and always work hand in hand with your leaders.”
Nabakooba also urged NFA to use the right methods in trying to solve the land dispute between them and the residents.
Mugisha however said NFA had tried to conduct sensitisation of the district residents with an aim of educating about issues concerning Government land.
He said they are set to engage the residents about them bringing on board an independent survey to establish the forest reserve boundaries.
Other land disputes included the disputed 5 acres of land located in Katanjovu in Kiboga District.
The land allegedly belongs to the Muslim community in the district who said their property was sold off by one of their own without consent to a local businessman only identified as Rashid.
The disputed 430 hectares of land located in Kyekumbya sub-county in Kiboga district was also brought to the table. The land allegedly belonged to Hajji Kyakulagila before being grabbed.
Hajji Bagalaaliwo was also one of the victims whose 2 miles land conflict was brought to the table. The land was allegedly grabbed by two businessmen only identified as Lutiba and Ndoli.
Nabakooba directed that the primary owners of the land – those initially holding titles – be reinstated on their land.
The district Chief Administrative Officer, Canon Mwesigye Edward, revealed land on which offices belonging to National Water and Sewerage Cooperation are found was claimed by Buganda Land Board. Mwesigye said the matter was reported to Police.