Usama Gubara El Khidir and Omar Khidir Mohamed, the proprietors of Goodman International Company acquired the lease offer from Bukalasa land board to grow sugarcane drawing protests from residents.
More than 500 residents of Kasaala parish in Luweero have rejected a special probe committee instituted by the Inspector general of Kale Kayihura to investigate land grabbing in their area against Sudanese investors. Kayihura instituted the probe led by Emmanuel Kusiima and Martin Aliko from the police Land Protection Unit, to investigate how the Sudanese investors acquired a 44 year lease of 120.9 hectares of land in Luweero and Butuntumula Sub Counties.
Usama Gubara El Khidir and Omar Khidir Mohamed, the proprietors of Goodman International Company acquired the lease offer from Bukalasa land board to grow sugarcane drawing protests from residents. On Wednesday, members of the probe convened a public hearing at Katundu village to gather information about the land dispute but residents turned rowdy forcing it to abort. Trouble started after Emmanuel Kusiima, asked the residents to allow police to inspect the disputed land to ascertain its ownership.
But led by Hassan Ssegawa, the residents asked Kusiima to identify the investors who bought their land but James Zziwa shot up claiming to represent the interests of the investors. This didn’t go down well with some of the residents who stormed out of the meeting in protest, claiming that Zziwa was planted by the police in the meeting. They accused police of taking bribes from the investors to shot change them. Samuel Bamuzibire, the District Police Commanded pleaded with the residents to remain calm and volunteer information to the probe in vain.
As a result, both members of the probe jumped into their vehicles and drove off in fear of being attacked by the charged residents. Marion Nabukeera, one of the affected resident told URN that the probe committee had been investigating the land wrangle since April 2012 but nothing has been achieved. Nabukeera explains that they were shocked when the cops told them they want to inspect their land for the second time. She says that they are also disturbed that since the investigations started none of the alleged investors has appeared in the area but instead front policemen and land grabbers. She also claimed that they have received information that members of the probe committee had received bribes to alter their findings, and asked President Yoweri Museveni to intervene in the matter because they have lost hope in Kayihura’s team.
URN could not independently verify the bribery allegations against the probe committee members. Geoffrey Kaddu, another affected resident says that they have decided to petition high court for redress since they can no longer trust the outcomes of the probe team. Kaddu has asked the IGP to withdraw his men, and let courts of law to handle the dispute. Kusiima declined to comment on the accusations labeled against his team saying that he is not authorized to speak to journalists. But an officer in the land protection unit who spoke to URN on condition of anonymity said that they have decided to suspend the investigation until further notice.
special probe committee
sugarcane growing project in luweero
sudanese investors of goodman international company