District Official Accused of Grabbing School Land

1804 Views Fort Portal, Uganda

In short
Steven Ndamiira, the chairperson Nyabukara Primary School Management Committee says that the school has limited land, which has made it difficult to construct classrooms, staff quarters and a kitchen for the school.

The proposed construction of classrooms for Nyabukara Primary School in Fort Portal municipality has suffered a setback due to a land dispute. At the heart of the dispute is a four-acre piece of land found in West Division.
 

Last week, the School Management Committee was shocked to discover that the land had been fenced off by unknown people who put up private structures and planted cassava and eucalyptus trees. Investigations by the School management revealed that the land was taken over by Peter Alinda, the Kabarole District Lands Officer. 

In 2010, Fort Portal Municipal Council donated the disputed land to the school for the construction of more classrooms to cater for the high number of pupils under the Universal Primary Education (UPE) programme. The school has a population of 1,120 pupils. 

Steven Ndamiira, the chairperson Nyabukara Primary School Management Committee says that the school has limited land, which has made it difficult to construct classrooms, staff quarters and a kitchen for the school. Ndamiira accuses the District Lands Officer of using his position to acquire the land illegally. 


//Cue in: "land grabbing…
Cue out: "…grabbing property."//


Richard Rwamwaro, the Head Teacher faults municipal council authorities for looking on as the school's land is grabbed. He says that the school can't access the land and construct the classrooms since it has been fenced off. 


 
Alinda told URN that disputed land rightfully belongs to him. According to Alinda, he legally bought the land from the family of the late Henry Kasura, which neighbors the school.  He however, declined to show URN a copy of his land agreement.
 

//Cue in: I acquired the land…
Cue out: "…following right procedure."//


Paul Amoko, the Town Clerk Fort Portal Municipality confirmed that they donated the land to the school and is surprised by Alinda's claims of ownership. Francis Bamwine, a member of the School Management Committee blames the school administration for not acquiring a title for the disputed land. 

Bamwine explains that land grabbers are taking advantage of this weakness to grab school land. The issue of the land grabbing has now prompted Fort Portal municipal council authorities to call for a special council session on January 4th next year to discuss the matter.

 
This isn't the first time school land is being grabbed. Some of the schools whose land has been grabbed in the past are Trinity and Victoria Nile Primary School, Rwera Primary School and Kagote Primary School, all in Fort Portal Municipality. 




 

 

About the author

Emmanuel Kajubu
Emmanuel Kajubu is proud to have been the first Ugandan journalist to write in depth pieces about the Tooro Kingdom institution. His knowledge of the inner workings of the Tooro Kingdom is what made him privy to the splits in the royal family. These splits almost challenged Tooro Omukama Oyo Nyimba Iguru's reign.

Culture, agriculture and the environment are just two areas of many of interest to Kajubu. As long as he has held a pen, Kajubu has also written about public policy, health and crime.

Kajubu is keen on impacting his society not just as a writer but also a trainer and mentor. Bundibugyo and Ntoroko districts fall under his docket. Kajubu has been a URN staff member since 2008.