Gen. Saleh Accused of Grabbing Church Land

4106 Views Sembabule, Uganda

In short
They are Charles Nsubuga Kiberu, the Sembabule Chief Administrative Officer, Dr. Ely Muhumuza, the LC5 Chairman and an army officer Musa Kamanya.

General Salim Saleh, the brother to President Yoweri Museveni has been implicated together with two Ssembabule district officials for grabbing land belonging to the Catholic Church. They are Charles Nsubuga Kiberu, the Sembabule Chief Administrative Officer, Dr. Ely Muhumuza, the LC5 Chairman and an army officer Musa Kamanya. Rev. Fr. Kizito Matovu, the Sembabule catholic priest says the implicated officials have forcefully taken over 500 acres of land belonging to Masaka Catholic to expand their private farm.


He says that disputed land is located in Kawungera, Kampala, Makoole parish sub parish land, Lumegera, and Kazooba sub-parish land. Matovu says that the diocese is in possession of land titles showing that the land in question belongs to the Catholic Church but they were shocked to see businessmen and army officials illegally fencing off their land. He says that when they intervened to try and stop the exercise they were threatened by soldiers deployed to guard it. Father Matovu explains that the illegal takeover of their land has frustrated their plans to establish health centers and diocesan farms in the respective areas.
 

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John Baptist Kaggwa, the Bishop Masaka Diocese says that he is and members of the Catholic Church are saddened by the land grabbing. He asked government to protect the diocesan land. Bishop Kaggwa says that despite the fact that government passed a land law many officials are abusing their powers to grab land. He says the illegal occupants forge land titles to create an impression that the land belongs to them.
 


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Theodore Ssekikubo, the Lwemiyaga county MP told URN on Sunday that Salim Saleh had evicted more than 10000 people in Sembabule. He cited an example of Lumegere catholic parish land and Makoole where Saleh allegedly evicted several people to establish a farm.
 

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General Salim Saleh has not yet commented on the accusations as he couldn’t be reached by our reporter. His co accused Dr Ely Muhumuza, Sembabule LC5 Chairman and CAO Charles Nsubuga Kiberu have refused to comment about the land grabbing. The officials told URN on Monday at the district headquarters that they would not comment on the land matter. Nsubuga, told URN that the land matter was highly politicized before he almost threw away the voice recorder.


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Last month, thousands of residents were evicted from Sembabule forest reserve amid protests. President Yoweri Museveni rushed to Ssembabule to resolve the matter in vain as local leaders started bickering in his presence. Sam Kuteesa, the Former Foreign Affairs Minister and Theodore Ssekikubo traded accusation when Ssekikubo accused the Mawokota MP of land grabbing.

 

About the author

Edward Bindhe
Bindhe prides himself on being a part of the society he writes about. He believes there is no way a journalist can understand his society unless it considers him a part of it. This is why he is dedicated to investigating the challenges of the "little person."

Bindhe says, "My work reflects the Uganda Radio Network unique approach to news." Not many Ugandan journalists would consider or even notice the re-emergence of Water Hyacinth on a lake. Bindhe does.

Truant children will attract Bindhe's attention until he gets to the bottom of their truancy: poverty and the need to work to earn bread for their families. These are the kinds of stories Bindhe is often after.

Edward Bindhe is the Masaka URN bureau chief. Rakai, Lwengo, Lyantonde, Kalangala, Mpigi, Kalungu, Bukomansimbi and Sembabule districts fall under his docket. He has been a URN staff member since 2009.

A Mass Communication graduate from Uganda Christian University, Bindhe started practising journalism in 2008 as a reporter for Radio Buddu in Masaka district.