Illegal Land Giveaways Top Corruption Cases in Rwenzori Region

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In short
This is according to a report on the status of corruption in the region compiled by the Rwenzori Anti-Corruption Coalition. The report released on Friday shows that more than 40 pieces of land belonging to the government have either been encroached on or illegally sold off. Most of the land is in forest reserves, schools and health facilities.

Illegal acquisition of government land tops corruption-related cases in the Rwenzori region. 

This is according to a report on the status of corruption in the region compiled by the Rwenzori Anti-Corruption Coalition. The report released on Friday shows that more than 40 pieces of land belonging to the government have either been encroached on or illegally sold off. Most of the land is in forest reserves, schools and health facilities.

The report cites Butebe forest reserve in Kabarole district, Bundimusole forest reserve in Bundibugyo district and Kyaka forest reserve in Kyegegwa district.

Angela Byangwa, the Executive Director of Rwenzori Anti-Corruption Coalition says that land grabbing, encroachment and illegal give away have accelerated conflicts, violence and sometimes death. Byangwa adds that although forest reserves in the region are held in trust of the people by the districts, encroachers have never been arrested and prosecuted.

She adds that they have petitioned the respective districts to take action against the encroachers in vain.
 
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Moses Bwire, from the Directorate for Ethics and Integrity in the office of the President advises that government needs to have all its land surveyed in order to avoid encroachment and illegal giveaways.

Bwire asked the office of the regional inspectorate of government-IGG to carry out investigations into the illegal acquisition of land, especially in the forest. He suspects that there could be connivance between the buyers and district land boards.

In August while appearing before the parliamentary Local Governments Accounts Committee, Kabarole district officials were put to task to explain the status of government land under their management and why no action had been taken against encroachers on the land.

Committee Chairperson Reagan Okumu said that the committee had received information that district land officials were giving away land in forest reserves and helping individuals acquire land titles.

Other cases highlighted in the report include the high school dropout rate, discrepancies in pupil enrollment, inadequate staffing in the health sector, non-functional health unit management committees, inadequate drug and other medical supplies and among others, which affects service delivery.  

 

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.