Police Impounds Hoima Sugar Works Tractor Top story

4453 Views Hoima, Uganda

In short
Jimmy Ouna, the Encroachment Prevention Specialist, National Forestry Authority-NFA, says they cant sit back and watch the entire forest cleared even when the parties know that the matter is before court.

The Environmental Protection Police Unit has impounded a tractor belonging to Hoima Sugar Company. The tractor was found excavating part of the disputed Bugoma Central Forest Reserve land in Ssozi village in Kyangwali sub county.
 
 

The National Forestry Authority-NFA is embroiled in a feud with Bunyoro-Kitara Kingdom over the disputed land. Bunyoro-Kitara Kingdom leased out the disputed land to Hoima Sugar Company for Sugarcane growing. The matter is before Masindi High court.

 
 
A Police officer who spoke to URN on condition of anonymity because he is not authorized to speak to the media, says they impounded the tractor for causing a lot of damage in a protected area. He says the tractor was found excavating land in the disputed area to pave way for sugarcane growing, much as the matter is before court.
 

Jimmy Ouna, the Encroachment Prevention Specialist, National Forestry Authority-NFA, says they can't sit back and watch the entire forest cleared even when the parties know that the matter is before court. He says they will only release the tractor once court decides on the matter.
 
 
Masindi High court has set September 6 to deliver its ruling on an application, in which NFA is seeking an injunction stopping the Kingdom and Hoima Sugar Company from working on the disputed land. NFA accuses Bunyoro-Kitara Kingdom of fraudulently securing a title for the disputed 22 hectares of land in Kyangwali before leasing it to Hoima Sugar Company for sugarcane growing.

 
 
NFA petitioned court last week after it failed to stop the Kingdom from opening the boundaries of the contested land, which was flagged off by the Omukama of Bunyoro King Solomon Gafabusa Iguru. The Omukama personally drove to Kyangwali, the very day environmental police was deployed to stop the process.
 
 

On Friday, Julie Acio, the Masindi High Court Registrar received written submissions from the lawyers of NFA, Bunyoro-Kitara Kingdom and Hoima Sugar Company. Simon Kasangaki, the lawyer of Hoima Sugar Company, says they want court to dismiss the NFA application with costs, saying the disputed land is registered under Bunyoro-Kitara Kingdom. 



He also says the activities being carried out on the said land are developmental and of great value to the kingdom.