UIA Defends Allocation of Disputed Ssembabule Land to Investor

2158 Views Sembabule, Uganda

In short
The land is at the center of a dispute between Kerren Kayonga, a local investor and more than 2500 squatters occupying it.

Dr. Frank Ssebowa, the Executive Director Uganda Investment Authority has clarified on the allocation of a piece of land occupied by 2500 people to a private developer in Ssembabule district saying it was done within the law. The disputed 4.5 square miles piece of land is found in Bigaga village. It covers part Bigo Byamugenyi in Ntusi Sub County, Sembabule district. The land is at the center of a dispute between Kerren Kayonga, a local investor and more than 2500 squatters occupying it.

Trouble started in April this year after Kayonga issued an eviction notice to the squatters to vacate the land to pave way for the establishment of her ranch. However, the residents wouldn’t have any of this. They evicted dozens of cows Kayonga had moved to the land and threatened to poison them prompting Kale Kayihura, the Inspector General of Police to rush to the area to calm down the situation. Kayihura also set up a committee to investigate circumstances under which Uganda Investment Authority allocated the land to Kayonga and how the squatters came to occupy it. 

Late last month, Herman Nsubuga Galiwango, the commissioner Ministry of Lands placed a caveat on the land and stopped all activities on it until the dispute is resolved. It came after the squatters petitioned the ministry resisting their proposed eviction. Led by Sam Tumwine, John Tibesigwa, Merab Kemikufu, Jovanis Kekitenderezo and Alex Bangirana swore affidavits through Victoria Legal Consultants challenging the sell of the land to Kayonga.

Now Dr. Frank Ssebowa, the Executive Director Uganda Investment Authority says Kayonga acquired the land legally. He explains that the land allocated to Kayonga by Uganda Investment Authority-UIA after a competitive bidding process. Ssebowa says Kayonga has already for the land adding that, they are already processing her transfer documents. He says that only the bonafide squatters will be resettled.
  
// Cue in: “There were some…
Cue out: …really farm land.”//

  

 

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.