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Lands Ministry to Cancel Fraudulently Acquired Land Title in Katakwi

The land in Atapar Village, Okore Sub County in Katakwi district was leased to three individuals who include John Akubal, Emmanuel Okubu and Grace Titin on February 7, 2019. However, the community has since protested the lease on grounds that the said individuals duped them into releasing their land.
Geoffrey Omolo, Katakwi LCV addressing the coomunity in Okore.

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The Ministry of Lands, Housing, and Urban Development has recalled a title of land measuring 4,987.5530 hectares that were reportedly acquired fraudulently in Katakwi District.

The land in Atapar Village, Okore Sub County was leased to three individuals John Akubal, Emmanuel Okubu, and Grace Titin on February 7, 2019. However, the community has since protested the lease on grounds that they were duped into releasing their land.

Information available indicates that a factory, schools, and other projects like boreholes were supposed to be constructed on the land.  However, after acquiring the land, the community was shocked by the presence of the army in the area. 

Several people threatened to walk naked to Kampala in protest over their land. The more than 8,000 affected households blame government officials for allegedly conniving with the land fraudsters to take away their land. 

Fabiano Akorimo, one of the elders in Okore questions how the three managed to pass through all the responsible offices to reach them without any intervention from leaders.

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Akubal and the group are said to have taken advantage of the Karamojong raids that forced the landowners to Internally Displaced Camps. Their action was only realized in 2011 when they started the process of surveying the land. 

Charles Ikabat, the Okore Sub County Chairperson Okore says he tried many times to intervene in the matter but was overpowered by the top officials including those in the Ministry of Lands.

He, however, notes that Akubal and his team were working with some officials in Soroti who later issued the land title.

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In her letter written on December 2, 2021, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban, Dorcas Okalanya indicated that her office was duped into leasing the land when its ownership was not verified.

“Information availed to my office indicates that the title issued to Akubal John, Okubu Emmanuel, and Titin Grace was based on a false misinterpretation by the applicants that they customarily owned the land when in actual sense, the land was communally owned. The fact was supposed to have been established by the District Land Board before granting the offer which was unfortunately not done hence the grant of freehold under Minute LM/04/02/19 (a) of 7th, February 2019”, the letter reads in part.

Okalany adds in her letter that the title was granted irregularly and must be canceled and the land ownership reverted to the community through the formation of the Communal Land Association.

However, information on the ground indicates that the ownership of the has been transferred to other individuals.  According to Dan Mulalu, the private secretary to the President, the matter requires thorough investigations.

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