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LCI Chairperson Arrested for Encroaching on Public Land in Jinja

The land that belongs to Jinja municipal council is said to have been illegally awarded to Thummar Joy Maganlal Patel without following the rightful procedures. According to Sakwa, Thummar used the influence of leaders to forge district land board minutes which he used to apply for a freehold title on the land.
Police arrests suspects.
The LCI Chairperson of Nalufenya B village, Nicholas Egwangu and five others have been arrested for allegedly encroaching on a 12-acre piece of land. The land is located along Kyabazinga way in Mpumudde, Kimaka division.

The other five suspects whose identities have been withheld include two security guards attached to Accurate Security Company limited, two drivers, and one Asian engineer.

They were arrested on Friday by the Jinja Resident District Commissioner, Erick Sakwa and other security operatives.

Two graders that were being used by the suspects were also impounded.

The land that belongs to Jinja municipal council is said to have been illegally awarded to Thummar Joy Maganlal Patel without following the rightful procedures.

According to Sakwa, Thummar used the influence of leaders to forge district land board minutes which he used to apply for a freehold title on the land.

He adds that, out of the seven members on the district land board, only two agreed to the giveaway of the land, however, signatures of the other five members were allegedly forged.

“For bigger projects like this one which involves giving away 12 acres of land to a single investor, at least majority members on the board should endorse it, however, in this case, five members led by the district land board chairperson, Innocent Ndiko, have officially written letters to the chief administrative officer, disassociating themselves from the process,” he says.

Sakwa adds that “Our intelligence reports indicate that, Thummar was finalizing the process of acquiring a land title, and as security, we could not stand by and watch the traces of corruption embedded in the whole process,”.

Also, Daudi Musenze, a member of the board says that the matter was discussed but never resolved.

“We last held a meeting in June where we discussed matters pertaining the said land in contention, but due to irregularities in the whole process, a resolution was not made, but I was also shocked when officials from the ministerial zonal land office summoned us last week over the same matter,” he says.

A section of councillors from Jinja municipal council, led by the Mayor, Majid Batambuze has also distanced themselves from the whole process.

According to Batambuze, the land board cannot allocate land to anyone without consulting the municipality.

“In this case, Jinja municipal council is the main stakeholder in this whole process, and we are much interested in potential investors to develop our town, but I am equally surprised that we never held a council meeting pertaining that land yet efforts of developing it are on-going behind our backs,” he says.

Balyeku however, says that Thummar has followed all the legal procedures but has refused to divulge into details.

On his part, Onesmus Mwesigwa, the Kiira region deputy police commander has confirmed the arrests adding that investigations are still on-going.  “All the six suspects are being detained at Nalufenya police station and our investigations are underway,” he says.