Mbale Residents Want Government to Buy Off the Estate of Kakungulu

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Residents of Mbale want government to buy off the large chunks of land owned by the estate of the late Semei Kakungulu a former British Colonial Administrator.
The late Semei Kakungulu owns large chunks of land in the sub-counties of Nakaloke, Namanyonyi and Mbale town.
The land which has a 999 year lease is currently occupied by 30,000 squatters who have been served with an eviction notice by the managers of Semei Kakungulu's estate.
Today, the plight of the squatters was at the center of a land amendment consultation meeting, which was convened by the parliamentary committee on legal affairs and physical infrastructures.
Cosmas Busima, the Member of Parliamentary for Budairi West who is among the squatters urged the Bagisu to unite and pressurize government to buy off Semei Kakungulu's land to avoid the eviction.
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Matters related to Semei Kakungulu's land, have affected the implementation of development activities in Mbale town.
Paul Sodo, the Mbale Municipal Council Senior Commercial Officer, says the municipality is finding problems extending much needed services like construction of roads, schools and health centers to people living in the estate of Semei Kakungulu because the land is privately owned.
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Also of concern is the land that the estate of Semei Kakungulu sold to Bugisu Co-operative Union which was in turn taken over by government.
Hassan Mwanika, a resident of Doko in Mbale town says they are living a hopeless life after their cradle land which happens to be under the estate of Semei Kakungulu was taken over by the Uganda Investment Authority.
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But Prof. Dan Nabudere, an out spoken government critic says that the issue of Kakungulu's land should be handled with caution because most tenants have acquired land titles.
Nabudere argued that buying off the land may be too expensive for the taxpayers because the people who have acquired land titles on the land may demand too much money in compensation.