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Sembabule Residents Want District Land Board Dissolved over Irregular Allocations

The land board has come under the spotlight over escalating disputes arising from the issuance of land titles, controversial allocation of public land including wetlands and animal grazing fields.

Audio 3

The Sembabule District Land Board is on the spot as residents want it disbanded over irregular land allocations.

The land board has come under the spotlight over escalating disputes arising from the issuance of land titles, controversial allocation of public land including wetlands and animal grazing fields. 

John Mwesigwa, the former Chairperson of Mijwala Sub County is leading a group of people to demand the dissolution of the Sembabule District Land Board accusing its members of dishonesty in the execution of their roles.

According to Mwesigwa, the district is currently witnessing widespread land disputes, some of which are threatening hundreds of current occupants with eviction after suspicious land allocations to private owners.

He alleges that Land Board was manipulated by a few selfish individuals who include leaders that are using it for self-enrichment at the expense of hundreds of people.

Mwesigwa indicates that his greatest disappointment was the allocation of part of the land housing Mijwala Sub-county headquarters, which was allocated to a private individual, who now intends to, evict the occupants after he obtained a free-land land title which he says, was erroneously issued. 

   //Cue in: (Luganda) “era ery’ogerwako…..   

  Cue out; …..katonda yebale.”//

Godfrey Sande, a resident of Mijwala Sub County in Sembabule district blames the District Land Board for usurping the roles of lower local councils’ area land committees, by bypassing them before making land allocations.  

Section 64 of the Land Act establishes Area Land Committees at parishes and division levels for urban areas; as the first contact, points to support other upper-level land management bodies including the District Land Board while they execute their duties of land allocation.

However, Sande indicates that the current Sembabule district no longer consults the area land committees, which has resulted in several irregular allocations that have resulted in many land-related disputes. 

//Cue in; “nnumwa nyo okuba,…..  

Cue out; ……tuli banyiivu nyo.”//

John Ssempala Ssaabwe, one of the affected persons in land disputes says that have formally complained to the Office of the Sembabule Resident District Commissioner about the conduct of the Land Board chaired by George William Katokoozi.

Ssaabwe says that they have lost trust in both the district political leadership which appoints the District Land Board, alleging that many of the leaders are beneficiaries of the dubious allocations.

However, Katokoozi the Chairperson of Sembabule District Land Board says that the allegations against him are unfounded. He says that some of the complaints have been squatters who failed to formalize their tenancy on the land they occupy.

Ramathan Walugembe, the Sembabule Resident District Commissioner says that his office has taken interest in the complaints.

   //Cue in: “ettaka wano…..   

  Cue out: ….ffe kyetugoberera.”//     

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