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
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
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.