Nandala Mafabi, the Leader of Opposition in Parliament and Jack Wamai Wamanga, the Mbale Municipality Member of Parliament are among people accused of grabbing public land in Mbale Municipality.
The two legislators’ names come up as the parliamentary committee on Physical Infrastructure continues traversing the country to investigate several cases of land grabbing and illegal give-away of land belonging to government by the Uganda Land Commission – ULC.
The MPs now join Captain Juma Seiko, General Salim Saleh’s Aide de Camp, who was named in the land scam involving the sale of Mbale Lorry Park in 2011. The controversial soldier is among eleven people who have land titles for the park which is a gazetted public utility.
Mtwalib Zandia, the Mbale Municipality mayor said the group acquired land titles for the park in August 2011 after learning that the council had intended to relocate the vendors from Mbale Main Market to pave way for redevelopment.
Seiko’s group has since secured a court injunction stopping the council from relocating the vendors.
The parliamentary committee led by Samuel Ssemugaba, Kiboga West MP was in Mbale over the weekend.
Paul Nangoli, the Mbale Resident District Commissioner in his report to the committee said Nandala Mafabi, who is also Budadiri West MP, and his Mbale Municipality counterpart, Wamai Wamanga, are among those prominent persons who influenced the Uganda Land Commission to illegally sell off the public land in the Municipality so as they can benefit from it.
He said his investigation has found out that the two legislators and others bought several plots of land at Rugby Club Ground, the land belonging to Mbale Municipality which was illegally sold to developers by the Uganda Land Commission about three years ago.
He said they have tried in vain to ensure the Municipality administration repossesses the land but that some of these people he described as unscrupulous have frustrated their efforts.
Nangoli also claimed that the High Court in Mbale connived with some of these people to help them grab public land and he accordingly demanded for intervention from parliament.
Shortly after the committee meeting of the district officials, Wamai clashed with RDC Nangoli demanding for evidence indicating that he illegally bought land at the Rugby ground.
He accused Nangoli of tarnishing his name and that of Nandala before his parliamentary colleagues.
Wamai described the allegation as rubbish adding that he has never even tried to apply for the said land.
He instead accuses Nangoli of being among those that have illegally acquired public land in Mbale. The MP said he will continue to struggle until the Land Commission cancels the land titles given out illegally.
Attempts to get a comment from Nandala Mafabi were futile as he did not answer our repeated telephone calls.
The land in question includes the Rugby Club ground, Cricket ground, Uhuru Park, children’s park, the Cemetery ground and Lorry Park all belonging to Mbale Municipal Council.
The Committee vice chairperson, MP Ssemugaba, said the implicated people would be summoned to parliament for questioning. He however advised the local authorities against illegal allocation of public and individual land.
Earlier, councilors of Mbale Municipality led by the mayor, Mtwalib Zandia, threatened to pitch camp at Parliament to protest against illegal allocation of public land to private developers by the Uganda Land Commission.