June 15, 2013

Investment Authority Defends Allocation of Disputed Ssembabule Land

The land is at the center of a dispute between Kerren Kayonga, a local investor and more than 2500 squatters occupying it.
Dr. Frank Ssebowa (centre) with Joseph Kalungi, Masaka LC5 Chairman
Dr. Frank Ssebowa (centre) with Joseph Kalungi, Masaka LC5 Chairman

Dr. Frank Ssebowa, the Executive Director Uganda Investment Authority has clarified on the allocation of a piece of land occupied by 2500 people to a private developer in Ssembabule district saying it was done within the law. The disputed 4.5 square miles piece of land is found in Bigaga village. It covers part Bigo Byamugenyi in Ntusi Sub County, Sembabule district. The land is at the center of a dispute between Kerren Kayonga, a local investor and more than 2500 squatters occupying it.

Trouble started in April this year after Kayonga issued an eviction notice to the squatters to vacate the land to pave way for the establishment of her ranch. However, the residents wouldn’t have any of this. They evicted dozens of cows Kayonga had moved to the land and threatened to poison them prompting Kale Kayihura, the Inspector General of Police to rush to the area to calm down the situation. Kayihura also set up a committee to investigate circumstances under which Uganda Investment Authority allocated the land to Kayonga and how the squatters came to occupy it.

Late last month, Herman Nsubuga Galiwango, the commissioner Ministry of Lands placed a caveat on the land and stopped all activities on it until the dispute is resolved. It came after the squatters petitioned the ministry resisting their proposed eviction. Led by Sam Tumwine, John Tibesigwa, Merab Kemikufu, Jovanis Kekitenderezo and Alex Bangirana swore affidavits through Victoria Legal Consultants challenging the sell of the land to Kayonga.

Now Dr. Frank Ssebowa, the Executive Director Uganda Investment Authority says Kayonga acquired the land legally. He explains that the land allocated to Kayonga by Uganda Investment Authority-UIA after a competitive bidding process. Ssebowa says Kayonga has already for the land adding that, they are already processing her transfer documents. He says that only the bonafide squatters will be resettled.

Enable Notifications    Ok No thanks