Ex-Legislator, Statehouse Lock-horns over NFA Land

DISTRESSED: Charles Ngabirano former MP Rwampara

Mbarara | RedPepper Digital – There is a cold war between Former Rwampara Member of Parliament, Charles Ngabirano and Statehouse after the ex legislator was ordered off NFA land in Mbarara

This development follows State House legal department’s order asking him to vacate the land comprising Block (road) 1 plot 2187 FRV MBR 526 FOLIO 10 below Hotel Triangle, bordering the Northern By-pass in Nyakabungo cell Mbarara city.

Ngabirano who claims that he acquired a license from National Forestry Authority-NFA to set up different tree nursery beds during his environmental protection campaign when he was still a legislator, is being accused by authorities from Statehouse for allegedly operating on NFA land illegally.

In a two-page letter dated 29th Sept 2021 served to the Resident City Commissioner-RCC Mbarara city Lt. Col. James Mwesigye, indicated that owners of the land identified as Akatukwasa Benia and Barigye Phenehas petitioned State House legal department on the matter hence directing the former MP to vacate immediately.

Part of the letter from Norah Kenyena of State House legal department clearly puts it that a surveyor dully commissioned by the Ministry of Lands confirmed that the said land wasn’t part of NFA gazetted land and not part of NFA Central Forest Reserve Mbarara.

The letter further reads that Ngabirano is advised to approach the management of NFA to grant him an alternative portion of land for his activities.

Speaking to the former legislator on a phone call, Ngabirano however insists that the surveyor was the wrong one, even there is a criminal case against him and it’s terrible that the land has been taken by mafias working with a racket in government.

He said that in 2008 he requested land from NFA to put where to put his Central commercial nursery seedlings and it was given to him and from then he has been on this the same land as he claims that he holds a valid licence.

“There are some guys who claim that they hold a title but they put the title forestry land and it is that title which made in the forestry reserve and the same title was surrendered for cancellation by the initially registered proprietors and unfortunately was not cancelled. Now recently those people with fake land titles came and started battling with NFA and I hear matters have even reached to court which is non of my business.

But as far as I know, that title is fraudulent because it was made on forestry land. Now what is surprising is Government office like Statehouse is supporting fraudsters against NFA. As Ngabirano, am a tenant of NFA and they must make sure that my rights and my properties are protected,” said Ngabirano.

In 2014 when Uganda National Roads Authority-UNRA was constructing the road, NFA was compensated over the same land.

“The person who says received a petition didn’t invite both parties. My trees, properties, everything has been destroyed by panga wielding goons. And they purported to have written to the RCC Mbarara, the head of security but yet he allows these guys to come with the pangas and destroy all my properties, all my nursery beds and all good trees. But have destroyed all that for me, I must recover my things which were destroyed, I will use all the available channels to recover my things because at the end of the day I cannot lose my properties and I cannot lose my business’’ Ngabirano explained.

He added that he will wait for about 4 days and take action because as an NFA tenant and Ugandan, he won’t accept to lose.

On a different land case of former veterinary offices near Uganda Martyrs Church Boma where Ngabirano was also implicated in 2019, he has clarified that he agreed with the catholic church on some ‘transaction’ and now the land fully belongs to Uganda Martyrs Catholic parish.

Like in different parts of Uganda, reports of land cases in Mbarara city are escalating on NFA land being grabbed in areas like Nyakayojo, among other cases in Kyamugorani, Nyamitanga, Kamukuzi and other parts of the city.

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