MITYANA: Lands Minister Judith Nabakooba has stepped in the issues of contested land between two families in Mityana district and issued directives to guide the fact finding process.
The contested land is 52 acres in Nsangabwami Village, Kikandwa Sub County in Mityana district. Two families claim ownership of the contested land that has over 50 bibanja holders on it owning farms and homes.
Ms Namatovu Mastula who represented the late George Wilson Lubega (the rightful owner) their father said ever since their father died five years ago, Mzee Mukiibi Katende Ezekia has been terrorising them off their land.
She said Mzee Mukiibi had entered into an agreement with their father to help him process the land title to the land and compensate him with 4acres of land to pay for the expenses since he did not have money to do the process.
“He then took it upon himself to grab the entire land after our father died. He is riding on our poverty to oppress us. We have the land title of this land, let him bring his as well,” she said.
To his end, Mzee Mukiibi claimed the late’s family members asked him to give them money to transfer the land title which he did to assume ownership of 38 acres.
When he was asked to provide the documentation to this effect, Mzee Mukiibi only had photocopy documents to present to the minister which she said were not adding up.
Swaib Nyombi the LC.1 Chairman of the village said he did not know about the transactions of this land until the wrangles on it started and Mzee Mukiibi started going to his office for resolving.
Nyombi explained that he also asked him to bring the original documents of the 52acres and he claimed he doesn’t just bring out the originals to anyone.
“I suggested to him to buy off these people because they were willing. I discovered that he just needed to compose himself and negotiate with the family for a lasting solution which he failed. He does not have original documents to support his ownership of the land.”
The Minister asked Mzee Mukiibi to bring original documents to her office next week and halt all the permanent things he was doing on the land as the matter is being investigated.
She said the documents presented by Mzee Mukiibi did not have a transfer date, something that cannot allow the truth about the land to be seen since the information is half-baked.
“Let us put a caveat on this land. All we want is fairness and equity. We shall verify these documents from my ministry as I will subject them to a handwriting expert to establish their authenticity. We are going to look into this matter exhaustively and return in two weeks.”
Nabakooba cautioned the locals on carrying out land negotiations with people whose names don’t appear on the land titles which makes them buy hot air in the long run.
“Owning land is owning a land title and without it, you are a kibanja holder. We know that if you are buying land, it is your responsibility to get on ground so that local leaders can help you to avoid such issues,” she advised.
She told the locals that when the president was sending her to the lands docket, he was clear with the fact that he was tired of land wrangles and tasked her to put an end to this phenomenon.
The relentless Nabakooba immediately asked Mzee Mukiibi to surrender the private security guards he had put on the land and these, the minister handed over to Busunju Police station to be returned to their companies after locals complained that they were becoming an insecurity in the area.
The locals also reported a dam dug in the land to feed his cattle and in this regard, the Minister directed Mzee Mukiibi to dig a dam outside the land in two weeks and migrate the feeding of his cattle in his own land that is not under contest.
Mityana North MP Nsegumire Kibedi revealed that the ministerial engagement was successful and what she decided was the best way to handle the issue.
He said withdrawing private security was good because Mzee Mukiibi had brought them to loom all over the village and cause insecurity.
The minister’s decision of getting these people off the land was a very wise decision because according to the documents availled to us, we found out that Mzee Mukiibi wanted to take people’s land without them accepting yet they have a title to the contested land in their names.”