Fresh Investigation Launched Into Nyimbwa Forest Giveaway

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In short
The CAO has since appointed a special committee to investigate how the company accessed the land in question. The committee will also conduct an impact assessment of the company's activities on the forest within a period of one week.

Luweero Chief Administrative Officer Eustace Gakwandi has ordered for investigations into the reported fresh giveaway of part of Nyimbwa Forest Reserve to a private developer.


The investigations follows renewed allegations that the District land board led by chairperson Lule Kiggundu clandestinely sold part of the 60 - hectare Forest Reserve to a private company; Royal Firms Limited.

The suspicious transaction was raised after a letter from Uganda Revenue Authority asking the CAO to certify the existence of Royal Firms Limited in the district and its activities on the Forest Reserve.

The CAO has since appointed a special committee to investigate how the company accessed the land in question. The committee will also conduct an impact assessment of the company's activities on the forest within a period of one week.

The committee consists of the District Natural Resource Officer Teopista Gadetsi, the Forestry Officer Deo Mijumbi, the Veterinary Officer Aloysius Lumbuye, and the Staff Surveyor Ivan Serwambala.

A member of the Probe committee and District Senior Staff Surveyor Ivan Serwambala confirmed the development but declined to divulge details. URN couldn't reach Royal Firms Limited for a comment.

Recently, the Ministry of Water and Environment tasked Taire Idwege, the Environmental Police Commissioner to investigate 17 individuals and Private Companies that had encroached on the same Forest Reserve.

The Investigations followed a whistle blower's dossier to the Ministry of Water and Environment accusing the Luweero Land board officials of conniving to sell part of the forest reserve to private developers after getting a bribe of up to Ugx 250 million.

Beneficiaries included; Egypt-Uganda Food Security Company Limited, Aya group of Companies, Umoja war veterans association and individuals Alex Male, Erasmus Musisi and Amis Tomusange among others.

Luweero land board and Bukalasa Land Office has been under spot light several times but the notable one is the 2011 giveaway of a 44-year lease to two Sudanese investors under Goodman International Company to grow sugarcane in a wetland in Butuntumula sub county.

The offer was cancelled in 2013 by state minister of Lands Aidah Nantaba after residents protested the deal citing corruption.
 
 
 

 

About the author

Brian Luwaga
Since Brian Luwaga joined Uganda Radio Network in 2011, he is still amazed how, "URN is a place that gives journalists a chance to enhance their skills . It gives a journalist an opportunity to adopt and master various aspects of journalism that include radio broadcast, social media, photography and television production."

A practicing journalist since 2009, first with Star FM, Luwaga has always been keen to write about the concerns of the "common person." Based for much of his career in Luweero, Luwaga takes it as a compliment if politicians complain that his reporting is too harsh.

In his journalism, Luwaga likes to merge the past with the present. He believes you cannot understand what is happening now, if you do not have a grounding in the past. Brian Luwaga is the Luweero URN bureau chief. Nakasongola, Nakaseke, Mityana, Mubende and Wakiso districts fall under his docket.

Luwaga is interested in humanitarian work and is a keen Rotarian.