Luweero District Moves to Reclaim Lost Land

1707 Views Luweero, Uganda

In short
The operation code named tooth and nail kicked off on Wednesday when authorities raided a piece of land that is under dispute between one Ronald Kitooke and Luweero district. Records indicate that Luweero district bought the land from Catherine Nakigudde, a daughter of Ibrahim Katumba Ssegawa in 1994, but Ronald Kitooke also claims ownership of the same land.

Luweero district has launched an operation to reclaim several pieces of land which have been encroached on by squatters.

The operation code named ''tooth and nail'' kicked off on Wednesday when authorities raided a piece of land that is under dispute between one Ronald Kitooke and Luweero district. Records indicate that Luweero district bought the land from Catherine Nakigudde, a daughter of Ibrahim Katumba Ssegawa in 1994, but Ronald Kitooke also claims ownership of the same land.

District officials led by the Secretary for Finance Hussein Kato heavily guarded by Police officers raided the disputed land and destroyed up to two acres of food crops in the operation. They consequently fenced the entire land and issued a directive to Police to arrest any person who trespasses on it.

Kato says this is a beginning of the massive exercise to reclaim land which has been encroached on by as 'opportunists.' He adds that they have also started investigations on section of district officials who connive with residents to grab the land.
 
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But Ronald Kitooke says that he bought the same piece of land from Nuluyiat Nagawa, the second wife of Ibrahim Katumba Ssegawa.
 
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A report by Luweero District reveals that 39 health centers have lost part of their land to encroachers and grabbers due to lack of land titles. Three other pieces of district land and scores of school football pitches have also been grabbed in recent times.

URN found out that in most cases, Luweero district acquired the land through donations, while other pieces were bought but agreements got lost mysteriously.

Ronald Ndawula the Luweero LCV Chairperson admits the problem and says that they have passed a resolution ordering the district surveyor to survey the land and process land titles before it's too late.
 
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Ivan Serwambala, the Luweero district staff surveyor says that they have already secured a land title for Luweero district headquarters which was under threat and the process is ongoing for other government institutions. He however says the process is slow over lack of land agreements to justify the ownership of the land by the district.

However, the new operation has met resistance from a section of people accusing Luweero district for grabbing their land. They threatened to drag the district to court for malicious damage, trespass and land grabbing.

Olivia Ndugga, another of the affected residents is also seeking legal redress for being blocked from developing a plot of land located between District Service Commission and Education department. The plot measures 40 by 130 feet.

The district claims it bought the plot from her father late Musaazi Ndugga but Olivia Ndugga says that her father only sold the commercial building adjacent to the plot.

 

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.