The Justice Catherine Bamugemereire led commission of inquiry into land fraud has quizzed the Mayor and Town Clerk of Wakiso Town Council to explain the allegations that the town council has been involved in mistreatment and unlawful acquisition of land.
The committee which is holding its hearings in Wakiso this week received a complaint from a one Harriet Naziwa, viagra 100mg 57 a resident in Wakiso town council who has suffered at the hands of council officials since 2006 when they first threatened to evict her from her land.
Naziwa, thumb a peasant and poultry farmer told the committee that she acquired Block 204 Plot 95 which is 130ft by 70ft in 1998 from a one Musoke Ssalongo and went ahead to secure all the legal documents. She has lived on the property since 2000.
However, after numerous threats from the authorities, her property was razed without her consent. A building she had been constructing was destroyed along with a pig shelter and a banana plantation.
“I bought the land when Wakiso was still under Mpigi district. But shortly after it (Wakiso) attained town council status, the authorities asked me to vacate the land claiming it was government property,” Naziwa said in her testimony.
“I lodged a complaint to the RDC who arranged a meeting between myself and the town council officials but they never showed.”
She revealed that having received no assistance, she proceeded to the Attorney General’s office which office confirmed it had authorized the eviction claiming the previous owner obtained it illegally. According to Naziwa’s account, Farouk Lubega, a State Attorney later revoke the eviction citing the 1998 law (Land Act) which gave bonafide rights to any individual who owned land 12 years prior to the law.
“He (Lubega) gave notice to Wakiso town council regarding the cancelled eviction and advised them to negotiate with me but which they didn’t.”
Despite this notice, the town council went ahead with plans to develop the property by constructing road ways around Naziwa’s house as well as dumping garbage including carcasses of dogs on her property. She had heard from rumors that there were plans to establish a bus terminal on the same property.
Asked by the Assistant Lead Counsel to the probe committee, John Bosco Suuza whether she would accept compensation to let the town developments proceed, Naziwa said; “I’m willing to be compensated because I have withstood too much suffering by these people. I can no longer have privacy on my land because roads cut through my land.”
While she was advised by the State Attorney to take the matter to court, the complainant says she couldn’t afford the expenses.
Upon relentless questioning by the commission, Moses Sempebwa Cox Nsubuga, the Principal Town Clerk of Wakiso admitted that Naziwa was the rightful owner of the property and faulted the previous council authorities for abusing the required procedure for land acquisition.
The commission tasked Nsubuga to explain why there was no file available in Wakiso offices regarding the matter despite the many years that Naziwa has followed it up. Neither him nor the Mayor could not provide answers.
“I have only been in office for 4 months. But i have held several discussions with the complainant and I am ready to ensure that the rightful government procedure for compensation is followed so this matter is solved.”
Commissioner Dr. Rose Nakayi asked Nsubuga why the town council restricted Naziwa from carrying out further developments on her own land before compensation had been made as required by the law. To that, he couldn’t give explanation too.
The town clerk committed to issue a letter to Wakiso town council on Friday morning indicating commencement of the process of compensating Naziwa and documenting all the property belonging to the complainant that has been destroyed.
He was also compelled to ensure that Naziwa is provided quiet possession of her land and no further encroachment is made thereon until compensation is made.
On his part, the Wakiso Mayor Fredson Mukalazi Kasiwukira claimed to have less knowledge on the dispute since he is less of a technical person and more of a policy maker.
“We are not here to waste time. We mean business. We would love you to educate your council on issues of land acquisition and compensation. Should we hear that the town council is grabbing people’s land, we shall come for you,” Justice Catherine Bamugemereire told the Mayor.