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Government cancels 100 land titles in Namanve, Wakiso forest reserves

KAMPALA- Government has cancelled 96 land titles in three central forest reserves have been cancelled in an effort to save the country’s natural resources.

The titles, according to government were issued to various individuals in error or fraudulently.
Lands Ministry in partnership with the Anti-Corruption Coalition Uganda (ACCU) published the list of land titles in Kyewaga, Namanve and Nonve Central Forest Reserves in Wakiso District.

“We are calling upon the public not to be duped into buying such land,” a statement by ACCU and the Land ministry appealing to the public to report any suspected dealings on the plots of land using toll free lines, reads in part.

According to the list, 72 land titles in Kyewaga Forest Reserve mostly belong to Brig Hudson Mukasa, John Baliruno and Dennis Kasoma.

In Namanve Forest Reserve, the land titles that have been cancelled were erroneously issued to Harrison Busingye, Balayo and Associates Limited, DJS Investment Limited and Mash Investment Limited.

Those who had titles in Nonve Forest Reserve, according to the list are Haruna Semakula and former Wakiso District Resident Commissioner, Mr Ian Kyeyune.

When Mr Semakula appeared before the Commission in July, he admitted acquiring the 600 hectares but said he later donated about 190 acres to Mr Kyeyune.

The list resulted from the 2014/15 investigative study by ACCU that aimed at establishing facts surrounding individuals owning illegal land titles in selected forest reserves.

ACCU research was prompted by a report titled ‘behind the scenes’ published by Water and Media Environment Network Uganda (WEMNET) which revealed 52 land titles in forest reserves had been fraudulently issued to individuals and or investors.

However, Daily Monitor understands that the dispute over land titles have since landed government agencies in courts of law.

Brig Mukasa and Mr Baliruno have since sued Wakiso District Land Board, National Forest Authority and the Commissioner Land Registration and an interim order has since been issued by court halting the said cancellation of the land titles in Kyewaga Forest Reserve.

Efforts to get a comment from the Lands ministry were fruitless as the known telephone numbers for the publicist Mr Dennis Obbo were off air while calls to State Minister for Lands Ms Percis Namuganza went unanswered.

In July, the Commission of Inquiry into Land Matters has since established that 600 hectares in Nonve Forest had been destroyed and land allocated to various people including Mr Kyeyune and Mr Semakula.

The Executive Director of ACCU, Ms Cissy Kagaba said the move by government to cancel the land titles is welcome.

“We expect the public to verify if the land titles are actually cancelled. In case the public finds any contest, we shall step in,” Ms Kagaba said.