By our reporter
In 2016, Mr Museveni constituted a Commission of Inquiry after rampant land evictions and complaints that he had been receiving from the public. The Commission was tasked to look into the effectiveness of the law and processes of land acquisition, administration, management and registration in Uganda.
It is of no dispute that the seven member committee led by Justice Catherine Bamugemereire has done wonders in exposing land grabbers.
Here are some of the powerful people that have been exposed by the commission as top land grabbers in the country;
1.Lands Minister Betty Amongi
Minister Amongi early this week appeared before the commission and she was accused of mismanaging Land Fund as well as attempting to fraudulently acquire and grabbing of property in upscale of Kololo, Kampala District.
The property in dispute is comprised on Plot 29 under leasehold number 235 Acacia Avenue in Kololo registered in the names of Toshak Munubhai Patel.
It is alleged that in December 2017, Amongi through her company, Amobet Investments Limited acquired temporary possession of the property after it was repossessed by the Asian family in 1992.
Documents indicate that the allocation by Amobet Investments Limited was signed by George William Bizibu, the Executive Secretary of the Departed Asian Property Custodian Board.
2.Water Minister Ronald Kibuule
Early this year, State Minister for Water Ronald Kibuule appeared before the commission after being accused of fraudulently acquiring hectares of land and illegally displacing hundreds of households in Buikwe District.
Witnesses told Justice Bamugemereire-led commission that Kibuule, who is also the MP for Mukono North Constituency, displaced people there purporting to have bought the said land from the Namasole (Queen mother of the reigning Kabaka of Buganda).
The land measuring 261.03 hectares under contention at Kigaya-Golomolo in Buikwe District is located on block 369.
It is alleged that since July last year, Mr Kibuule deployed armed security personnel who have since arrested and jailed people as well as destroying their crops and households, forcing some to flee from their land.
3.Businessman Ephraim Ntaganda
In January this year, renowned businessman Ephraim Ntaganda was arrested and briefly detained on orders of the commission after failing to explain how he got over 12 acres of forestry land at Kajjansi along Entebbe road.
It is alleged that, Ntaganda, through his brother Nsongoza Ntaganda, fraudulently grabbed former Makerere University lecturer Dezidelio Kasujja’s land and used some army officials to destroy his forest and even killed the bees he was rearing on the land.
4.Minister Muruli Mukasa
In 2017, Public Service Minister Wilson Muruli Mukasa appeared before the commission amid allegations that he connived with businessman and industrialist Abid Alam to forcefully evict more than 2,000 households from nine villages in Nalutuntu sub-county in Mubende without giving them adequate compensation.
5.Businessman Abid Alam
Last year, the lead counsel of the commission of inquiry into land matters Ebert Byenkya revealed that Businessman Abid Alam was being investigated over alleged murder and forceful eviction of people from land in Mubende district which was home to about 2000 people.
Alam who appeared before the commission was in September,2017 ordered by the commissioners to halt any work or evictions on the land where he intends to put a sugarcane plantation until investigations are complete. But, the commission recently received information that Alam had used stick and machete wielding men to evict people and that he had started clearing the land.
It’s said evictions by Alam spanning from 2006 have led to loss of lives and destruction of property. Last week the businessman was shortly arrested before being released on bond.
6.Pastor Samuel Kakande
Pastor Kakande appeared before the commission in 2017 after coming under scrutiny for his acquisition of 40 square miles of land in a wetland in Masaka where his people were found planting rice.
Kakande told the commission the land was a donation from one of his followers. The disputed land is alleged to have been purchased from Maj Gen Wilson Mbasu Mbadi, the army’s deputy chief of defence forces. It is not clear whether Mbadi will be summoned to testify before the commission.
The colourful pastor is growing rice on the wetland instead of palm trees contrary to the license he got from the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA).
Kakande said if the commission finds the title was acquired illegally, he will willingly let go of it.