Issuance of land titles along Entebbe-Expressway halted over fraud

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KAMPALA. The Deputy Inspector General of Government (DIGG), Mr George Bamugemereire, has directed the Lands ministry to immediately stop issuance of titles along section of the Kampala- Entebbe expressway pending investigations into fraud and collusion by the Wakiso District bosses to reap from compensation by the Uganda National Roads Authority (Unra). In a March 29 letter copied to, among others, the Commissioner of Land Registration and Commissioner of Surveys & Mappings in Entebbe, Mr Bamugemereire said they had received complaints that the Wakiso District staff surveyor, “Mr Joseph Batume and some of his colleagues” illegally allocated land in Kajjansi Central Forest Reserve to selected individuals in order to benefit from compensation, having got information that the road was passing through the area.
“Accordingly, you are directed to halt the issuance of land titles in the Kajjansi – Nakigalala – Katale area. This directive will hold until the Inspectorate concludes the investigations and communicates its findings or until further orders are issued,” the letter reads in part. The Kajjansi forest reserve was gazzatted in 1932.

Preliminary investigations, the ombudsman indicated, have established that during the land acquisition process for the multi-million dollar road project, the (former) roads authority management compensated a number of beneficiaries for land located in the Kajjansi Central Forest Reserve, which ideally is government land gazatted by the 2003 National Forestry Authority Act. He, however, noted that the directive to halt the process is premised on information showing that land allocations within the forest reserve are still ongoing. The investigations, according to sources familiar with the matter, will be handled imultaneously with the wider probe into the misappropriation of at least Shs4 trillion meant for road works between 2008 and 2015 that was laid bare by the Unra commission of inquiry. This newspaper first reported about issuance of the fraudulent titles in the same forest reserve in 2015 involving top officials in Wakiso District Land Board and senior officials in the Lands ministry, during which an unspecified amount had been paid and another Shs4b was in process of being paid out. However the IGG, Ms Irene Mulyagonja, suspended the compensations. Unra officials told this newspaper yesterday they have not paid out money to any claimer since then notwithstanding the claims for payment they found around.

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