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Buliisa Landowners , Bunyoro Prince, NFA Feud Over Land :: Uganda Radionetwork

Buliisa Landowners , Bunyoro Prince, NFA Feud Over Land

Natural trees in Budongo forest reserve. The land in question according to NFA is part of Budongo Forest Reserve.Photo by Emmanuel Okello.

Audio 4

More than 1,000 families in Kitigo village in Biiso sub county in Buliisa district have accused Prince Harrison Samuel Gafaabusa Kintu- son to the late Omukama Sir Tito Winyi Gafaabusa of Bunyoro Kitara Kingdom for allegedly attempting to grab their land. 

The land in question measures 19,433 hectares and is situated in Kitigo village in Biiso sub county in Buliisa district.

The same land is also being claimed by the National Forestry Authority-NFA as part of Budongo forest reserve situated in Masindi district while the Uganda Wildlife Authority-UWA states that the land covers part of the Bugungu wildlife conservation area that falls under the Murchison falls National Park.

According to prince Kintu, the said land was offered to him by his late father Omukama Winyi IV in July 1967 and that before the late father offered him the land, it was a hunting ground for the King.

He states that he has all the relevant supporting documents indicating that the land belongs to him.

//Cue in : “And that is…

Cue out:…nineteen years old.”// 

However, residents and leaders in Buliisa district have protested the move taken by prince Kintu describing him as a land grabber.

According to the residents, they lived on the said land since the 1940s wondering how Kintu has come to claim the land at this time. 

Benjamin Yowasi, a resident says, he was born and raised on the land tasking prince Kintu to explain the circumstances under which he came to acquire land in the area.

Gilbert Tibasiima, the Buliisa LCV Vice Chairperson says Prince Kintu has never owned any piece of land in the area stating that all the supportive documents he has have been fraudulently acquired and are forged.   

Tibasiima accused the prince of allegedly forging minutes of the Buliisa District Land Board to purportedly grab the land tasking him to avail legitimate documents indicating the legality of his claim.

//Cue in: “The land act… 

Cue out:…a determining factor.”// 

Nicholas Aliganyira, the Busiiso town council LCV Councilor states that part of the land being claimed by Prince Kintu also covers some villages in Biiso town council stating that, there is need to urgently open the boundaries of the land to come out with the truth. 

Norah Nyendwoha, the Buliisa District Woman Member of Parliament, says it is unbelievable that Prince Kintu is claiming ownership of land that residents have settled on for years adding that she is to follow the matter seriously to ensure that justice and transparency are served to the people of Buliisa.   

Lugungu byte.  

//Cue in: “Kikumanyisa de we…. 

Cue out:…dosere yona kwetagisa.”//   

Allan Atugonza, the Buliisa county Member of Parliament says NFA and UWA should ensure opening of the boundaries of the said land since both entities are also claiming ownership of the land. He states that in most cases there have been long standing atrocities meted by NFA on residents settling adjacent to forest reserves. 

Lugungu byte.

//Cue in: “Ki Kwenda kuwera… 

Cue out:…na litwara so.”//   

Aldon Walukamba, the Communications and Public Relations Manager at the NFA, says whereas people are accusing Prince Kintu of land grabbing, NFA has got clear boundaries for the land in contention.  

Frederick Wanyama, the senior monitoring and research officer with UWA reveals that, available documents  they have indicates that part of the land that Prince Kintu is claiming cuts into Bugungu Wildlife Reserve area noting that the only way to solve the conflict is for UWA and NFA to reopen the boundaries to ensure transparency.    

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