Bunyoro Kingdom on the Spot for Encroaching On Central Forest Reserve

In a telephone interview Bunyoro Kingdom Information Minister Ronald Isagara said all land in Bunyoro belongs to the King.

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Bunyoro Kitara Kingdom is on the spot for alleged encroachment on Kaduku Central Forest Reserve in Kiryandongo district. The kingdom plans to construct a palace for the king at Kaduku Hill, a school and health center in the forest reserve.

The cultural institution has already started grading works in the woodland forest reserve. On Tuesday, our reporter visited the area and found earth movers opening a road in the reserve.

By the time of filing this story, the grader had graded a road stretch measuring about 800meters. However, the move by the Kingdom has not gone down well with the National Forestry Authority- NFA which manages the forest.

The forest authority accuses the kingdom of encroaching on a central forest reserve without their consent.

Martin Mwodi, the Range Manager Budongo systems says the Kingdom has not been cleared to operate in the central forest reserve.

Mwodi says the NFA plans to engage the kingdom to sort out the issue.

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This is not the first time Bunyoro Kingdom is reclaiming a central forest reserve. Two months ago, the kingdom land board chairman Tadeo Asaba wrote to authorities in Kyangwali Sub County halting anymore activities on Bugoma central forest reserve land, claiming its part of the restituted assets.

He said the kingdom wanted to establish development projects in the area. Although Bunyoro Kingdom has restituted forest reserves which are currently being managed by NFA, URN has established that Kaduku is not one of them.

In a telephone interview Bunyoro Kingdom Information Minister Ronald Isagara said all land in Bunyoro belongs to the King. Isagara down plays NFA claims that the kingdom has encroached on the forest reserve, saying the king has powers to use any free land in his kingdom without question.

Isagara reveals that the kingdom has funders for the projects they intend to establish in the area. Asked on why the palace is being established in such a remote area, Isagara said this is part of the plan to have palaces in all the five districts that make up Bunyoro Kitara Kingdom.

Bunyoro Kingdom comprises of Buliisa, Kiryandongo, Masindi, Hoima and Kibaale districts. Kaduku Hill, where the new palace is planned, is located about 25 kilometers from Masindi Town.