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Gov’t Cancels over Ten Land Titles in Sango Bay, Orders Arrest of Businessman :: Uganda Radionetwork
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Gov’t Cancels over Ten Land Titles in Sango Bay, Orders Arrest of Businessman

Murengyezi is accused of fencing off more than four square miles of land from which he blocked community access to grazing fields, plantations and water sources. Murengyezi is claiming ownership of seven square miles of land in the same area and had initially threatened to evict more than 1,000 residents.
Sam Mayanja, the State Minister for Lands, addressing occupants of Sango bay land. Photo by Davis Buyondo

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The Ministry of Lands has ordered the arrest of a local businessman Faustino Murengyezi for allegedly grabbing public land and displacing residents of Bukaala village, Kabira sub-county in Kyotera district.

Murengyezi is accused of fencing off more than four square miles of land from which he blocked community access to grazing fields, plantations and water sources. Murengyezi is claiming ownership of seven square miles of land in the same area and had initially threatened to evict more than 1,000 residents.

Residents say that he would reportedly deploy gun-wielding men to guard the fenced chunk of land and whoever tried to access their grazing fields, plantations and waters sources would be flogged, arrested, imprisoned and slapped with trespass charges.

The land in dispute is part of the 14,000 hectares that were formerly leased to Sango Bay Sugar Estate Limited and later reverted to the central government following the expulsion of the Asians in 1972. Apart from Murengyezi, there are more than 10 other titles on the Sango Bay land in Bukaala which were cancelled.

State Minister for Lands Sam Mayanja says that the businessman had no right to block residents from using or accessing the public land, and added that the fence and barricades that were illegally erected should be removed immediately to allow people access to their plantations and grazing fields.

He also cancelled all the titles on the disputed land saying they were null and void and no longer in the system and directed that all the residents who were slapped with trespass charges and incarcerated should be released since they were wrongly charged.

//Cue in; “Titles of Sango bay…

Cue out...be charged.”//  

On Tuesday Mayanja visited the disputed land where he appealed to the district security team to effect the directives and arrest all the perpetrators before the residents take the law into their hands. From here, he appealed to all the occupants of the disputed land to register for a resettlement package at Kakuuto sub-county headquarters since the government plans to use it for the oil palm project.

//Cue in; “Occupants who will... 

Cue out...be charged.”//

According to Patrick Kintu Kisekulo, the disputes over the same land started before Kyotera became a district. He says police would illegally arrest residents of Bukaala and be forced to pay heavy legal costs.  

//Cue in; “Waliyo omusaja eyo…

Cue out…abantu baffe.”//  

Kisekulo further explains that they cannot blame the police for executing its duty of keeping law and order and appealed to the government to always engage courts whenever there is a project underway

//Cue in; “Nsaba bwewaba…

Cue out…zino ezettaka.”// 

According to Isaac Bigirwa, one of the affected residents, he was charged with criminal trespass and sentenced to three years and a fine of eight million. He says that the businessman and other little holders on the land used the area police to mistreat and arrest residents.

//Cue in; “Nze omu ali mu kooti…

Cue out…nga bikola.”//  

John Paul Mpalanyi, the Kyotera County MP, appealed to the minister to set up another registration centre in Kyotera to expedite the process.

//Cue in; “Directive yokwewandiisa…

Cue out…ufune okwewandisa.”// 

Hajji Moses Dumba, the Resident District Commissioner, urged all occupants on the disputed land to register in time and appealed to those with queries to get assistance from the village, parish, sub-county and district authorities but warned them not to pay anyone to during the registration exercise. 

//Cue in; “Alinamu ako akabuzeemu…

Cue out….mumbeera ndala.”//  

However, when contacted, Murengyeza declined to comment on the matter.

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