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Kitubulu Residents Petition MP over Kitinda Sports Pitch :: Uganda Radionetwork
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Kitubulu Residents Petition MP over Kitinda Sports Pitch

MP Matovu assuring residents the pitch will remain a community asset

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Residents of KituBulu village in Katabi Town Council have petitioned Busiro South Member of Parliament Charles Matovu over continuous arrests and prosecutions by people intent on appropriating the land hosting the Kitinda football pitch.

The residents explained that the police and army have been used endlessly to torment those who insist that the pitch is a community asset. Prosecutions have been made both at the local magistrates’ court at Entebbe and at the High Court land division in Kampala. 

The land in question was reportedly donated decades ago by then-resident Sulaiman Bulega to the community.  However as land became a highly commercialized asset in recent decades, Bulega’s descendants shared out his estate, leaving the pitch as the isolated and undeveloped bit, which one Ms Night Kijjambu also a relative of Bulega claims part of. 

The residents accuse Night of using armed men and the courts to force them to drop their claim over the land.  They say that she one-time planting banana stems in the pitch, which they aggressively uprooted to protect the community interest, leading to charges of criminal trespass and malicious damage. The charges reportedly changed to the theft of her money.

“We have been severally arrested, arraigned in courts to which we have moved endlessly, all because we are fighting for the community good.  This land is a community asset and we are persecuted because we are insisting that we shall not allow greedy people to personalize it,”  Yusuf Chippo, the area LC II youth chairman narrated. 

Others who have fallen victims include Aziz Zirimmenya, Umar Ssekidde, Buli Sulaiman Swalley, Abdul Aziz Musa, KIbira Victor, Abdul Haq Twesige, Tom Byarugaba among others.  The residents assert the pitch is used by over 30 teams including schools, village and parish teams from the entire town council.  

However, Night who attended but was denied the opportunity to address the meeting told URN that the grading of the pitch in recent years had included part of her plot she reportedly bought from another person.  Her mother who lives in the vicinity has steered clear of the wrangle. A High Court judge who is a friend to Night has also been named to own a plot on the impugned land.  

The matter was reportedly addressed to the then minister of state for Lands Persis Namganza who took it up with the President, the latter promising to buy off the interest of the registered proprietor to protect the community interest. 

MP Matovu Matovu said he would follow up on the matter through the House Committee on Government Assurance to ascertain where it ended.

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However, he emphasized wanton arrests of residents had to stop forthwith and this he was going to take up with the police and UPDF leadership.  He also promised he would in solidarity join those being arraigned in court to ensure their rights are not abused.

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The MP expressed disappointment that many sports pitches in the constituency were under threat of land grabbers and or other forms of development at the expense of youth talent. This, he said, is counterproductive to the reality that sports is a new potential for employment and revenue generation Uganda should take advantage of. 

Kasirye Gerald, a former Katabi TC mayoral contestant and Ssekidde lamented that it was disappointing that collective development matters are politicized to the extent that some National Resistance Movement (NRM) functionaries de-campaigned the meeting as a planned demonstration, which police almost stopped.  

Kitubulu LCII vice chairman Hassan Yusuf and district councillor Mirembe Jackline Kizito urged residents to be united when fighting for development.  Some of the leaders asked why their area had been left out from the Parish Development Model fund disbursement but Matovu said this was a matter that Parliament was still scrutinising.  

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