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Man Allegedly Forges Omukama Iguru’s Signature to Grab 2000 Acres of Land

It is alleged that Tumwebaze presented a letter dated October 4, 2021, allegedly signed by Omukama Iguru and addressed to Florence Kiconco, the head of the legal department at State House indicating that the King had offered him land measuring 2000 acres to utilize.
Omukama of Bunyoro Dr Solomon Gafabusa Iguru.His signature was forged to grab land in Bugoma forest.Photo by Emmanuel Okello.

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Gideon Tumwebaze, the Chairman of TULIPONA Veterans Association is in trouble for allegedly forging a letter and signature of Dr Solomon Gafabusa Atugtamba Iguru, the King of Bunyoro Kitara Kingdom to allegedly grab 2,000 acres of land in Kikuube District. 

The land that is located in Nyairongo village Kabwoya Sub County within the Bugoma Central Forest Reserve is part of the land that was leased to Hoima Sugar Limited for 99 years by the Bunyoro Kitara Kingdom for sugar cane growing.

It is alleged that Tumwebaze presented a letter dated October 4, 2021, allegedly signed by Omukama Iguru and addressed to Florence Kiconco, the head of the legal department at State House indicating that the King had offered him land measuring 2000 acres to utilize.

TULIPONA veterans’ association which is purported to have 500 members is accused of encroaching on part of the land which was leased to Hoima sugar limited for 99 years to grow sugarcane by the Bunyoro Kitara Kingdom.   The group claims that the land was offered to them by Omukama Iguru in 2000.  

Andrew Byakutaga, the Bunyoro Kitara Kingdom Prime Minister says, the letter that Tumwebaze presented was forged adding that the king has never at any point allocated land to the association.  

According to Byakutaga, he has already notified the State House Legal Department about the matter. He wants Tumwebaze investigated for allegedly forging Omukama’s letter and signature.

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Amlan Tumusiime, the Kikuube Resident District Commissioner, says his office has received instruction from the Kingdom to investigate Tumwebaze and that his office has taken up the matter.  

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Tumwebaze has however refuted the claims that he forged the Omukama’s letter and signature. He explains that the letter was written by Iguru.

According to Tumwebaze, there is a section of people in the Kingdom who don’t want the Omukama to allocate land to members of the Association.   

Hoima Sugar Limited leased close to 22 square miles of the contested Bugoma Central Forest reserve land from the Bunyoro Kitara Kingdom for sugarcane growing for 99 years.  

However, the National Environment Management Authority -NEMA found that 13 of the 22 square miles, unfit for a sugar plantation and recommended their preservation since it’s a wetland and forest reserve.    

As a result, NEMA allowed the Hoima Sugar Factory to cultivate sugarcane on the remaining 9.24 square miles covering the grassland, establish an urban centre on 1.26 square miles, an eco-tourism centre on 1.97 square miles and restore 3.13 square miles of the forest reserve.   

They also recommended the preservation of another 0.156 hectares for the cultural site and 6.17 square miles as a natural forest.