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LC Chairman quizzed over grabbing church land

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Kampala, Uganda | GODFREY SSALI | A Local Council leader of Ntawo Village in Mukono District, Moses Male Byekwaso, who was recently implicated in grabbing acres of land belonging to the Church of Uganda in Mukono District, has appeared before the Land Probe Commission.

Byekwaso was summoned to defend himself on allegations that he mobilized squatters on the said land not to give vacant possession to the Church to develop its land, and further signed sale agreements selling some of it to 3rd parties without first consulting the Land lord, on top of acquiring for himself 5 acres of the disputed land.

The Commission Chaired by Justice Catherine Bamugemereirwe also wanted Byekwaso to explain why he conspired with Minister Ronald Kibuule to incite people to lynch the Church Bishops who had gone to tour the land in 2016.

The land in dispute located at Ntawo-Muzingo Village in Mukono Municipality is part of the church land under the Uganda Christian University (UCU) Holdings, measuring 649.2 acres.

While cross examining him the Commission’s Assistant Lead Counsel
John Bosco Suuza, put it to him that he in company of Reknown Lawyer Peter Muliira, Minister Ronald Kibuule and former MP Buikwe South Anthony Mukasa, among others are the ones who incited a group of people to lynch the said Clergy, led by Archbishop Stanley Ntagali on July 08, 2016, which allegation Byekwaso vehemently denied.

The Commission also demanded to know from him as an area Chairman, how Major General Proscovia Nalweyiso and Minister Kibuule came to live on that land, to which he replied that Gen. Nalweyiso is a recognised bonafide holder on the land, while the Minister purchased part of that land.

Last month the Vice Chancellor of UCU, Dr. John Ssenyonyi, testified before the Commission that high ranking government officers including Minister Kibuule were forcefully encroaching on Church land.

He said that Kibuule owns a Palacial house on the disputed land but that the time of his settling on the disputed land is not known and his house was only seen in 2015.

Ssenyonyi also confirmed that in 2016, a mob attacked the Bishops while touring the land forcing them to flee for their safety.

Dr. Ssenyonyi said it was therefore against this background that, efforts to have government agency vacate to allow them develop their land, have been rendered futile and as a result, Uganda Land Commission sued the university and the Church challenging the eviction.

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