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Minister Namuganza, Sembabule district leaders feud over disputed construction

State Minister for Lands Percis Namuganza speaking to Frank Abaine the greater Masaka Regional Police Commander after the hot meeting in Sembabule on Friday. Courtesy photo

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | There was an exchange between the State Minister for Lands Persis Namuganza and the Sembabule district leaders over the ongoing construction on a disputed piece of land in the area.

Namuganza went to Sembabule on Friday to arbitrate a dispute between Buganda Kingdom authorities in Mawogola county and the district local government which is accused of encroaching on Kingdom land. The land in question is housing Buganda’s Mawogola county headquarters yet another part of it is being used to construct the district canteen.

However, the arbitration meeting ended with bitter exchanges between Namuganza and Sembabule district leaders led by Nixon Niwagaba Kabuye, the Resident District Commissioner Dr Elly Muhumuza, the LCV chairperson and Willy Bataringaya, the Chief Administrative Officer.

Namuganza first tasked the district leaders to explain why they carried forward the construction in total disregard of her instructions to halt the works until the two parties reached a consensus. Namuganza issued the directive last month after complaints by Buganda officials who accused the district of forcibly constructing on their land.

But the Chief Administrative Officer Willy Bataringaya argues that they undertook the construction after due consultations and that all their actions are in legal.

Doctor Elly Muhumuza and Nixon Niwagaba Kabuye, the Sembabule LCV chairperson and Resident District Commissioner also argued that they asked the Buganda officials to present a title of the said land in vain, an explanation which angered Namuganza who accused the leadership of disrespect.

She faulted the leadership of rushing to the construction project during the lockdown period something she said raises suspicions about their interests in the land.

Namuganza instructed the district police commander to withdrawal all security at the construction site, indicating that she obtained information the canteen does not belong to the local government as alleged but a private property by one of the leaders using state resources.

Hajj Muhammad Sserwadda, the Buganda Kingdom representative in Mawogola county also decried the arrogance of the local council leadership saying that have severally attempted to engage them in harmonious talks over the matter but the leaders deliberately declined.

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