Friday February 21 2014

Katuntu is wrong on Iganga land

Reference is made to a story (Katuntu, residents take on Iganga chair), in the Daily Monitor of February 12. Let me begin by discrediting the lies in the story, attributed to MP Abdu Katuntu.

I never connived with the LC5 chairman for Iganga District, Mr Shaban Nkutu, to grab any inch of land anywhere in Uganda. I am simply the current registered title holder of 987 acres of land previously known as Butaba Estate. The title to this land was granted in 1937 for 99 years. Over the years, the land has been encroached on by squatters especially along the Jinja-Tororo Highway. However, a large part of the estate remains undeveloped and under-utilised.

I have recently made plans to use the undeveloped part and also offer the squatters an opportunity to obtain titles for the areas they have developed in accordance with the law. I have made several consultations with the affected people and many are happy with the proposal, first, because it offers some of them an opportunity to acquire titles for the land they have developed. But more importantly, the proposal to develop the currently under-utilised land for a manufacturing venture, will create employment in the area.

Mr Katuntu, like other elders in the area, was not only fully briefed about this proposal, but he even offered to help sell the proposal to his constituents. It is, therefore, surprising that he has turned round and is now peddling lies to politicise the issue!
How on earth have 987 acres (approximately 1.5 square miles) become 15 square miles according to Katuntu’s arithmetic?

Why would Katuntu, a trained lawyer and shadow Attorney General, encourage and offer to sponsor lawlessness even against the highest law-enforcing organ in the land, the police?
Why would an MP not be happy with the prospect of his constituents obtaining titles to land they have developed?

Why is Katuntu frightened about a development that will create employment and bring about significant economic empowerment of his constituents?
Why does he find it necessary to involve an innocent District Chairman, Nkutu in this issue?

These and many other questions leave me puzzled as to what Katuntu’s motives are.

Ivan Kyayonka,