Kayunga RDC, Ssabanyala fight over Bajjo forest reserve escalates
What you need to know:
- Kiira Motors Corporation last year bought two square miles of land in Bajjo forest reserve located in Bbaale Sub County, Kayunga District at a tune of Shs6b from Mr Morgan Isingoma, who claimed to have a land title for the forest land.
A fierce fight has erupted between the Banyala cultural leader, Maj Baker Kimeze and the Kayunga Resident District Commissioner, Mr Ssempala Kigozi over the sale of Bajjo central forest reserve.
Kiira Motors Corporation last year bought two square miles of land in Bajjo forest reserve located in Bbaale Sub County, Kayunga District at a tune of Shs6b from Mr Morgan Isingoma, who claimed to have a land title for the forest land.
It is not yet clear how Mr Isingoma obtained a land title for the forest land although he insists he lawfully obtained it.
However, the Ssabanyala Kimeze is opposed to the sale of the forest land for establishment of industries accusing the area RDC of being behind the “illegal” transaction.
Maj Kimeze also says that Bajjo forest reserve is vital to Kayunga and surrounding areas. National Forestry Authority (NFA) is also protesting the sale of the forest.
Maj Kimeze, who on Thursday foiled a planned visit by officials from Kiira motors to the contested land, asked president Museveni to immediately recall Mr Ssempala and deploy him to another district.
“We have many educated children from the district, the president should appoint one RDC so that Kayunga residents can take action against him/her if she/he acts the same way like Mr Ssempala (RDC),” he said.
As Kiira motors officials were at the RDC’s office at Kayunga District headquarters, the heavily guarded Maj Kimeze was at the Bajjo protesting their visit. The protestors carried placards, clubs and stones.
On realizing danger, the officials who refused to be named canceled their visit and went back to Kampala. Kiira motors plans to use the land to construct an automobile assembling plant.
The RDC Mr Ssempala dismissed claims that he was behind the sale of the forest land explaining that the forest land was sold before he was transferred to Kayunga District.
“I am just trying to see that government agencies NFA and Kiira motors don’t fight in my district. The Ssabanyala as a cultural leader should know that the constitution bars him from taking part in politics,” Mr Ssempala said.
The RDC vowed to fight on to ensure that the government doesn’t lose the Shs6b it used to buy the land.
The fight for Bajjo forest land has created insecurity in the area as the Ssabanyala last year survived death after he was beaten up by police at Bajjo forest.
The Deputy RDC Mr Ronald Mukoza’s vehicle was last year vandalized by a mob that attacked him while coming back from settling a land dispute.
The state minister for finance Mr Amos Lugoloobi, who is also Ntenjeru North MP, criticised residents who are fighting the establishment of industries by Kiira motors in the area.
He said the industry would not only create jobs but also justify the tarmacking of the Kayunga-Galilaaya road.