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HomeULTIMATE POLITICSIMPUNITY: Tayebwa Tasks Nabbanja Over Minister Otafiire And Njeru Stock Farm

IMPUNITY: Tayebwa Tasks Nabbanja Over Minister Otafiire And Njeru Stock Farm

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We early this week reported about how Internal Affairs Minister had last weekend stormed the Njeru stock farm in a bid to evict government from his land which houses the only diary breeding, research farm in Eastern Uganda which was set up in the late 1960s.

When he stormed the farm on a bright Sunday afternoon, Minister Otafiire who said he served the notice of eviction to a one Dr Caroline Webule last November said he had gone to claim his land having served the notice of eviction to the manager. The manager’s pleas to the minister to engage his colleagues Frank Kagyigyi Tumwebaze and Bright Rwamirama over the same fell on deaf ears.

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The furious minister, not ready to listen to anything ordered for the arrest of the breast feeding manager of the Njeru Stock Farm, she was thrown into custody at the Njeru police division. The minister’s actions elicited mixed reactions with many condemning the minister’s high handedness on a person who is not even supposed to carry the government’s cross.

Now the Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Thomas Tayebwa has directed the Prime Minister Robinah Nabbanja to address the issue of the Internal Affairs Minister Kahinda Otafiire’s possession of the Njeru government farm in Buikwe district.

His directive comes after Kira Municipality legislator Ibrahim Ssemuju Nganda brought the minister’s high handedness on a breastfeeding government employee last weekend on the floor of parliament urging government to stop this level of impunity by arresting those who sold government farm land to Otafiire.

“If we don’t stop this level of impunity, we will wake up one day when Mr. Speaker you are also taking over parliament and you will say ‘someone has sold it to me’ because how can a government minister[Otafiire] say that a government farm was sold to him?’-Ssemuju question.

Tororo district women member of parliament Sarah Opendi added weight behind Ssemuju’s concern by revealing that the issue of Njeru stock farm being taken over by minister Otafiire is not new because some time back the committee of Agriculture did investigations and recommended that government reclaims this land from Otafiire.

In response, the Deputy Speaker instructed Prime Minister Nabbanja to investigate the matter and report back to Parliament with in two weeks. He noted that the Parliamentary Agriculture Committee had previously conducted an extensive investigation into the issue and submitted  a report which with recommendations including repossessing the Njeru farm land and compensating Mr. Otafiire

However, selling the land back to government is not Otafiire’s option. He has already told off his colleagues in the Ministry of Agriculture Animal Industry and Fisheries that he has not thought of selling the land to government but he’s determined to evict the government he serves from it’s ‘own land’ which he bought.

Speaking to media early this week, Otafiire said-“Listen, i don’t want to sell that land to government. I don’t want anybody to say i grabbed government land in order to sell it to them. I clearly told them [ministers of agriculture] that i am not selling that land to government at all. It’s my land, i have got titles and the should get off my land, simple-Otafiire furiously said.

The 1,099 acre farm located at Bukaya West Village, in Njeru Municipality Buikwe District is one of the government farms established by the previous governent and is managed by the minister of agriculture which host a demonstration farm, a breeding centre and a reserch centre among other facilities.

however, over 504 acres of the farm has been fraudulently taken over by private individuals. In 2019, Otafiire who claimed ownership of 50 acres of the land, explained that he asked court to throw government out of the land because he had secured rights from the original owners after the government failed to pay for it’s lease renewal.

But a 2014 investigation by the Inspectorate of Government (IGG) indicated that the then Njeru Town Council got a lease on the land in 1967 and in 1969, sub leased 306 acres to the ministry of Agriculture for Njeru Stock Farm.

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