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RWAMIRAMA: Otafiire Fraudulently Acquired Njeru Stock Farm Land

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The saga surrounding the Njeru stock farm in Buikwe district where Maj Gen Kahinda Otafiire claims ownership of a big chuck of part of the farm continue unveiling new details day by day.

He two weeks ago stormed the farm and had it’s manager Dr Caroline Webule arrested for encroaching on his land. It was a Sunday and the Internal affairs minister accused the manager who is employed the Agriculture minister of disrespecting an eviction notice he served them last year.

The manager’s pleas to Otafiire to instead engage his fellow ministers in the Agriculture Ministry Bwino Kyakulaga, Bright Rwamirama and Frank Tumwebaze fell on deaf ears as the tough Otafiire ordered for her arrest, she was bundled into a vehicle and taken to police cells of Njeru Division despite being a breast feeding mother.

Following the incident parliament chaired by Deputy Speaker Thomas Tayebwa gave Prime Minister Robinah Nabbanja to take a dive into the matter and report to the house in two weeks. The directive followed a concern of impunity raised by Kira Municipality legislator Ibrahim Ssemuju Nganda who question the circumstances under which Otafiire acquired government land.

Minister Bright Rwamirama With Dr Caroline Webule whom Otafiire Arrested

According to Bright Rwamirama the state minister for Agriculture in charge of Animal husbandry who recently visited the farm after the Otafiire Saga, his fellow minister claims he owns the land but he acquired it fraudulently and the person who sold it to him used a fake title and the law can never allow him take over government land or even refuse to sell it to government since it has interest in it.

“The problem here is land grabbing and it started with leaders of Njeru town Council. I expect the leadership to protect this resource which is the only one of it’s kind in this region. I am optimistic the wrangles will end in the government’s favor”-Rwamirama Said

Rwamirama also questions why Otafiire didn’t serve the eviction notice to the ministry of agriculture whose office location he knows better but opted to serve it to the farm management. The soft spoken Rwamirama also says that Kahinda Otafiire using police to cause havoc at the farm also reveals a lot about him.

“I am surprised that he (Otafiire) moved that way because I had talked to him and he said he was selling. I told him that you were selling something which is very controversial. The records I have indicate the person who sold you got a fraudulent title. The law is that even if he bought the land, government has an interest there. You don’t just come and evict. He should have gone to court himself. I have not seen his eviction notice. Why didn’t he serve it to the ministry? He is a serving minister and using police really reveals a lot about him”-Rwamirama further said

But while speaking to Media after the fracas, Otafiire made it clear he has no plans of selling the land to government and the Manager’s arrogancy prompted him to arrest her and throw her into cells because he served her with the eviction notice.

“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 they 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 governments and is managed by the ministry of agriculture which hosts a demonstration farm, a breeding centre and a research 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 Inspector General 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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