Museveni now cancels land offer to Makerere University

Museveni now cancels land offer to Makerere University

Museveni now cancels land offer to Makerere University

In response to objections from the residents,  President Yoweri Museveni revoked  the property offer to Makerere University in  the Nakasongola district.

President Yoweri Museveni gave the former ministry of Lands and Surveys  instructions in 1989 to set aside 10 square kilometers of land for multifaceted  agricultural projects with multiple faces that would support income-generating activities.

The five square miles at government ranching schemes in the Nakasongola district  and the additional five square miles at the Ssingo ranching scheme, which they  proposed to Makerere, were identified by the Ministry of Lands.

Next, land at blocks 9B and 9C at Buruuli ranching schemes in Wabinyonyi and  Kakooge sub-counties of Nakasongola was made available by the Ministry of Lands.

However, to date, Makerere University hasn’t yet taken possession of the land. On September 22, 2023, Prof Barnabas Nawangwe the vice chancellor of Makerere University wrote to the Nakasongola resident district commissioner asking him to convene a security meeting to brief them about the president’s directive. In October, Makerere University officials visited the land where they found that it was already occupied by the people.

Earlier on June 12, 2023, Nawangwe also wrote minister of Education and Sports Janet Kataaha Museveni informing her about how the process to acquire the land had dragged on and appealing to her to direct the ministry of Agriculture to issue an allocation letter to the university to complete the tilting of the land.

On June 15, Ms Museveni wrote to the minister of Agriculture asking to help the university to secure an allocation letter to complete the process. However, on October 27, the residents wrote to President Museveni asking him to cancel the offer and allocate Makerere University land elsewhere.

The residents informed Museveni through their leaders, Edward Katuramu of  Lugogo LC I, John Katwire of Kabakazi LC I, and Francis Bukenya, the LCI  chairperson of Nalubaale village in Wabinyonyi sub county, that Makerere’s takeover  of the land would result in the displacement of about 120 households along with  their 3000 head of cattle and 2000 goats.

The petitioners stated that they moved  onto the property 28 years ago, having  obtained it in 1995 as part of the Ranches  Restructuring initiative, which was  headed by the late minister John Nasasira.

Additionally, the petitioners informed Museveni that it was unjust to evict them in  order to make room for the Makerere University project because some of them had  already developed the land and obtained titles to it.

Now, in a letter to his spouse, Museveni has stipulated that Makerere be given  alternate land outside of Nakasongola and that the land be left to its present owners. In a letter dated November 27, 2023, Museveni said that Mengo sub-colonization and British colonization had caused great suffering for the people  of Buruuli.

He went on to say that the Baruuli were saved by the NRM administration, which  granted them a district where they could manage their local government and, in the  event that some of them had been the landowners, retain it. This was the first time  the Baruuli had spoken their language since 1900.

With a copy of the letter, Museveni instructed the Minister of Lands, Housing, and  Urban Development and the Prime Minister to secure Makerere University an  alternate location outside of Buruuli.

The vice president, Public Service Minister Muruli Mukasa, who resides in the  Nakasongola district and serves as the chairwoman of the Land Commission, was  also copied on the letter.

The Nakasongola district’s LC V chairperson, Sam Kigula, claims that they learned  of the president’s decision through Muruli Mukasa.

People in Nakasongola have received public land from Museveni twice now. Museveni issued an order in December 2019 to degazette the Kyarubanga forest  reserve in the Nakasongola area in order to provide housing for residents without  land. Wabinyonyi, Lwabiyata, Lwampanga, and Nabiswera are among the four sub-counties that are encompassed by the eight square mile forest reserve. After the decision was issued, more than 2000 people had been resettled on the land.

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