Ministry of lands rejects Kikuube district Land Board Chairperson

KIKUUBE – The Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development has rejected the appointment of Ignatius Muganyizi as the district Land Board Chairperson for Kikuube district.

Muganyizi was appointed by the Kikuube council in October last year but his appointment drew protests among residents and leaders of Kikuube district.

During the council session, 11 out of 24 Councillors voted against the appointment of Muganyizi as the Chairperson Kikuube district land board.

The residents and area MP protested his appointment as they accused him of being behind the rampant land grabbing in the district.

According to the residents, Muganyizi who previously served as the Kabwoya sub-county Lands Committee Chairperson from 2009 to 2016 allegedly connived with tycoons and issued titles leading to evictions of people from their ancestral land.

After his appointment, the council submitted Muganyizi’s name and other members on the committee who included Tibeita Tusabe, Sarah Atagwireho, Muzamil Balihamwe and Peterson Kyomuhendo to the Ministry for approval.

According to a letter dated 15-12-2021, which was shared with theCooperator news, signed by Permanent Secretary (PS) Ministry of Land, Housing and Urban Development, Dorcas W Okalanyi addressed to Kikuube district local government, it indicates the committee members were approved but Muganyizi’s name was rejected.

According to the letter, the Ministry rejected Muganyizi’s name after residents and some local leaders expressed their discontent about his appointment.

In this letter, the PS advised the district council to appoint another person who will work as district Land Board Chairman in the interest of the public.

“Furthermore, in respect to the gender issue, the district is also advised to appoint an additional female member to the board so as to meet the gender requirement under the land act,” the letter reads.

Chelangat Andrew MiltonKamalingin, the Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) for Kikuube district confirmed that the district received this communication from the Permanent Secretary adding that as the CAO, he will advise the Council on how to handle the matter.

Nicolas Kiiza, the Secretary for Production, Marketing and Natural Resources headed a committee which investigated the allegation of the residents before the appointment of Muganyizi said, the district is planning to hold a council next month to discuss the matter.

He noted that the council is likely to appoint female members on the land committee as it was directed by the Ministry and thereafter, the council will get one person from the names which were approved as committee members to serve as the Land Board Chairperson.

Alex Byasi, the District Councillor for Kabwoya South sub-county, who was the lead petitioner to reject Muganyizi during the council meeting, commended the Ministry for listening to the people’s outcry.

He noted that as petitioners, if Muganyizi had been approved as the district Land Board Chairman, it was going to be a disaster.

He noted that the integrity of Muganyizi is questionable, adding that having him as the Land Board Chairperson would fuel land grabbing.

Amlan Tumusime, the Kikuube Resident District Commissioner (RDC) said the rejection of Muganyizi was expected since the public had rejected him.

He noted that Kikuube is one of the districts in the region with the highest rate of land conflicts hence appointing someone with questionable integrity as Land Board Chairman would make matters worse.

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