Minister Accuses Bukalasa College of Frustrating Lands Project

1445 Views Luweero, Uganda

In short
The State Minister for Lands Persis Namuganza has accused Bukalasa Agricultural College of frustrating the construction of Luweero zonal lands office.

The State Minister for Lands Persis Namuganza has accused Bukalasa Agricultural College of frustrating the construction of Luweero zonal lands office.
 
Two weeks ago the Ministry of Lands deployed Chinese Contractors to construct a zonal office for Greater Luweero districts at a two-acre piece of land. The contractors are, however, stuck after Bukalasa Agricultural College blocked the construction saying the land belongs to the institution.
 
The students and administrators went ahead to plant mangoes to protest what they called land grabbing by the Ministry of Lands through Bukalasa Lands Office.
 
Minister Namuganza now says that her ministry will convene a meeting next week with officials from the Ministry of Agriculture, which is in charge of Bukalasa Agricultural College, to resolve the standoff and ensure the project doesn't delay further.
 
Namuganza, however, blasted the administrators of Bukalasa Agricultural College for frustrating the project which is implemented by the government yet they are also part of it.
 
Namuganza adds that the administrators could have sought redress with the Lands Ministry instead of blocking the project.
 
She says that this is one of the issues why the government wants to amend Article 26 of the constitution to provide for the compulsory acquisition of land for its projects without delay.
 
But Gelvan Kisolo Lule, the Principal of Bukalasa Agricultural College, denies frustrating the project saying they are yet to get any directive from the Ministry of Agriculture about the land giveaway.
 
Kisolo explains that the institution is just a custodian of the land but they want an official communication from their supervisors which is Ministry of Agriculture authorising the giveaway.
 
Kisolo says that the proposed site is part of the land owned by the college for education purposes and they can't change its purpose without a formal arrangement
  
Recently the Minister Without Portfolio Abdul Nadduli revealed that the disputed piece of land was carved out of Bukalasa Agricultural College in 2012 by Luweero District under his tenure as Local Council Chairperson.
 
Nadduli adds that they also ordered Bukalasa Lands Office to process the land title which they submitted to the Ministry of Lands to secure funding from World Bank for the construction of the zonal office to benefit the area.
 
He however failed to explain how they processed a title yet the custodian of the land which is Bukalasa Agricultural College was not aware. He only replied that a government institution shouldn't frustrate a government project.
 
In recent years, Bukalasa Agricultural College has been involved in wrangles especially from government agencies. In 2012, Uganda People's Defence Forces (UPDF) also claimed ownership of 98 out of 398 acres owned by the College. Students and administrators rejected the claim and UPDF officers withdrew from the disputed land.

 

About the author

Brian Luwaga
Since Brian Luwaga joined Uganda Radio Network in 2011, he is still amazed how, "URN is a place that gives journalists a chance to enhance their skills . It gives a journalist an opportunity to adopt and master various aspects of journalism that include radio broadcast, social media, photography and television production."

A practicing journalist since 2009, first with Star FM, Luwaga has always been keen to write about the concerns of the "common person." Based for much of his career in Luweero, Luwaga takes it as a compliment if politicians complain that his reporting is too harsh.

In his journalism, Luwaga likes to merge the past with the present. He believes you cannot understand what is happening now, if you do not have a grounding in the past. Brian Luwaga is the Luweero URN bureau chief. Nakasongola, Nakaseke, Mityana, Mubende and Wakiso districts fall under his docket.

Luwaga is interested in humanitarian work and is a keen Rotarian.