Majid Batambuze

Jinja Municipal Council speaker, Moses Bizitu has called an urgent council sitting over an issue where the Municipal’s Mayor, Majid Batambuze, was named to have been involved in a land transaction.

This comes after the Police CID head quarters wrote to Bizitu seeking clarity on a matter they are investigating in which Majid is said to have obtained an unspecified amount of money from an investor by false pretence.

According to the letter seen by The Eagle online dated 19th/7/2018, in 2007 Shayan trading company limited expressed interest in acquiring land comprised in plot 5-51 block 789 Farady Nalufenya road in Jinja.

The said transaction was allegedly coordinated by the mayor through the Jinja municipal council.

The letter thus required office of the speaker to clarify if JMC whether ever handled the request from Shayan Trading Company LTD requesting the said land be leased to them.

The letter also demanded the office of the Speaker to clarify whether council has the mandate to allocate or lease land in Jinja district.

“I received the letter and I can only respond to it after it has been discussed in council. So we are having an urgent council meeting tomorrow over the same,” said Bizitu this evening.

He said that he has also written to town clerk, Francis Byabagambi to avail him with information on all municipal land with land titles for proof whether the said land belonged to Jinja Municipal council or not before he responds.

However, the Mayor, Mr Batambuze says there is no cause for alarm and the district politicians should hold their horses.

“There is no need to call an emergency council session. The land matter is being handled by the commissioner for land registration at the Ministry of Lands , Housing and Urban Development. We should all wait until the Ministry pronounces itself on this matter before we can sit to deliberate on it.

“Jinja Municipal Council lodged a complaint with the Ministry contesting the re- entry into the land at Plot 24 Kyabazinga Way by the District Land board and the subsequent allocation of the said land to one Yahya Kisakye who later subdivided it into 30 plots and has been selling them off quietly,” the mayor said in a text message to Eagle Online.

The Mayors’ Full Response

There is no need to call an emergency council session. The land matter is being handled by the commissioner for land registration at the Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development.

Jinja Municipal Council lodged a complaint with the Ministry contesting the re- entry into the land at Plot 24 Kyabazinga Way by the District Land board and the subsequent allocation of the said land to one Yahya Kisakye who later subdivided it into 30 plots and has been selling them off quietly.

The re-entry was made in 2016 when there was no land board.

The reasons given for the purported re-entry were frivolous which included among others; failure to pay ground rent yet Jinja Municipal Council is the collector of the said ground rent. JMC could not pay itself.

The other reason was that Tirupati the company which had been subleased the land had failed to put up the proposed developments within one year.

That too could not be done because UNRA had indicated that they were going to construct a new road passing thru the land to connect to the new bridge and had requested for a stay of all developments till after they had demarcated the area where the new road was to pass.

We have so far attended two public hearings at the Ministry on the same matter and we are waiting for decision of the Registrar of titles.

There is no need to hold a council meeting before the ruling of the registrar.

I as the Mayor I am the complainant seeking to have the land reverted back to Jjnja Municipal Council. Obviously those who had benefited from the land grab aren’t happy about that as they stand to lose their loot.

It is important that grabbing of public land with impunity is resisted. Many are however aren’t happy about this and will do whatever they can to tarnish the Mayor’s name.

We should all wait until the Ministry pronounces itself on this matter before we can sit to deliberate on it.