“Even if you want blows, Otafiire we can get out and I show you,” Nathan Nandala Mafabi, the Budadiri County West in Sironko District told Gen. Kahinda Otafiire as his colleagues from the Opposition cheered on.
Gen. Otafiire, the Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs had earlier, during a Wednesday afternoon session in Parliament seemed to threaten other legislators after Speaker Rebecca Kadaga had asked him to present documents pertaining the acquisition of Njeru Stock Farm.
Located at Bukaaya West Village, Buikwe District, Njeru Stock farm is one of the government farms under the National Animal Genetics Resources Centre & Data Bank ((NAGRC & DB).
It hosts a dairy model farm and been reportedly parcelled out to different individuals, including Gen. Otafiire.
“During the recess honourable members, read about the grabbing of Njeru stock farm. For anyone who has used that route, you very know it that Njeru is a government property but it’s very absurd that it has been divided into small plots by private individuals,” Kadaga said while welcoming the Parliament from the recess.
Kadaga wondered how a government land was taken up by and individual without the involvement of government.
“I have received a complaint from certain people who say that the person behind this is Muhangi. I don’t know whether that is the same man who went and broke the building in Jinja. Unfortunately, as these things happen the name of Otafiire is mentioned. For that matter, we need to know the relationship between Muhangi and Otafiire. And who is this Muhangi who cannot be touched?” she said.
“I direct the Ministry of Internal Affairs to investigate the issue and we expect an answer next week,” she concluded.
In reaction, Kira Municipality MP Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda requested Kadaga to task Gen Otafiire to explain how his name is involved in the scandal since he was present.
However, when Otafire came on the floor he said court had instructed him to throw off people occupying the said land (Njeru) because it’ was his.
This did not go down well with members, with Nandala saying, “I’m very sure Kahinda Otafiire is not born from Buganda. He comes from somewhere and Njeru Stock Farm has been around before he even became a minister. There is a reason as to why the government put up this land. Now Otafiire, because he is the minister of Justice, uses the court to issue orders for him to take this land,” said Nandala.
“Madam Speaker isn’t this impunity of the highest order with an arrogance that a whole minister, who is supposed to protect this property is instead stealing it. This is an abuse of the office, it’s quite dangerous.”
Buhweju County MP Francis Mwijukye added: “The minister while in charge of Lands used that ministry to grab this land and now want to use the Ministry of Justice to confirm that this land is his.”
Immediately Otafiire came on the floor and threatened them to dare repeat what they had said outside the August House.
“I challenge them to repeat what they have said outside this House. I don’t envy their concern but I have told you that the matters are in court,” said Otafire.
However, Kadaga insisted that he explains how he acquired the land
“Whoever comes from the East knows very well that it’s a government property so come and tells how you acquired that land. Lay all the papers here tomorrow (Thursday, October 31),” she said.
Arrogantly, Otafiire referred Kadaga to the report of the Lady Justice Bamugemereire, who investigated the matter.
This seemed to irk parliamentarians more, with Nandala saying Otafiire is good at stealing government property.
“Otafiire is a good friend but when it comes to stealing government property, he is an expert. When he was a minster of Lands, he went and used powers of his office to acquire public land in Kyambogo. So the issue that Otafiire uses his office to grab land is a true story. I will repeat it outside and see what you will do to me. You have used these offices to grab public property. Even if you want blows, Otafiire we can get out. We go and try now. You come,” said Nandala.
In response, Otafiire just laughed at Nandala, before he took to his seat.
The minister is expected to report to Parliament on Thursday with documents he claims gave him permission to take over the farm.
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