At least four Jinja City officials have been summoned by the Police for allegedly parcelling out three acres of land at Walukuba Health Centre IV to unknown persons who have started developing it.
The officials in question include Charles Nampendo who works as a senior physical planner at Jinja city, Moses Lorika the Jinja City town clerk, Dr Joseph Wakonta in charge of Walukuba Health Center IV and Mr Ernest Nabihamba the senior environment officer.
According to Daily Monitor, the Jinja Resident City Commissioner (RCC) Mr Darius Nandinda last week on Thursday ordered the Mr Maurice Niyonzima the Officer in charge of Jinja Central Police to carry out an investigation into this scandal and gave him two weeks to come out with a thorough report.
While in the meeting on the same issue with the residents of Walukuba last week, Mr Nandinda said that the four officials are responsible for giving the green light for encroachment on the land in question since they are the custodian of the government property.
“I want the Police to open a file for these employees of Jinja City and investigate how some individuals acquired land titles on the health centre land. The Police will make a follow-up with the registrar of lands who will make verifications. We must protect this land.” He said.
He added that one of the challenges in Jinja City is the grabbing of government land which is engineered by some government officials. He explained that the practice of grabbing government land in Jinja will only stop when the President sets up a commission of inquiry, especially for Jinja City.
“It is a very big challenge because government land for institutions especially forests schools and hospitals has been grabbed.”
Mr Nandinda, accompanied by the Deputy RCC Jinja South Division, Mr Mike Ssegawa, stopped with immediate effect all activities that were being carried on the contested. He asked staff members of the health facility who have their food in the garden to harvest but no further activities until investigations are done.
Local leaders in Jinja welcomed the move by the office of Jinja RCC and expressed their hope that it will unveil much evil behind the sale of government land in Jinja City.
Among them was the councillor representing Jinja South East Mr Richard Bazira who alluded that he has hope in the RCC and his team to unearth more land-grabbing deals by political leaders and government workers. He revealed that it’s now time to deliver service to people therefore they will not spare whoever will be caught in the spate of land grabbing.
One of the residents, Mr Frank Nsamba said that the health facility was established in the 1990s and if the residents were not vigilant by now the facility would have lost a large portion of its land.
“Many people including some security people have been bribed to protect these land grabbers. Mr RCC, these people dealing in land grabbing in Jinja City have money and can do anything to someone trying to step in their way. We are happy that you have joined us in the fight for our health centre land recovery.”
Meanwhile, during the meeting, two agents of the suspected encroachers were arrested and taken into custody at Jinja Central Police Station to help in the investigation.
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