The chairman board of directors Bro Group of companies, Oscar Baitwa Busiinge, has denied claims by Masindi Municipal Council that he fraudulently acquired over 40 acres of land belonging to Masindi gold and sports club.
Speaking to our reporter from his home in Masindi town, Baitwa who is also the Minister without Portfolio in Bunyoro Kitara Kingdom, said that some people within Masindi Municipal Council are alarming the public because they are looking for a sympathy vote by misguiding people that there was no golf club yet they have just come to Masindi recently.
On 10th April 2015, Masindi municipal council resolved to petition the minster of Land and Natural Resources to have the land title that was registered in the names of registered trustees of Masindi golf and sports club cancelled because it was fraudulently given out by Masindi district land ord.
Before the council meeting took place, Ismail Haruna Irumba, the Masindi municipal council youth Councilor had claimed that the Masindi golf and sports club land had been sold to Baitwa.
However, Baitwa says the land was registered in the name of registered trustees of Masindi golf and sports club which is under the golf union of Uganda.
Joshua Amanyire Kiiza, the mayors Masindi municipality argues that, it was wrong for the trustees to take over the management of the land since local government Act mandates urban councils to manage, maintain and control all recreational facilities.
Baitwa who describes himself as the chairman of various companies like three ways shipping, Yaya group, Trans truck, Touch media and three ways distribution that operates in Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania says around 10 years ago, he asked to be given land by Masindi municipal council as an investor and was given around three acres of land free of charge but got to realize it was not enough for what they wanted do.
“Pantaleo Kasangaki, the chairperson of Masindi golf and sports club told me that, the land I had been given did not belong to Masindi municipal council and he asked me to help them lease the land and as a member of Entebbe golfers’ association. I could not refuse because Kasangaki had fears that the land was most likely to be given out all leaving them with nothing,” he said.
The minister defined himself as a saviour but not a land grabber because he helped to ease the processes of acquiring the land tittle in corroboration with the district land board.
He said allocation fees was paid to Masindi municipal council and wondered as to why the council accepted the money if they had interest in the land.
Baitwa said that his understanding with Misindi golf and sports club committee was that he sponsored the land title acquisition process that began in 2007 in return of small piece of land because golfers had no money.
“I am actually a trustee and I am serving my second term. Other trustees are former Inspector General of Police, John Kisembo; Kisembo Ndozereho alias Wagasoni then during one of the AGM, Ndozereho was dropped and Earnest Kiiza was brought on board. Pantaleo Kasangaki is the chairman of the association and Jose Wamara, the chairman Masindi district land board is the vice chairman of the association.”
Baitwa says they are determined to revive golf in Masindi and referred to people who are saying golf to “have died” as being silly adding that his company sponsors golf clubs of Entebbe and Tooro and there is no problem with sponsoring golf in Masindi.
The land title seen by our reporter does not bear the name of any trustee as had been earlier on claimed by the municipal councillor.
Baitwa notes that they are not going to be a life time trustee only that people are just jumping on things that they do not know.
He said that the land in question can never be public land but it is for public usage because it has the owner the only problem is it has never been put to its usage.
He warned people tress pass on the land by grazing animals and using it for teaching drivers to stop.
“I am not fighting for this land as Baitwa but as Uganda golf union. My stand is golf land will remain golf land because that is what it was meant for with me or without me. All golf land world over has trustees who are men or women of integrity. This club is even known by St. Andrew, the world union for golf and it was formed in 1909 but registered in England in 1914,” Baitwa explained.