Joshua Amanyire Kiiza, the Mayor Masindi municipality supported by his council, has instituted a committee to investigate two Bunyoro ministers, Ernest Kiiza and Oscar Baitwa.
Baitwa, the minister without portfolio of Bunyoro Kitara kingdom and Kiiza, the minister of State for Bunyoro Affairs are accused of grabbing over 40 acres in Masindi town.
The sale of Masindi sports and golf club’s land totaling to over 40 acres to Baitwa, one of the directors of Three Ways Ltd Company by Masindi district land board has raised queries among Masindi Municipal Council councilors.
According to Ismail Haruna Irumba, the female youth Councilor Masindi Municipality, in addition to Masindi sports and golf club land, Masindi Booma ground and green belt which are opposite municipal council head offices have been sold to the same individual.
Minister Kiiza also appears on the title deed of the land in question as a trustee member of the Masindi golf and sports club.
Mayor Amanyire says his investigations committee is comprised of the Town Clerk and Physical Planning Committee members who were tasked by the Municipal Council to probe how the transaction was made without their consent.
Amanyire states that, local government Act second schedule part 3 section 2 and subsection 2(b) clearly spells out that, the management, maintenance or control of all recreation grounds is in the hands of urban councils adding that; “As Masindi Municipal Council, we have never declared to have failed to manage or to have handed over the management of Masindi golf and sports club land to any other party and I wonder as to how the trustees of Masindi golf and sports club to took the land”.
As part of the activities of the investigation committee, Amanyire says a meeting has been scheduled to take place on April 29, 2015 at Masindi Municipal Council with the registered trustees of Masindi golf and sports club.
He asked the general public to go, witness and listen a word from horse’s mouth.
“We need to know who they are, on whose behalf did they take over the land, how it came about and what their roles are,” he said.
When contacted, James Mugoya, the district land officer Masindi, confirmed that the title of the land that measures 14.2 hectares (36 acres) of land along crescent road plot numbers 1 to 7 and 9 to 17 has never been transferred to any person other than Masindi golf and sports club that acquired a free hold title in 2013.
He however refused to divulge the names of people behind the registered trustee, something that raises more concerns.
Mugoya says, originally, the land was registered under LRV3883 folio 9 and the five year lease expired in 2009 when the golfers applied for free hold title with the purpose of protecting the remaining land since originally it stretched from Masindi Central Police Station to Kirasa.
Mayor Amanyire, however, maintains that, the land was fraudulently registered to trustees because Masindi municipal council which is the planning authority changed her physical plan for the land.
Amanyire says Masindi municipal council gave part of the land in contention to justice law and order sector (JLOS) to construct high court building by the time they wanted to take it to Hoima claiming there was no land in Masindi.
Another piece of land was also given to Central Division to build its offices because when Masindi municipality was created, the division emerged.
Julius Wabyoona, the Chairperson Social Services Committee Masindi Municipal Council, enunciates that municipal council has spent a lot of money on the land in question by employing people to slash the area, therefore, they cannot accept to lose it.
Wabyoona says that, the land is no longer relevant to golfer because the colonialists who had interest in the land because it was meant for golf course.
“The land is not enough for the game right now, it is right time for the municipal council and district leaders to make sure everyone has benefited out of it.”