The Executive Director of Uganda Investments Authority (UIA) Jolly Kaguhangire asked the people of Bunyoro to support government efforts to develop the country by stopping non-citizens from settling on government land and expect compensation.
She also blamed Critical Mass Group (CMG) Ltd for underutilizing the land allocated to them hence resulting into the growing influx of encroachers on government land by foreigners whose origins are not clear.
According to the statement from UIA office, the Executive Director made the appeal in meeting held at Masindi District Headquarters recently.
Kaguhangire engaged the community local leaders of Kimengo, Mabati and Kiryana sub-counties and the CMG investors to get a common ground for airing out concerns affecting both the locals and the investors.
A growing number of people in the 3 sub-counties are currently settled on the 20sq miles land UIA allocated to 2 Investors (Critical Mass Growth Ltd and Capital Ventures ltd) for development.
Faith Njeru, the General Manager of CMG informed UIA that they’ve held several meetings with the local leaders to discuss how best encroachers can be handled but nothing has been done to secure CMG land.
She also informed UIA officials that encroachers dismantled their fence, destroyed property and stole their cows.
The Resident District Commissioner of Masindi District, Godfrey Nyakahuma informed UIA officials that that specific piece of land was resulting into insecurity for Uganda because of underutilization by the investor.
“There is no any activity on the land apart from hiring it for charcoal burning and temporary crop growing. We as leaders felt that UIA as the landlord should come up with a possible way forward to ensure that the land is put to full utilization by the investor,” he said.
The RDC also informed UIA that there is an ongoing profiling of people settled on this land to get a clear distinction between the foreigners and natives since CMG managers had hired it to people to graze animals and grow crops way back in 2015.
Kaguhangire requested the local leaders to engage encroachers on CMG land to calmly vacate and pave way for development by the end of this year.
Uganda Investment Authority is committed to work with the local leaders to ensure peaceful vacation of encroachers on the land.
Back ground of the story.
The Uganda Investment Authority (UIA) purchased 20 square miles of land from Bunyoro Growers Co-operative Union (BGCU) in 1998.
It lies between Kafu to Masindi Town road (with accessibility points at Kimengo and opposite Kiryana Ranch) and Masindi Town to Masindi Port road (with accessibility at Kaduku, 8 km from Gulu road).
The land is approximately 210 km from Kampala on the Kimengo side and 230 km on the Masindi Port side.
This land was allocated to M/s Critical Mass Group Ltd, CMG and M/S Capital Ventures Ltd, each owning 10 sq. miles.
UIA signed a lease agreement with CMG in 2015 for the purpose of engaging in cattle keeping, goat ranching and bee keeping.
These Companies have not fully taken possession of the land which resulted into encroachment by squatters and development of three trading centres.
However, Uganda Investment Authority has commenced on the eviction of all squatters and has withdrawn 15sq miles from the 2 investors for failure to develop the land.